Civil rights activists rally against recent Klan propaganda - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Civil rights activists rally against recent Klan propaganda

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ANNISTON, Ala. - African-American activists rallied Monday morning in Anniston to speak out against recent flyers promoting the United Klans of America.

People in several Calhoun County communities received the notices in their driveways on Father's Day.

There were two different types of flyers.  One said "Neighborhood Watch -- You can sleep well tonight knowing the United Klans of America are awake."

The other flyer had the heading "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," with a list of 10 goals of the UKA.  Those included the return of Christian morality to America, the ending of homosexuality, and putting a stop to interracial relationships.  The flyer stated the UKA wanted to "help secure future for white children, and that the beauty of the white Arian woman must not perish from this earth."

Local civil rights activists joined the African-American members of the Anniston city council and Calhoun County Commission to condemn the Klan and their actions.

"Your presence in our community is not welcomed," Ed Moore III said.

He is a senior at Jacksonville State University and the president of the school's Justice & Civil Rights Initiative.  Moore said he did not want to give credence the Klan's promotion through flyers, which he said are nothing more than litter.

"We wanted to calm the community down and let them know that at this time, it does not seem to us that these individuals pose any real threat," he said.

"There are plenty of garbage cans throughout the county for you to dispose of your trash, and it does not belong on the yards of citizens.  Your power, whatever little that you have remaining, is quickly fading away.  Your missions are hateful, insensitive, and divisive, and in the year 2014 the best way to describe you is sad," Moore said.

Fred Wilson, the only African-American on the county commission, read a proclamation signed by the other commissioners which called on the distributors of the flyers to cease and desist.

"Certain individuals or organizations are searching to disrupt the lives of our citizens by distributing literature that is racist in nature and carries no meaningful purpose.  Now therefore be it resolved that the Calhoun County commission considers the action of few to cause disharmony that we are unwilling to accept," Wilson read from the proclamation.

"Redirect that energy toward being better people and promoting the principle of brotherly love and understanding."

Anniston council member David Reddick talked about faith and how many people believe everyone are descendants of the same couple, Adam and Eve.  He said there are also genetic studies that show people of different races have the same ancestors.

"When we show hatred to another person because of a genetic marker, we basically hate our brother, we hate our sister, and we hate the same purity that we profess to want to support or want to protect," Reddick said.

Fellow councilman Seyram Selase said it will take a community effort to teach respect and responsibility.  He said racism is taught, often to children, and that there will not be irresponsible children without irresponsible parents, and there won't be irresponsible parents without an irresponsible community.

"It starts with education.  We have to educate our children to not grow up in a society that where they are producing hate," Selase said.

"We need to teach our children to reproduce righteousness instead of hate."

The rally emphasized peace, love, and non-violent action, but some of the people in attendance said they would defend themselves if necessary.

"Continue your actions and you will be sorry, because we will rise up and fight you back," Freddy Rimpsey said.

"If you continue this nonsense.  The black community will not be terrorized by the KKK."

Ed Moore said he does not feel threatened by the notes, and he does not worry there will be any repercussions for speaking out against them.

"You have a bunch of guys driving around in a car throwing out trash,, it's a little cowardly.  It's immature," Moore said.

"It kind of reminds me of a bunch of teenage guys driving around with nothing to do.  They're bored," he said.

"If they were really as tough as they claim to be, we would see some faces.  They would have been here today.  I would like to see what these guys look like and if they're willing to come forward."

At their Monday evening meeting, the Anniston city council also passed a resolution calling on those who distributed the flyers to cease and desist.

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