By Ramona du Houx
On January 30,2017 Ku Klux Klan recruitment leaflets were distributed in driveways in Augusta, Topsham, Freeport and possibly other Maine communities.
In a rapid response to declare the KKK's values are not those of the majority of Maine, residents of Freeport will gather Tuesday night at 7pm at a “community meeting to reaffirm Freeport’s values.”
The Freeport forum will focus specifically on the leaflets and on what the town's response will be.The meeting, scheduled at the Freeport Community Center, will be hosted by Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, who said she was disturbed and angry about the fliers.
“I and my neighbors and fellow Freeporters, at least, because I don’t know where else this has landed, will absolutely stand together and say that there is no place for these people anywhere in our community,” Gideon said. “The values they represent on that flier or their voicemail is not ones any of us share and that we will absolutely, loudly drive them away.”
Rep. Seth Berry, a Democrat from Bowdoinham, posted on Facebook that KKK fliers were found Monday in Topsham. He also said that just more than a week ago, on the day President Donald Trump was inaugurated, a student at Mt. Ararat Middle School handed another student a dollar bill with a note full of racial slurs suggesting the student use dollar “to fix your [ethnic] features.”
“In my 17 years in the [School Administrative District 75} family and 10 years teaching in other schools, I’ve never seen this much overt bigotry. I am sickened by it, and especially concerned for those targeted," wrote Rep. Berry who worked at Arrarat.
The KKK, the oldest American hate group, targets black Americans Jews, immigrants, gays and lesbians and, until recently, Catholics. They used to have a large presence in Maine in the 30's, with Donald Tump's campaign there has been a resurgence of the group throughout America.