KKK passes out literature at intersection near Towson

March 23, 1998|By Sarah Pekkanen and Fred Rasmussen | Sarah Pekkanen and Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Wearing white robes and hoods, eight members of the Ku Klux Klan stood at the busy intersection of Loch Raven Boulevard and East Joppa Road yesterday afternoon, passing out literature titled "White and Proud."

"It's 1998 in Towson, Maryland," said Bill Doxanas, owner of Bel-Loc Diner, who said he could see the flag-carrying KKK members from his Baynesville restaurant, east of Towson. "We've been here 25 years and never seen anything like it. People were in a state of shock and disgust."

Six police cars and six officers were dispatched, but the situation remained peaceful. "They do not have nor do they need a permit, and said they would only be at the site for about an hour," said Sgt. Edward Forbes, Baltimore County police liaison.

The men left after distributing copies of a single typewritten page that did not disparage any racial or ethnic group. The page, which listed a post office box in Timonium and e-mail address, said, in part, "The lack of White pride is truly a sad and strange thing, because no group has more to be rightfully proud of. For our race as a whole to be strong and healthy, White people everywhere must develop a sense of racial identity and racial worth."

At least a few of the KKK members were males who appeared to be in their early to mid-20s, said two Bel-Loc employees who saw their faces. They said a couple of the men removed their hoods briefly while standing on the median in front of the diner.

Although Doxanas said the incident "killed my business" because people apparently did not want to pass by the KKK members to reach the restaurant, other nearby shops weren't harmed.

"People are looking and talking about it, but it's not affecting our business," said Chris Constantine, an attendant at the Crown Central gas station at the intersection.

Pub Date: 3/23/98

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