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The KKK Is Going To Unsettling Lengths To Recruit Children In Upstate New York

The KKK Is Going To Unsettling Lengths To Recruit Children In Upstate New York

On Friday, August 3, children in upstate New York found ziploc bags at the end of their driveways as they went to wait for the school bus. Inside the bags were Ku Klux Klan recruitment fliers, leading many to believe the KKK is making a push to recruit young children into their numbers. These suspicions are only reinforced by the fact that ever ziploc bag also contained a small piece of candy.

Denise Szarek, a school board member from Westmoreland, NY, told CNN:

They come between 4 and 6 in the morning so the candy bars and packets are at the end of the driveway when kids are getting on the school bus.

Authorities have little doubt the Klan is targeting children:

The community they hit was a mobile home park so there were a lot of kids in the area, and they hit on some of the side roads, too.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered an immediate investigation as to who left the fliers, and is also trying to link the perpetrator to any past hate crimes in the area. He also ordered state police to hold a town hall in the area, addressing citizens concerns:

New York has zero tolerance for intolerance.

While he may personally hate the KKK, Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol believes leaving behind fliers is a protected right under the first amendment:

...the leaving of these flyers and soliciting people to join the KKK is their right...I believe in unity and tolerance. The KKK is against all of those things. However, with that said, I have taken an oath to uphold the constitutional rights of all citizens, which, however repulsive, includes the KKK.

The Sheriff was sure to point out, however, that "any future solicitations toward unlawful acts would draw criminal charge." This includes any past or future hate crimes, which is what Cuomo is so intent on investigating.

Police plan to increase patrols in the effected areas (which stretch across several counties) in the hopes of connecting the fliers to specific individuals and any hate crimes they may have committed.

In the meantime, Cuomo's state-wide Hate Crimes Task Force will work to educate the public about their rights and "how to report hate crimes." Hateful groups like the Ku Klux Klan have no place in civilized society.

H/T - USA Today, CNN