Residents of Beach Lane in Westhampton Beach were stunned to find fliers encouraging them to join the Ku Klux Klan distributed to their households this past Sunday, July 24.
The residents of the local street found the fliers in the early afternoon, thrown onto their property in plastic bags and weighed down with stones. The Westhampton Beach Police Department received several complaints and concerns via phone calls and walk-ins starting around 1 p.m., according to reports.
The flier, photographed by resident Alison Akant and shared with News 12 Long Island, notably calls out the Black Lives Matter movement and the Black Panthers, referencing the recent events involving African Americans who were wrongfully shot and killed by police officers, warning of a violent retaliation.
The flier also declares that the organization is “the invisible empire, has been for 150 years,” and is present “in every state.” It urged readers and “to join before it’s too late.” At the bottom, the flier featured a North Carolina-based phone number and the address for the Klan’s website.
Despite the general unease and disgust these fliers inspire, this isn’t the first time hate-filled messages have appeared on the East End. Fliers of similar caliber have appeared in both Hampton Bays and Southampton, dispersed in similar fashion.
Unfortunately, the fliers do fall under freedom of speech, so local police are not classifying their distribution as a crime. However, the throwing of bags on private property can be interpreted as littering, in accordance with village code.
The flier was sent to the Suffolk County Police Hate Crimes Unit for further investigation.