A Missouri city is being sued by the Ku Klux Klan for the right to distribute racist literature by placing handbills onto the windshields of parked vehicles. And guess who is representing the white supremacists in court?
The American Civil Liberties Union – one of the oldest human right defending organizations in the US – has come to the aid of one of the oldest and most notorious American racist groups.
The Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (TAK) is being prohibited by an ordinance of the city of Cape Girardeau, MO from distributing flyers onto cars parked in public places,the Courthouse News reports.
The group claims that while it may be racist, its intentions are peaceful and they should therefore be able to exercise their right to free speech in this way. Its intentions in distributing handbills are simply to“spread its message widely,”the Klan says.
The white-supremacist group claims that the US was established by and for white men and that it should never“fall into the hands of an inferior race,”according to the TAK’s website. Meanwhile, the ACLU, representing the Klan, states on its website that it“works to extend rights to segments of our population that have rationally been denied their rights, including people of color; women; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people; prisoners; and people with disabilities.”But despite this stark difference in programs, it didn't stop ACLU from representing a KKK chapter in court.
“TAK describes itself as ‘a White Patriotic Christian organization that bases its roots back to the Ku Klux Klan of the early 20thcentury,’”states the complaint siding with the plaintiff.“According to TAK, it is a ‘non-violent organization that believes in the preservation of the white race and the United States Constitution as it was originally written and will stand to protect those rights against all foreign invaders.’”
TAK claims that one of its most efficient ways of spreading its message is by placing flyers on parked vehicles – and this method has been used all throughout the US, including in neighboring Missouri cities.
“We just want our rights like everybody else that are guaranteed under the First Amendment of the Constitution,”TAK member Frank Ancona told the Associated Press.“It’s just putting out informational fliers to the public to make them aware of our organization and what we stand for and things like that.”
The ACLU claims that the Cape Girardeau ordinance, which “mandates that no person shall throw or deposit any handbill in or upon any vehicle,” is unconstitutional by suppressing free speech. Even if those who practice it, do so in order to keep “white blood” pure. With the help of the ACLU,the Klan is fighting for the right to spread these ideals and more onto the windshields of parked cars across the state of Missouri.