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The Ku Klux Klan has begun initiatives to start "neighborhood watch" programs across the nation.
The groups' decision to start a neighborhood watch program comes less than a month after neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman was found "not guilty" of murdering Trayvon Martin. Early efforts to recruit members for a watch program began in Springfield, Mo. where local resident received flyers from the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
The flyers depict a man wearing a traditional Klan hood and logo, pointing a finger. The flyer promotes a "neighborhood watch" program with the phrase: "You can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake." Below the quote a number is provided encouraged those with "troubles" in the neighborhood to contact the Klan.
Klan representative Frank Ancona said in a phone interview with KY3 that the new neighborhood watch program would be a nationwide initiative. Known as a white supremist group that promotes extreme ideals, Ancona said the watch program would not have anything to do with race. He said the group would alert police about a white man "up to no good" if that were the case.
Residents in Springfield woke up to discover the Klan flyers in their yards according to KY3, although not all residents were pleased about having a Klan presence.
"That just tells you what a coward they are. A simple knock at the door, I can say I am not interested, thank you very much and go on. But instead they have to come through in the middle of the night and drop a rock in the front yard. Nah- that is a coward," Steven Burchett told the local station.
On the organizations website, the American Knights stated that they believed everyone had a right to their own beliefs. They described themselves as follows:
"The Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is a White Patriotic Christian organization that bases its roots back to the Ku Klux Klan of the early 20th century," they wrote. "We are a non-violent organization that believes in the preservation of the White race and the United States Constitution as it was originally written and will stand to protect those rights against all foreign invaders. We believe in the right to bear arms against all that threaten our home and family."