The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights urges the public to join in strong opposition to recent activities in Kentucky carried out by unidentified persons claiming to be affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan.
Perpetrators of hate do no less than attack the stability and security of the state and nation. Kentuckians should stand together against such behavior.
Last week, the commission learned that people in Campbellsville (Taylor County), Columbia (Adair County) and parts of Green County found on their properties and other locations hateful and menacing literature claiming to be written by the KKK.
The hateful dogmas and suggestions to segregate contained in the materials were attempts to stir up disruption and community unrest. They are in direct opposition to the principles of freedom and equality upon which the nation stands.
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Kentucky’s own official motto is, “United, we stand; divided, we fall.” Many Kentuckians and other Americans have worked and sacrificed, giving their last measure of devotion, to the cause of bringing society together along racial, religious and ethnic lines.
The KKK has traditionally been a bad actor. Its various groups have caused bloodshed and sought systematic oppression. Their efforts to spew the venom of division and bigotry have left a stain in the most painful chapters of national history.
Whether expressed anonymously by a group such as the KKK or for the record by persons in the public sector, such words and ideas have been rejected before by America.
Among others, Campbellsville University and Lindsey Wilson College have been beacons of light in the region. They continue to lead an effort toward a world where liberty and equality are not reserved for some but extended to all.
The leadership of these institutions has sought to level the playing field for students of all backgrounds and to bridge social and racial divides in society at large. The commission supports them in this important task.
The commission denounces the literature that was distributed within Kentucky’s borders, and allthat the literature represents. Hateful words too often lead to hateful deeds.
We commend the citizens of Taylor, Adair and Green counties and adjoining areas as they oppose the distribution of KKK recruitment literature. We urge all citizens of the commonwealth to join them in helping overcome such harmful groups
John Johnson is executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.