This is weird. I'm not sure who thought Jolly Ranchers would be a good white supremacist attractant. But if you like hard candy, maybe you'll appreciate all the KKK has to offer. The group has been canvassing neighborhoods with plastic bags containing a flier, a membership application, a list of beliefs and precisely three Jolly Ranchers.
These delightful KKK care packages are said to be part of a wider Klan recruitment effort. Southern Poverty Law Center senior writer Ryan Lenz was quoted by CNN as saying, "Similar fliers have turned up in dozens of U.S. cities over the past six months."
Oh, goody. This is exactly what I hope my kids find on our doorstep when they come home from school — tasty treats from "the most infamous and oldest of American hate groups." As most of us are well-aware, the KKK has a history of violence against African-Americans, as well as immigrants, Jews, Catholics, gays and lesbians.
Times are changing, and the KKK is hard up. There are currently up to 8,000 Klan members in the U.S. — and even this low number is disheartening to think about. Why the sudden need for new recruits? Lenz speculates that the racial tension in Ferguson, Missouri, may have something to do with it. He believes that the KKK may be taking advantage of a time in our history when both race and immigration are being nationally debated.
Let's get a few things straight. The KKK is not good at conveying its hate message, and it's also not good at recruiting. One of the recipients of the KKK recruitment flier in New York was a dark-skinned Colombian named Carlos Enrique Londoño. He probably enjoyed the Jolly Ranchers while laughing at the idea of being accepted by a white supremacist hate group.
The fact that the KKK is going door-to-door and handing out candy makes their strategy deliberately family-friendly — and that is just sick. If you are one of the many homes that has received this weirdo "love bomb," there are a few ways you can handle it. You can throw the materials away and enjoy your delicious treats. Or, you can use it as an opportunity to talk to your kids about all the unpleasant topics the KKK wants to beat down — race, diversity, sexual orientation, religion and how our differences can be celebrated. That way, you win.
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