By JOHN T. WARD
For the second time in recent years, the Ku Klux Klan appears to be coming out from beneath its rock in Red Bank.
A Hudson Avenue resident tells redbankgreen he found KKK literature in a plastic bag weighted with candy outside his Hudson Avenue home Tuesday evening.
Separately, police Chief Darren McConnell said what appears to be KKK recruitment literature, also containing candy, was reported found on Leighton Avenue last week.
In the latest incident, Arty Homes said he found the bag near the path to his front door at about 8 p.m. Inside were two sheets of paper. One carried a three-paragraph denunciation of the new Spike Lee film “The BlackKkKlansman,” challenging its factual basis and calling it “More Jewish Lies from Hollyweird!!!”
The film tells the story of Ron Stallworth, an African-American cop who, through a proxy, infiltrated and took down a KKK chapter in Colorado.
The second flier that compares enlistment in the U.S. Army to going to “fight for Israel.”
“Stop fighting wars for Jew lies and fight a real war to save your race,” it says.
The material in both incidents makes reference to the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, based in Pelham, North Carolina.
Homes said he felt “genuine concern” when he realized what was inside the bag.
“I always knew that hate groups were everywhere, but getting real life confirmation of it is pretty sobering,” he told redbankgreen. “It mostly makes me sick that the bags also had candy in them.”
McConnell said in similar incidents across New Jersey in recent years, candy, coins and small stones have been used, apparently to keep bags from blowing away.
McConnell said there’s no crime in the distribution, because there’s no threatening language used, though littering or moving vehicle violations may occur if the bags are tossed from cars.
Still, police report such “bias incidents” to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, which compiles data for investigatory purposes, he said. And Red Bank police want to know about incidents for the same reason, he said.
“If anyone observes suspicious activity where people are throwing suspicious items from cars, they should contact the police department as soon as possible,” he said.
Following a baggie-dropping spree in Fair Haven and Red Bank on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 2016, a man who identified himself as Rufus Johnson, a media spokesman for the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, confirmed that the fliers were part of a nationwide campaign by the organization.
He said local distributors frequently use plastic bags weighted with stones or rice to keep them from blowing away, and declined to identify local representatives, but said the group has a chapter in New Jersey.