The Onslow County District Attorney’s office is looking into the distribution of a newspaper associated with the Ku Klux Klan in neighborhoods around Swansboro, according to Col. Chris Thomas of the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office. However, it appears little can be done to stop the distribution.
Deputies began looking into the distribution of The Crusader after fielding complaints from residents of the Peyton Ridge neighborhood.
After a man in a gold Ford Flex was photographed apparently while distributing The Crusader, “The Political Voice of White Christian America,” on March 17, residents of Peyton Ridge, a subdivision off Swansboro-Belgrade Road, took to social media to vent.
On “The Neighbors of Peyton Ridge” someone posted about the distribution of the tabloid, which the person posting said was left in driveways. Included were photographs of the tabloid-size paper and a business card.
“So it looks like someone drove down the street today throwing these in peoples’ driveways,” The poster stated. “I am going to check my cameras. This is un-freakin-acceptable! It’s BS and it’s not okay!”
Included on the same site are a couple of photos of the Ford Flex passing a driveway.
Someone in the neighborhood reported the actions to the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, according to one of the residents.
“OCSO came out and took statements, and samples of the literature were given to the deputy,” the resident said.
Thomas did not provide the name of the man in the vehicle.
“The subject has been identified and the incident is being discussed with the District Attorney’s Office,” Thomas said in an email on Thursday, March 25. “While the ‘newsletter’ is offensive, it does not advocate violence.”
The situation reported this month is similar to one reported to the sheriff’s office late last year, according to Thomas.
“The subject was involved in the same type of incident back in October 2020 and was confronted by one of our deputies,” Thomas said. “There was no violation of the law at the time and the subject was released. He was advised to not trespass, threaten or harass anyone. There does not appear to be any violations that we can enforce this time either.”
A resident of Peyton Ridge said he believed the person in the Ford Flex drove through the neighborhood delivering “this propaganda” to homes displaying a U.S. Flag. “A few other homes without flags had the propaganda in their driveway as well, but one of the neighbors noticed every house with a U.S. Flag had the trash in their driveway.”
The neighborhood resident said the vehicle was captured on security cameras at multiple homes in the neighborhood.
“Reports have been filed with the Onslow County Sheriff,” he added.
In the October incident, at least one neighborhood in Swansboro – River Reach West – was targeted for distribution of The Crusader.
So far Swansboro Police Department has not received any complaints this time, according to Lt. Dwayne Taylor.
“I believe last week people in Hubert were getting the newspaper,” he said. “But no one in town has reported anything.”
The Crusader is a 12-page tabloid featuring articles in support of the Ku Klux Klan. The paper is usually published four times a year. At least some of the papers dropped on March 17 were from Summer 2015.
In response to an email from the Tideland News to the address listed on the KKK business card, Paul B. – he declined to provide a complete last name – of the HQ Staff said he was unaware of the distribution.
“Our members do literature distributions, and it is a Constitutionally protected practice as per the Department of Justice,” he said.
Paul B. included a copy of a letter from Jason Robb, chief counsel with the Robb Law Firm PLLC, outlining the Constitutional right.
That letter, along with a copy of a Tideland News article about the October 2020 distribution and several other items, was included in a mailing to the Tideland News delivered on Tuesday, March 23. The package, which also included several essays and a copy of The Crusader, was mailed anonymously from Maysville.
According to the letter from Robb to the Tideland News, his law firm represents the KKK with its headquarters in Harrison, Ark.
The letter reads, in part, “The purpose of this letter opinion is make aware of this protected right of individuals under the First Amendment of the United State Constitution to distribute literature is such manner, and to insure that the Constitutionally protected rights that individuals have in distribution of literature associated with The Knights Party is not infringed.”
In his email, Paul B said the letter is one “that our organization distributes to law enforcement that may not be aware that we have the right to distribute literature, just as any citizen of the United States.”
Although the Tideland News was unable to reach Thomas Robb of Harrison, Ark., Knights Party national director, concerning the most recent distribution of The Crusader and other KKK literature and items, the newspaper did interview Robb in October.
At that time, he said it was not unusual for the KKK members to do this type of distribution.
“We don’t always know where they are going,” Robb said.
Email Jimmy Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.