The Missouri-based Ku Klux Klan sent a chilling message to protesters in Ferguson saying they will use “lethal force” to defend themselves from “terrorists masquerading as ‘peaceful protesters.’”
The Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK distributed fliers that state protesters have “awakened a sleeping giant,” and that demonstrators have threatened the lives of law enforcement, the community and their families.
“You have been warned by the Ku Klux Klan!” the flier reads. “There will be consequences for your actions against the peaceful, law abiding citizens of Missouri.”
The distribution of threatening messages via fliers in communities around the nation has been a standing mode of operandi for the KKK.
Last week, MSNBC’s “All In” host Chris Hayes invited Frank Ancona, the leader of the KKK chapter in Missouri, to discuss reasons for spreading the fliers around Ferguson.
On the program, Hayes questioned Ancona on the irony of the group’s mission that claims to fight violence with more violence, saying it appears they are “attempting to bring about the exact same thing” they are against.
Ancona responds, “No, actually it’s addressing the people who are making these terroristic threats and letting them know that the people of Missouri have rights too.”
He also denied the KKK was inciting violence and justified the actions saying, “There are remedies under the law. The flier, if you read it, it says ‘defend’, it talks about defense. So, in order to defend yourself, that means you’re being attacked.”
Ancona said he firmly believes that the fliers are making the situation better in St. Louis.
But Ancona’s appearance on “All In” brought the host an onslaught of criticism from viewers who blamed him for giving the KKK figurehead a platform to share his controversial views.
The constant and critical responses of the segment prompted Hayes to address viewer concerns in a separate video following the close of the show.
“I still think it was the right call, in fact I may even feel that *more* strongly than I did (that night). That said, I 100% understand why some people don’t see it that way. We debated and wrestled with whether or not to do it and weighed the pros and cons and ultimately decided there was real news/journalistic value in putting him on,” Hayes said.
“We wouldn’t have booked him to give us “his take” or “weigh in” on what’s going in Ferguson or some other story. We interviewed him because he was actually the person distributing those fliers.”