KKK distributes anti-gay flyers in Jacksonville neighborhoods

By : Jeremy Williams
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JacksonvilleBigotFlyersThe Ku Klux Klan distributed flyers encouraging gay bashing throughout Jacksonville neighborhoods Nov. 20.

The flyers were distributed in the Riverside area, well-known as Jacksonville’s LGBT neighborhood, as well as in the Mandarin and Southside neighborhoods, according to Jimmy Midyette of Jacksonville Coalition for Equality, a civil rights group who has been working to get sexual orientation and gender identity added to the city’s Human Rights Ordinance.

“I think the opponents of equality, at least it seems, are frustrated by the process because we have a Republican mayor who is leading it. I think that this is the way their frustration has bubbled out, with this hate,” Midyette says.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, who spoke with FloridaPolitics.com Nov. 23, said these threats are the “lowest forms of human behavior and bigotry.”

The flyers, which were placed in bags of rice, read “STOP AIDS, support gay bashing” and are from the Loyal White Knights of the KKK. The flyer includes a “Klan Hotline” as well as a website.

The hotline, a North Carolina number, leads to a message describing a recent news story involving the death of a one-year-old black child. The message concludes with “always remember if it ain’t white, it ain’t right. White power.”

The flyer also states “ban non-white immigration, outlaw Haitians and deport mud people.”

Mandarin resident Kelly Ramdial and her husband went throughout their neighborhood, gathering the flyers up and throwing them away, she told News4Jax.

“I saw a truck go by, throwing things in people’s yards and saw what it was, and it was extremely offensive. A flyer asking people to join the KKK. We were worried at first, because we’re an interracial couple and didn’t know if we were being targeted,” Ramdial said.

Midyette says he heard reports of a champagne colored truck in the neighborhoods distributing the flyers, but no arrests have been made.

The flyers were distributed the same day a 25-year-old Jacksonville man was arrested for a voicemail he left saying he would bomb a Dec. 3 community meeting at Edward Waters College. The meeting is to discuss the city’s proposed Human Rights Ordinance.

Benjamin Harris Manses left the message on the voicemail of a Florida Times-Union reporter Nov. 19. He was arrested at his home in Arlington Nov. 20, according to the police report. No bomb was found at the residence.

Manses told police that he was drunk and did not mean what he said, according to the report.

Curry said “the public ought to feel good about the quick arrest” and added that “public safety is top priority.”

Midyette says that while specifics cannot be discussed, “Security is being heightened for the Dec. 3 meeting to ensure everyone is safe.”

The Dec. 3 meeting will be the second in a series of three called Community Conversations which Curry is holding to get public opinion on the HRO. The final meeting is scheduled for Dec. 15.

The bill is expected to be filed with the City Council by early 2016.

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