Several fliers for a Ku Klux Klan-associated group have reportedly shown up in the city of Wooster and now community leaders are responding with a unity rally this weekend.
"It kind of shot fear through my heart because it’s 2017 and we’re still having to deal with this," said Wooster/Orrville NAACP President John Clay.
Clay was sent a photo of a flier (placed inside a bag) for the East Coast Knights of the True Invisible Empire, a group that’s been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2016. Clay said what he found disturbing was the fact that three pieces of peppermint candy were found inside.
"At first I found it unusual, but I guess when you’re trying recruit you go to extreme measures."
Another flyer was found taped to a water dispenser outside of a Discount Drug Mart, found by a customer who then alerted staff.
"They were very unhappy," said Manage Lynn Patterson. "Very displeased to see something like that posted out here."
The phone number for the group, based in Maryland, and the words "God Bless The Ku Klux Klan" were found at the bottom of the flier.
WKYC tried to reach out to the East Coast Knights for comment on the fliers, but did not receive a call back late Wednesday afternoon.
"Hopefully the message will go out to these people who want to spread hate that it’s just not welcome here," said Clay.
Clay and community leaders have planned a rally at the downtown gazebo in Wooster on Sunday at 6 p.m.
"Something like this is a wakeup call," said Clay. "That we all need to be on notice, and that it’s here and around us."