Days after the massacre at a black church in South Carolina, some Americans woke to a vile surprise: KKK fliers with candy on their lawns.
The propaganda—stuffed into plastic baggies with pieces of peppermint and Tootsie Rolls—included a phone number for the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Planted under the cover of darkness, the fliers were distributed in California, Kansas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia.
It’s not something local police departments are taking lightly, and some have even reached out to the FBI for assistance. The Rockdale County sheriff’s department in Conyers, Georgia, collected more than 80 fliers and is investigating whether anyone can be charged with criminal trespass or littering.
“Whether it was a joke or from an organization doesn’t matter to me,” Sheriff Eric Levett told The Daily Beast. “The fact that it was done during this time is ignorant and cowardly.”
A message on the hate-spewing hotline, based in North Carolina, salutes 21-year-old Dylann Roof, who was charged with murder for the killing nine people in Charleston. Roof penned a racist manifesto before the June 17 mass shooting and wanted to start a “race war.”
“We in the Loyal White Knights of the KKK would like to say hail victory to … Dylan S. Roof who decided to do what the Bible told him,” a man chirps in the recording. “An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. They [black people] have spilled our blood too long. It’s about time someone spilled theirs.”
“If it ain’t white, it ain’t right,” the message concludes. “White power!”
Robert Jones, of the Royal White Knights in North Carolina, told The Daily Beast that the Klan is undergoing a national recruitment drive that coincidentally started around the time of the South Carolina murders.
“We’re doing this from the East Coast to the West Coast, just to let people know the Klan’s in their community,” said Jones, the grand dragon of the hate group based in Pelham, N.C. “Especially with all the stuff that’s in the news—in South Carolina they’re wanting to take the Confederate flag down.”
Jones told The Daily Beast that he supports Roof’s crime, but preferred that he “shot the correct people,” such as minority drug dealers rather than churchgoers.
“It’s a racial war against our people,” Jones said. “The more the media pushes multiculturalism down our throat, the more you’re going to see killings like this.”
In Pryor Creek, Oklahoma, the Klan also recently caught cops’ attention when it got personal—naming and urging a boycott against local Mexican restaurants.
The fliers from the Northeastern Oklahoma Klavern warned of the same supposed “black on white” violence that spurred Roof’s militancy, and pushed “civil ways to discourage these animals from our community,” the Pryor Daily Times reported.
“Stop going to Maggie’s Mexican Kitchen … [she] thinks she can talk trash about white people in Spanish, thinking none of us will understand her anti-American, anti-white rhetoric,” read the flier discovered on Father’s Day. “Or, El Humilde Mexican Restaurant, which takes your money while employing illegals and sending our American currency back to their homeland.”
Captain Rod Howell of the Mayes County sheriff’s department in Pryor told The Daily Beast that “the timing’s not a coincidence.”
“They’re doing it for a reason,” Howell said. “They’re trying to get as many people as possible to put some fuel in the fire. With the political climate the way it is today, it’s really tough right now.”
Meanwhile, Alabama residents were horrified by the racially-charged hate bags filled with candy.
“I didn’t even know the KKK was alive and well,” Shannon Phillips of Lake View told local news station WIAT. “I certainly didn’t know it was in our area. It disturbed me that they put Tootsie Rolls in here trying to appeal to children. I mean that’s just pathetic, sick, disgusting.”
Phillips said she and other neighbors scrambled to pick up the bags before kids could find them.
“Why would they put a piece of peppermint candy in here? There’s no sweetness involved in this group,” fumed another resident, Charley Buckland, to ABC 13. “This is a very sad, sad situation when you find these in your yards. It’s very disheartening.”
Cops in nearby Bessemer, Alabama, filled a 30-gallon bag with the bulletins, which officers collected from one church and more than 60 homes.
“If we find out who has done it, we’ll deal with it,” Police Chief Nathaniel Rutledge Jr. told The Daily Beast. “For right now, it’s criminal littering at the very least.”
After the fliers were found in Topeka, Kansas, the police chief there called the U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI and held a press conference with the city’s Black Ministers Association.
Other fliers were found as far as Fullerton, California, a city of 135,161 in Orange County. Proclaiming “Save our land, Join the Klan,” some of the baggies—anchored by rocks and candy so they wouldn’t blow away—misspelled “California.”
“It’s just wrong. There’s no words,” Fullerton resident Alia Cass told CBS Los Angeles. “Racism isn’t born. It’s taught.”