Westmoreland News Advertised KKK on Front Page
COLONIAL BEACH, VIRGINIA – July 2, 2018
Westmoreland News published an article about the Ku Klux Klan leaving recruitment flyers and DVDs on the front lawns of Colonial Beach residents.
“The material, which includes racist and anti-Semitic messages, appears to have been randomly dispersed to homes in Colonial Beach,” said the article. However, the article also included a copy of one of the recruitment flyer without censoring any of the inflammatory and racist language.
Local Betty Tate Thompson said that she would never buy another copy of Westmoreland News and will encourage the Black Community in Colonial and Westmoreland to do the same.
“They posted the whole flyer as if they were giving them free advertising,” said Thompson. “It even had the number on flyer to contact the head of the KKK. Which I thought was totally ridiculous!”
“Racist paper if you post racist things..gotta (sic) do better!” said Rylo Weldon.
“The editor and publisher should be ashamed of this garbage that they put out,” believes Travis Mitchell. “By putting the actual flyer in the paper, you just gave the KKK a better chance to recruit and you helped to further the divide in this already divided country.”
Some people believe the paper intentionally wanted to promote the KKK.
Marlin Mariani said, “Advertising for the KKK, under the guise of reporting a news story. How ingenuous to assume that trick of hand would not be detected or overlooked I’m sure those employees/owners who selected, approved and printed that evil content, are happily registered, long standing members of the Klan themselves. Got to main the agenda of the 14 Words to be active at all costs; even at the reader’s expense and country’s well being. I pray that this publication be shut down for good! Your cover has been blown and your true colors (sheet white) has been shown!”
The locals were not the only ones who were shocked and furious. Colonial Beach Police Chief Danny Plott, who initially sent the flyer to the newspaper, said, “That kind of shocked me, and I wrote them a very strongly worded email.”
“She [the editor] explained that she wanted to put it in to show people that those of us in Colonial Beach who may think there’s not racism, there is, and I think she didn’t expect for this to blow up the way it did and with this outcome,” explained Plott.
He says he sent the flyer to the paper only to inform them that it was being distributed to dozens of property owners. He says he didn’t think it would be published.
Plott said the calls from upset neighbors had been pouring in.
“Most of them called and said 'Could you come and get this crap,'” Plott explained. “Unfortunately, it was racially hateful propaganda … In a free society … you are going to have people that say some pretty disgusting things in my view.”
The Westmoreland News editor added this disclaimer on the page:
“Westmoreland News in no way condones or supports the content or message of this flyer, nor does it condone or support any branch of the Loyal White Knights, or the KKK.”
But it looks like this will not be enough to extinguish the citizens’ flame of fury.