North Laurel residents angered by weekend KKK fliers

Leaflets say blacks, gays cause `low element of life'

August 10, 1999|By Jamal E. Watson | Jamal E. Watson,SUN STAFF

Racially charged fliers with invitations to join the Ku Klux Klan were left on North Laurel driveways over the weekend, leaving residents upset and angry.

Several dozen leaflets from an organization identifying itself as the Invincible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan were apparently rolled up with rubber bands and randomly delivered to area homes Saturday.

The letter made an appeal to residents who "believe in White pride and God and want to see this county put back into the hands of honest law-abiding people," and it asked them to join the national organization, based in Rocky Ridge. The letter blamed blacks and gays for "coming into our county at an alarmingly high rate, and [bringing] a low element of life."

Sgt. Morris Carroll, a spokesman for the Howard County Police Department, said yesterday that police were aware of the fliers but no laws appeared to be broken.

"This has been going on for quite some time," Carroll said. "In most situations, there are no violations of the law."

Carroll said that if the fliers had been placed in mailboxes, the U.S. Postal Service could investigate.

Community residents said they feel threatened.

"I just find this offensive," said Pat Flynn, who is white. After discovering the flier, she contacted police and then comforted black neighbors who received the literature.

"I wanted them to know that not everyone thinks this way," she said. "This is scary. You want to think that this kind of stuff doesn't happen anymore."

Flynn said she plans to talk with her two children about racism after sharing the contents of the letter with them.

Sherman Howell, vice president of the African-American Coalition of Howard County, said yesterday that the rise in the number of similar race-related incidents in Howard County should prompt officials to begin a countywide discussion of race.

"We know that these kinds of things are happening nationwide," Howell said. "But it shouldn't be happening in Howard County. We should be a county that projects another focus."

A few months ago, thousands of KKK fliers were circulated in Ellicott City.

Pub Date: 8/10/99

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