A chapter of the Ku Klux Klan is reportedly recruiting for a neighborhood watch program in Fairview Township, Pennsylvania, Talking Points Memo reported on Tuesday.
The group is part of a national organization, the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The Knights' president and "Imperial Wizard," Frank Ancona, has not identified which chapter is behind the program, but confirmed that he has given the chapter his blessing to proceed.
"It's just like any neighborhood watch program," Ancona told the Harrisburg Patriot-News. "It's not targeting any specific ethnicity. We would report anything we see to law enforcement. We don't hate people. We are an organization who looks out for our race. We believe in racial separation. God created each species after its kind and saw that it was good."
Klan members allegedly organized the campaign in response to a string of break-ins in the area, and began distributing flyers promoting their activities late last week, bearing the message, "You can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake," and displaying a contact number.
Ancona told the Patriot-News that residents have contacted the local group complaining that police were not doing enough to stem the break-ins. But he did not want to identify members out of concern over Klan members being "somewhat discriminated against."
"Members could be the guy who is delivering your pizza," he was quoted as saying. "It could be law enforcement from the local sheriff's office. It could be the nurse taking care of you in the emergency room."
Authorities told the York Dispatch that, although they are aware of the group's activities, the fliers do not issue a direct threat, preventing them from taking action against it.
"It's a freedom of speech issue and, while vast majority of most residents don't agree with their philosophy, we can't discriminate against them," Lt. Jason Loper was quoted as saying. "Or we'll open ourselves to a lawsuit."
[Image: "Ku Klux Klan" by Arete13 via Flickr, Creative Commons licensed]
[h/t Think Progress]