A local chapter of the NAACP is warning officials about Ku Klux Klan recruitment efforts and how that could impact the Bay County area. It comes in the aftermath of the Charlottesville protest violence and the ongoing debate over the removal of Confederate statues across the U.S.
Earlier this week, Sunnyside Community residents in Panama City beach woke up to find recruitment fliers on their driveways, stating the “KKK wants you!” Included in baggies filled with rocks, the fliers also said “only white Christians should apply” to the American Christian Knights, a branch of the KKK.
“Unfortunately, in 2017, we’re still having to deal with racism, bigotry, and all kinds of prejudices….I think it’s sad, but it’s a reality,” said Rufus Wood, the Bay County NAACP chapter President.
Wood says the KKK is within its rights to assemble and distribute fliers. But, during a recent meeting, Wood warned Panama City Beach commissioners to be on guard.
“Perhaps, we just need to be on guard,” he added. “I know that they do have a First Amendment right in terms of assembling, and even the fliers, they do have the right to recruit. So, hopefully, we can put the police chief and other law enforcement officers on notice.”
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