Hate group’s message unwelcome in Morgantown, councilman said

MORGANTOWN — Fliers distributed around Monongalia County and across the region promoting the KKK’s ideology hit close to home for Morgantown Councilman Ryan Wallace.

“We all need to condemn this and I certainly do,” he said.

The pamphlets expressed anti-race mixing views, anti-LGBTQ views and encouraged people to join the Ku Klux Klan.  Wallace said he’s in a mixed-race marriage and the message is exactly the type of ignorance and intolerance he can’t stand.

The fliers were in sandwich bags weighted with bird seed and tossed onto porches and lawns from a vehicle, police said.

“I think the crude point it’s trying to make is mixed seeds of sorts,” Wallace said.

About 50 bags from around Morgantown have been turned in to police, Andrew Stacy, Morgantown’s public information officer, said. Sheriff Perry Palmer said his department received several complaints from the Dellslow area, concerning the fliers.

In Morgantown, the fliers were mostly distributed in the Greenmont, Hillcrest and Jerome Park neighborhoods, Stacy said. Areas outside of West Virginia, including Pennsylvania and Kentucky had fliers distributed on St. Patrick’s Day. The same group has also done this before going as far west as Colorado last summer.

“It’s clearly an organized effort by the KKK to spread their hate,” Wallace said.

He said that kind of hate doesn’t belong in Morgantown, and that he was proud to have been a proponent of Morgantown’s anti-discrimination law, which prohibits discrimination against a number of criteria including gender and sexual orientation.

The law also grants the city’s human rights commission the power to investigate hate crimes, Wallace said.

“I really want to stand together with all the community members and be overtly against that,” he said. “And let everyone know hate has no place here.”

Wallace found out about the fliers Monday morning when he saw a Facebook post about them from a friend who lives in Highland Park.

No laws were broken, Stacy said. However, MPD is asking anyone who saw the vehicle or people distributing the fliers to call local law enforcement. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also aware of the activity.

 

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