INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. —Community members and local leaders are responding to flyers found at the Monument circle promoting the Ku Klux Klan.
On Thursday, members of the Marion County Young Democrats say they found the flyers scattered in baggies.
They were promoting KKK affiliate “The East Coast Knights of the Invisible Empire” and the flyers said “it's ok to be proud of being white “and “God bless the Ku Klux Klan.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the knights as an active hate group, operating in places like Texas and North Carolina.
“They were trying to promote, and really pushing a racist message on the first day of Black History Month,” Derek Camp said.
Tony Mason, who’s the president and CEO of the Indianapolis Urban League says in the past year, incidents involving hate speech and rhetoric have increased in the Indianapolis area.
He calls the incidents, including this latest one, as proof of the need for hate crime legislation in the Hoosier state .
We’re going to continue to pursue legislation. That’s going to mean a lot for us who live here and call central Indiana and Indianapolis home. And hopefully in time we will truly be able to say, that Indianapolis and central Indiana is truly a place that welcomes all,” he said.
The latest version of a hate crime bill failed to progress at the statehouse earlier this week. Senator Mike Bohacek (R) Michiana Shores, helped author the bill and released the following statement Thursday:
“It’s disappointing to see this bill die. Our caucus is not ready to pass this type of legislation right now. We were unable to come to consensus on the wording of the bill. There are people who are recognized as having been discriminated against in the past, and this bill would have helped rectify future discrimination. I would like to see this bill come back next year, and maybe then we can agree on the correct wording.”
Both Mason and Camp say they’re concerned incidents like these could scare away companies like amazon. As of Friday evening, the East Coast Knights of the Invisible Empire hadn’t returned requests for comment.