SENECA, S.C., July 16 (UPI) -- Residents in Seneca, South Carolina awoke Sunday morning to find bags of candy left by the local Ku Klux Klan in an effort to recruit new members with a piece of paper inside reading "Save Our Land, Join the Klan" featuring a man garbed in the hate group's iconic hood and gown riding a steed, carrying the American and Confederate flags.
The Klan's attempt at "sugarcoating intolerance" as one writer at the Christian Science Monitor put it, also included a phone number to a Klan Hotline broadcasting automated anti-immigration rhetoric which someone over at Bustle was kind enough to call and transcribe:
Be a man join the Klan! Illegal immigration is destroying America. It's going to cost the American taxpayer over $113 billion dollars a year. They also bring along with them third-world diseases that haven't been in the United States since the 1920s, like leprosy, which is spreading through New York ... These [racial slur] are already criminals when they cross our borders illegally. It's time for forced immigration law and send them back! And put troops on our borders with a shoot-to-kill policy. ... Always remember if it ain't white, it ain't right. White power!
The candy drop is part of something the Klan calls a "Night Ride," a thrice yearly event aimed at recruiting new members by depositing literature on doorsteps in the middle of the night -- presumably Ku Klux Klan members believe their midnight visits will be interpreted as inviting rather than terrifying.
A local Fox affiliate reached Robert Jones, the Imperial Klaliff of the Loyal White Knights, who told the station that the Klan doesn't specifically target houses with white residents for recruitment -- because that would be discriminatory.
"I mean, we can't tell who lives in a house, whether they're black, white, Mexican, gay, we can't tell that," Jones said. "And if you were to look at somebody's house like that, that means you'd be pretty much a racist."
While handing out candy might seem a far cry from the Klan's storied past of rallies and lynchings and bigotry, it is in keeping with the Loyal White Knights efforts to rebrand their organization, legally recognized as a hate group in many states, into a more family friendly form of White Supremacy. In recent months, different chapters of the KKK have even adopted a highway and started a neighborhood watch.
But their attempts at making over the image of the Klan through good citizenry haven't worked the P.R. magic the Grand Dragons might have been hoped, as two Florida police officers were defrocked this week after the FBI exposed their ties to the cross-burning race purists.
Apparently America isn't ready for a kinder, more civic-minded Ku Klux Klan, even if their white supremacy does come with free Kandy.