NYP99102301 - 23 OCTOBER 1999 - NEW YORK, NEW YORK, USA: Ku Klux Klan members hide their faces behind a modified American/Confederate flag. ep/Ezio Petersen UPI | License Photo
PHILADELPHIA, June 25 (UPI) -- A member of a local town watch in Philadelphia has been forced out for distributing literature for the East Coast Knights of the True Invisible Empire, a verbose euphemism for the Ku Klux Klan.
Not only is Bill Walters a member of the hate group, he serves in leadership for his local chapter as its "Grand Dragon."
"We received information that Bill had been distributing flyers in the neighborhood trying to recruit new members," Joe Nicoletti, president of the Northeast Philadelphia Tacony Town Watch, told Philadelphia Magazine.
"Part of our bylaws state that members must promote harmony in the neighborhood, and we all know that harmony is not what the KKK is about."
"We are a conservative Christian group," Walters counters.
"My rights were infringed upon. I can't believe in what I want to? This has infringed on my First Amendment rights. It's reverse discrimination."
A small group of fellow Klansmen joined Walters in hoodless Klan regalia on Saturday at the Tacony branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia to stand in solidarity with their disgraced brother. The "rally" turned out to be a flop, as members of the hate group were literally laughed away.
"I know we have a bad name, but it's not that way no more," Walters rationalized.
"We're basically the same thing as the town watch. We want to try to get rid of the trash coming in...When was the last time a black or Hispanic got hung on a tree?"
While literal hangings of African-Americans or Hispanics have not occurred in recent history, according to ABC News there is no shortage of suspected hate-related criminal activity around the country.