While many were celebrating the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend, some people in Mobile, Alabama, got an unwelcome present. Residents in some neighborhoods received recruiting flyers for the Klu Klux Klan, local news station WPMI-TV reported Sunday.
The messages came inside sandwich bags, which were distributed at homes in the area. A card wished King a happy birthday at the top, making some residents confused at first. Below a picture of the civil rights leader, it said, “We also have a dream,” followed by information about joining the KKK.
“The blacks have NAACP, the Mexicans have La Raza, the Jews have JDL, and white people have the KKK,” the recruitment flyer read in part.
The card also included a phone number for the Loyal White Knights; its recording conveyed extreme views, WPMI-TV reported.
“I don't want my children to see something like that. My children are loved and they are safe, and that's what is important to us. To see a message like that is very contrary to what we believe,” Tricia Butts told the television station. “Luckily I didn't get one on my door. I think a neighbor must have come by and grabbed it before we could see it, but I'm kind of shocked to see something like that on our street.”
Neighbors who received KKK flyers this weekend told WPMI-TV that they did not understand why their area had been targeted. Some said they saw more than 50 bags in the neighborhood Saturday evening.
This is not the first time residents in areas such as Mobile have complained about KKK recruitment flyers showing up at their homes. Last summer, after nine people were killed at a black church in South Carolina, people in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Kansas and California found flyers near their homes, AL.com reported. The Loyal White Knights of the KKK told the Daily Beast the group’s national recruitment drive had coincidentally started around the same time as the South Carolina massacre.
For those whose weekends were not interrupted by the flyers, many celebrations of King's legacy took place across the country. In nearby South Carolina, Democratic presidential candidates spoke at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event, talking about civil rights issues today, including criminal justice reform and gun violence.