Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:37 PM EDT2013-06-18 16:37:59 GMT
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Wednesday, June 19 2013 3:13 PM EDT2013-06-19 19:13:33 GMT
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NEWTON COUNTY, GA (CBS ATLANTA) -
People in a Newton County neighborhood woke up to find flyers in their driveway, urging them to join the Ku Klux Klan.
Police collected more than 30 of the flyers that were folded and packed into plastic sandwich bags and tossed at the end of driveways.
A man claiming to be an Imperial Wizard told CBS Atlanta News over the phone that the Newton County neighborhood was just one of many neighborhoods from Florida to New York State where they distributed flyers.
But the neighbors in Newton County told CBS Atlanta News the propaganda brought them together, rather than dividing them.
"We probably threw it away and didn't realize what it was," said neighbor Hadiyah Abdul-Mateen.
Abdul-Mateen didn't even recognize the Ku Klux Klan targeted her family for recruitment on the weekend before Martin Luther King Jr's birthday.
"They need to get a life, I mean really," said Abdul-Mateen. "I'm hoping it had nothing to do with President Barack Obama being re-elected."
The flyers surprised neighbors in the diverse neighborhood outside of Covington. The flyers' message: join the Klan and fight for the white race's rights.
"It's embarrassing, it's very sad," said neighbor Wendy Lozynski. "You teach your kids not to hate, and then somebody goes and does something like this, is embarrassing."
The flyers displayed a phone number with a North Carolina area code, so CBS Atlanta News called it. A few hours later, a man claiming to be Chris Barker, an imperial wizard with the Klan returned the message.
"Can you tell me if this was an effort to intimidate neighbors or if this was more of a recruitment drive for your organization?" asked CBS Atlanta News reporter Steve Kiggins.
"More of a recruitment drive to let the neighborhood know the Klan is there and the Klan isn't going anywhere," said Barker. "We told our members to go out and pretty much counteract Martin Luther King's birthday, who was a known communist - and we decided to put out Klan literature."
But neighbors said the Klan should pass them by the next time they want to recruit new members.
"They're idiots," said Lozynksi. "Very close-minded morons."
The Newton County Sheriff's Department said there's nothing illegal about distributing the flyers; it's just like an advertisement for lawn service - but they're asking anyone who got one to call police.
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