At first, Cindy Thompson thought the white sheet of paper tied with a ribbon tossed onto her driveway was just a reminder about the next homeowners association meeting.
But when she opened it up after walking back inside her house on South Waverly, she was stunned. The paper was a recruiting flier for the Ku Klux Klan.
“I could not believe it,” Thompson said. “It was wrapped with a sucker in it so a kid would pick it up.”
The flier urged those who see it to “Please Join Before It’s Too Late” and gave an around-the-clock hotline number and two websites connected to the Loyal White Knights of KKK.
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Thompson called the police and took the flier to the Patrol East Bureau, where she was told it qualified as free speech.
I’ve got a whole bouquet of hate right here
“We are aware of these fliers,” said Officer Charley Davidson, a spokesman for the Wichita Police Department. “We are monitoring the situation. At this point, we don’t have any criminal activity.”
The fliers were left on the driveways of at least two blocks along Waverly, a lower-middle-class neighborhood southeast of Lincoln and Edgemoor.
Thompson said she got permission from the police to walk the neighborhood, picking up any fliers that hadn’t already been collected.
“I’ve got a whole bouquet of hate right here,” she said, holding up several unopened fliers.
Donna Dozier, Thompson’s sister, said she can’t understand why Waverly was targeted. The sisters live just a couple of houses apart.
“It’s very diverse,” she said of the neighborhood. “We have no trouble.
“That’s why we were shocked.”
The fliers make reference to the Black Lives Matter movement but no political races. Still, the sisters are convinced the heated presidential race has given people the courage to give voice to sentiments long kept silent.
“It scares me that something like that would happen,” said Dozier, who has lived in her house on Waverly for 50 years. “That’s terrible.”
The flier claims “We are in every state, you will not be alone anymore.”
According to information posted on the Southern Poverty Law Center website, however, the Loyal White Knights of the KKK have branches in 21 states around the country — but none in Kansas or Missouri.
The flier’s claims include saying “We are not a hate group or openly show hate” and “We are Christian based and uphold the Bible.
“We are the invisible empire, have been for 150 years.”
There have been no other reports of KKK promotional fliers being distributed elsewhere in the city, Davidson said.