Some Durham County residents have found disturbing Valentine’s themed cards near their homes this week.
The “cards” appear to be a Ku Klux Klan recruiting fliers with red hearts surrounding the phrases “Love your own race” and “Stop homosexuality and race mixing,” according to posts on social media and other correspondence. In some cases, the cards came in a plastic bag with candy.
They indicate they are from the North Carolina-based Loyal White Knights, which claims to be the largest and most active KKK group in America.
The cards include a drawing of a hooded figure, a phone number and the Loyal White Knights website. The website includes information about “Knight Rides” in which probationary members are required to pass out fliers at night. Efforts to reach someone at the number for this story were unsuccessful.
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Similar cards have been found in three New Jersey communities, according to media reports.
The Durham Police Department has received at least four calls about the cards since Sunday, spokeswoman Kammie Michael said.
The Durham County Sheriff’s Office received a few reports of fliers distributed on Bivins Road, Craig Road and Snow Hill Road over the weekend, said spokeswoman Tamara Gibbs.
“Our deputies went to the affected neighborhoods and spoke with some residents,” she said. “I do not have a specific number of residents, but I can tell you that we’re trying to identify who is responsible for the offensive fliers.”
It’s unclear what could be done if the person is found.
“We certainly understand how frustrating and upsetting this can be for residents,” Gibbs said. “Unfortunately, it would be very challenging to criminally charge or cite the distributor if they’re ever identified.”
If they distributed the fliers from a public sidewalk or road, it’s not considered trespassing, she said. Citing them for littering would also be difficult when you consider the number of unsolicited materials left near homes.
“Again, we don’t take lightly the offense and anxiety this may cause residents,” Gibbs said. “We’re also encouraging residents who are concerned about this to file incident reports with the law enforcement agency in their jurisdiction so that there’s a record of the occurrence.”
Distribution of KKK materials is going on at a rapid pace across the country said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Montgomery, Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks such activity.
“It is a cheap and easy way for getting attention,” Potok said.