Day of Service planned to counter flier

December 2015 Posted in News

Plastic sandwich bags with a piece of hard candy and a flier were left on driveways in some Silverton neighborhoods the weekend of Nov. 14.

What surprised many residents was what the flier said: “Join The Klan And Save Our Land!!!”  The flier gave information on how people could join the Ku Klux Klan.

Disappointment and outrage that this was happening in Silverton was share on the Facebook page Silverton Connections, where there were more than 140 comments.

Silverton Police Chief Jeff Fossholm said he received two official complaints. Fossholm said leaving the flier is not a crime. Whoever distributed it is protected by the First Amendment right of Freedom of Speech.

“The flyer does not indicate anything racist or hate-crime related,” Fossholm said.

Fliers also also reportedly distributed in Molalla, Beaverton, Oregon City, Gresham and West Linn.

Fossholm’s advice to the community is to “ignore the propaganda.”

Mount Angel Police Chief Mike Healy said there were no fliers reported in his city.

Silverton resident Dawn Tacker was appalled by the flier.

“I know that, in theory, hate groups exist in our country. But to see hard evidence in our small town, known for standing up for what is right, was sickening,” Tacker said. “Silverton is at its best when community members are facing challenges. All you have to do is watch how the town rallies to help when a family loses their home to fire, for a recent example. The KKK values do not reflect Silverton’s. I have no fears about the KKK gaining any kind of significant following here, yet we all have a responsibility to stand up for what is right.

Tacker said to counter the KKK propaganda, she and others are planing a Day of Service to coordinate with the nationwide efforts on Martin Luther King Day, which is Jan. 18.

“Our goal is to come together as a town and serve in ways that reflect Silverton’s tremendous kindness and generosity. Everyone is welcome to join,” Tacker said, adding there is a public Facebook group called “MLK Day of Service – Silverton, OR” where people can find more information.

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