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KKK Confirms: We’re Recruiting in Flagler

| April 18, 2010

They forget it's not 1964 anymore.

Ku Klux Klan recruitment fliers dropped on the the driveways of Palm Coast residents in at least three neighborhoods on Easter Day are part of an ongoing KKK recruitment drive in Flagler County and across Florida, according to Cole Thornton, Imperial Wizard of the United Northern & Southern Knights of the KKK (UNSKKK).

“It’s not just in Palm Coast,” Thornton told FlaglerLive on Sunday. “We have people from the Keys up to Fort Walton, to Tallahasse, Gainesville, Orlando–all over Florida.” He described the results as “wonderful,” including in Flagler County, though he said that while his branch of the Klan has many members active politically around the state, none are in Flagler politics. Nor are rallies planned for this area or the state. But the local drive, he said, produced new members.

“We got a lot of positive response, and people are very interested,” Thornton said. “We did pick up some members from it. Again, people live, work, eat, walk with Klan members every day and don’t even know it.” It is impossible to verify the claims. Thornton wouldn’t discuss numbers locally or across the state, conceding only that “we don’t have the numbers we had 100 years ago. We can’t do what we did 100 years ago.”

The United Northern & Southern Knights of the KKK is headquartered in Englewood, Fla, near Port Charlotte, and in Fraser, Mich. The fliers it dropped on Palm Coast driveways this month were a collection of three individual fliers, some of which are part of the group’s permanent collection of fliers on its Web site. The Palm Coast fliers wished recipients a Happy Easter, discoursed about the illegality of undocumented immigration, and listed 20 reasons why, “if qualified,” people should join.

Thornton, a 58-year-old electrician and the father of four, says the United Northern & Southern Knights shouldn’t be confused with neo-Nazi groups, which he disavows, that “hate” is a misnomer when applied to the KKK, and that his group, the largest in the country (again, an unverifiable claim) engages only in “white pride” and caring for the less fortunate, blacks or white.

Dan Warren

Dan Warren doesn’t buy it.

“Anybody believes that, they’ll buy the Brooklyn bridge. The whole idea behind the Klan is hate and fear,” he said. Warren, an attorney in Daytona Beach, was State Attorney for the 7th Judicial District in 1964 when he became then Gov. Farris Bryant’s special representative during a racial crisis in St. Augustine when the Klan “virtually took over the city primarily through a lack of political leadership. It created a vacuum which was immediately filled by the Klan. There’s no question it was a terrorist organization, and I was really surprised to see it resurface, in Flagler especially.”

Warren, author of “If It Takes All Summer: Martin Luther King, the KKK and States’ Rights in St. Augustine, 1964” (University of Alabama Press, 2008) was chiefly instrumental in desegregating St. Augustine’s beaches–against the will of local politicians and local police at the time–and was bodily threatened by the KKK. The Klan, he said, became gradually less active later in the 1960s, but it has had a violent history in St. Johns and Volusia counties. Less so in Flagler, he said, which was more sparsely populated and agrarian.

“It’s very difficult to determine the extent of their influence” today, Warren said. “In Flagler, the mere fact that they have a presence there would indicate that they should be carefully monitored and watched. But people of good will should speak out against them. Their past activity speaks for itself, and you can’t un-tarnish the image that’s been created over a hundred years. They aren’t going to suddenly change course.”

Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts last week provoked a discussion on the distribution of the KKK fliers, wondering if city and county leaders should take an official stand. On April 15, the county posted a vague statement about a “printed document left on driveways and dropped off door-to-door [that] made disparaging remarks about our neighbors and friends.” The statement made no mention of the KKK, merely stating that it “wishes to go on record denouncing the intolerance and thoughtless words of a few individuals.”

[Note: this is a developing story. Check back for updates.]

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18 Responses for “KKK Confirms: We’re Recruiting in Flagler”

  1. J.A.Allen says:

    Dear Mr. Warren,

    As a member of the UNSK, I am offended by your remarks…. as quote…”But people of good will should speak out against them. Their past activity speaks for itself, and you can’t un-tarnish the image that’s been created over a hundred years. They aren’t going to suddenly change course.”

    In FACT you do not know what you are talking about. You Sir, are surmising and assuming on heresay about an organization, specifically the UNSK, that you know absolutely nothing about. You are grouping together an organization of White Christians that believe in God, Race and Nation, and stating they are ”terrorists”. I ask you Mr. Warren, will you group together the Congressional wrong doings of our political figures, such as yourself, that have for over 100 years consisted of , thievery, malice and bribery, and throw them together in a melting pot and without predjudice, not call them thieves and lawbreakers? I think not, but not many people call our ELECTED Officials…… terrorists.

    If you will read up on the benevolence of the UNSK and then cast your espersions before you speak ill of our Brotherhood………


  2. Colleen says:

    Dear Mr. Allen,
    Seriously?! Take your BS propaganda elsewhere! You are not welcome in Flagler County. We are a county rich with diversity who embraces the various cultures that make us a beautiful place to live. You can say you have nothing to do with violence and hate but can not deny your history. You are seeking those who may find it easier to blame those who don’t look like them for their problems. We are all the masters of our own destiny. There are many groups you can belong to if it was only about God and Country. So Mr. Allen, Take your BROTHERHOOD elsewhere Flagler County doesn’t need you nor want you. Citizens of Flagler County won’t be fooled by your hate filled agenda.

  3. Yes, I really do wish Flagler Live would stop casting its espersions. And what modern, well-informed citizen doesn’t believe in Race (to say nothing of God and Nation)? The Human Genome Project is clearly run by terrorists casting still more espersions.

    Meanwhile, Jim R., why is this an either/or choice? I think the day is long enough to oppose both official and amateur fascists.

  4. Jim R. says:

    Michael– I don’t look at it as either/or. It seems to be a balanced view of some of Govts actions against the people. Gregory attacks both left and right in this article, as he does in many of his other pieces.
    Just because there are a lot of uninformed nuts running around screaming anti-Govt slogans should not silence legitimate criticism of unlawful exercise of power.
    Is not our rage at the illegal wiretapping ,wars and occupations based on lies, acts of torture condoned and participated in by our govt, justified?
    So too are the outrages at Waco and Ruby Ridge, New Orleans, and many other acts of the govt. deserving of our attention.

  5. Jim R. says:

    Here’s another view by a renowned and admired leftist writer

  6. BW says:

    First of all, why such a group even exists is beyond me. But dropping fliers on people’s properties is trespassing and littering which should be dealt with according to the local laws. We do not need this type of organization in our town, and I think the inability to recruit will prove that. This group has a long history of cowardice and hiding behind masks, meeting in secret, and keeping names of members secret as well. Regardless of what their so-called leader says, they benefit nothing in society. Go find somewhere else to spread your hate message. We do just fine without you.

  7. BW says:

    Mr. Allen, you are no Christian by belonging to such a group. Maybe you want to read the Bible again. I think you misinterpreted quite a bit of it. If you would care for some education in Christian belief, I am sure we can help you with that from real Christian followers.

  8. Jim R., I fully concur that the official killers are worse, especially the ones who start and perpetuate illegal and/or counter-productive (except for the Pentagon and corporate shareholders) wars.

    Having said that, I’ve never been able to get myself to side with either Randy Weaver or the Branch Davidians.

    I guess I agree with Gandhi that the existence of unjust laws doesn’t relieve one of the duty of following just ones. When the police arrive with a warrant, you comply. IMHO.

  9. Jim R. says:

    Well Michael , I think being burned alive for failure to comply with a warrant, and killing 27 children just so you don’t appear to back down is a little extreme.
    If you don’t think law enforcement was out of control in both those instances, and that the authoritarian police state we are becoming is not real, then I guess we are miles apart in our perceptions.

  10. Cole Thornton says:

    Some interesting comments. I guess Colleen thinks she speaks as a representative for the entire county but she missed one thing. There are those who support us and our beliefs. These are the ones we will continue to have fellowship with. As for BW, the law has already ruled that passing out fliers is not trespassing, nor is it littering. No one went on private property. Facts not wants is hard for liberals to separate as we know, but facts are there to protect all. Benefiting nothing in society is another fallacy as thousand who know us will tell you. I know this is a bitter pill for many of you to swallow but the increase in our membership world wide is proof that the ideas and standards of the original Klan are appealing to many who are awakening from their slumber of just letting things be. Thank God for them.

  11. Jim R. says:

    “The ideas and standards of the original clan”
    Murder, lynching, intimidation, intolerance.,
    Did I miss anything ?
    I speak out against the depradations of the Govt. when they are wrong. That doesn’t mean I support or agree with any of the values of the KKK

  12. J.A.Allen says:

    Yes Jim……

    You missed benevolent, fraternal, Christian, proud, service, unselfish, duty, honor,courage…………

    BW, it is not a crime to distribute flyers nor is it littering….see Lovell v. City of Griffin, 303 US 444 (1938)
    and Schneider v. New Jersey, 308 US 147 (1939).

    Why are illegals, homosexuals, and other ”pride” groups allowed to masquerade around and have the free will of society and their streets for parades, while a Christian based group such as the UNSK are not treated as equals just for ”different” values?

    Now thats not very diverse nor does it represent equality now does it? Sounds to me certain counties are on a ”do as I say or else” type mentality. We have the Constitution to back our civil rights and liberties just as the next group.

    I also recall in recent history that the UNSK has not gone around to churches as the violent homosexuals, the PITA groups, and eco-terrorists have ALL committed crimes from intimidation, intolerance and yes murder….so the ones that live in their glass houses shouldnt ought to be casting those stones, for if YOU are without sin then YOU may cast that first stone!


  13. Cole Thornton says:

    Murder, lynching and intimidation were NOT the values of the original Klan. If you would do some research instead of relying on Hollywood hype you could find the truth. When some, in the name of the Klan, started doing these acts the original founder, General Forrest ordered the Klan disbanded. It has been revived a few times through out history, and ceased when ones enaged in these acts. The U.N.S.K. is based on the original concepts and I have no control or say over any other Klan groups out there. Some agreeably are bad, but many are based on the same principlas as us.

  14. Jim R. says:

    Come now JAAllen, when was the last time you saw a violent homosexual, that is almost an oxymoron, and why would an group dedicated to Benevolent, Christian, Fraternal activities wish to call themselves members of an organization with such a horrific history as the KKK.
    Why not call yourselves Christians for acts of Benevolent Fraternalism, the CBF instead of KKK.
    By the way I am not against your right to drop fliers, or hand out literature explaining your positions, or recruiting in front of Wal Mart or anywhere you choose, that’s our first amendment right and I cherish it.

  15. BW says:

    First of all Mr. Allen, we are not New Jersey and we are not the tow of Griffin. Just as you cite the rights you have; each state, town, and individual has their rights just the same. And every individual has the right not to have their property littered with trash. And as a town who needs none of your services is free to go recruit elsewhere and spread your message of hate. We have incurred none of the issues you cited and will not have them in the future. We are a peaceful community. If you are somehow threatened by lifestyles because of some repressed emotional disturbance, then I suggest you seek professional counseling to aid in your inability to function as a positive contributing member of society.

    Second, you are absolutely correct. I am not without sin. I do not claim otherwise. One thing I do have is respect and love for others. That which you or your kind do not.

    Third, do not imply the ignorance of others by your insistance of that your group is a peaceful one. As recent as 2008, the KKK was found guilty of savagely beating Jordan Gruver at a Kentucky County Fair in 2006. Your group has a long history of hate and violence that has not ended. This group is no different today (except for it’s extremely small number of members) than it was at its creation.

  16. J.A.Allen says:

    BW…. that was NOT the UNSK read the details…It was another Klan not ours …

    Jim….. look into the churches in California that was attacked while the service was going from a group of violent homosexuals that burst into the church and disrupted the congregation and made threats against them, and they were naked….I guess that is diversity, would you approve of that behavior in your church.

    And finally BW…. we like Flagler and we will stay and recruit in your community as we have several of your neighbors that have applied for membership. You may be living next door to a Klansman soon! I really like it and may even buy some real estate now that the markets are inexpensive.


  17. BW says:

    Mr. Allen, oh so now you are going the ‘not our KKK’ route? You have got to be kidding me. Ever heard the phrase . . . if looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck . . . it’s a duck.

    Yes, it is a great place to live. I just may be living next door to a Klansman one day and to each their own. Just the same, you will be living next door to many that you do not care for.

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