Residents in a Tennessee town that have shown support for presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris said they have received what appeared to be a warning with the Ku Klux Klan's name on it. Shelbyville resident Breanna Green said she thought there was litter scattered across her yard early Sunday morning, but once she started to pick it up, she realized it was at least 20 business cards from the KKK.
"I was really startled by it and also kind of scared,” Green told WPLN News. The cards described a “social visit” from the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and warned, “don’t make the next visit a business call.”
”It’s scary knowing that just supporting a presidential candidate can incite this kind of vandalism,” Green told WSVM-TV.
Green, who placed her blue Biden/Harris sign on her lawn for all to see, told the news station that the election season has raised tensions with hate groups. She also told them that one of the signs had been damaged.
"There was tire marks in the yard which indicated the sign had been ran over,” Green told the the local news outlet.
Another woman told News4 that her friend also experienced something similar when their Biden/Harris sign was stolen and the same business card was left.
Green, who appeared concerned about the recent threats and the impact it can have on her livelihood, still spoke out.
“There is some anxiety that people could be targeted in my family. Just people in the community could be targeted as well. I just don’t think this should be something that we’re dealing with in 2020,” said Green.
The Shelbyville Police Department encouraged residents to reach out regarding any incidents they encounter.
“We've been made aware of a limited number of incidents involving theft and/or damage to campaign signs. This is true for both Trump and Biden yard signs. We have also been made aware of local residents receiving literature from individuals purporting to be from the knights of Ku Klux Klan. Similar literature has been found in driveways and yards for a number of years," according to a statement the department released.
Shelbyville deputy police chief Brian Crews told WPLN that it doesn’t appear that a specific race or ethnic group is being targeted, The Charlotte Observer reported.
“We believe that it’s targeting certain neighborhoods that would even be predominantly white," Crews told The Observer. "I think most people just view it as trash.”
The police departments advises anyone who has been the victim of theft, vandalism, or intimidation to contact them.
Shelbyville has a population of about 22,410, is 71% white and 14% Black, according to worldpopulationreview.com.
The Ku Klux Klan was founded at the end of the United States Civil War to repress the right and freedoms of African Americans. Even after 150 years, it still an active domestic terrorist organization. Brittanica's definition of the Ku Klux Klan is defined as either of two distinct U.S. hate organizations that employed terror in pursuit of their white supremacist agenda. One group was founded immediately after the Civil War and lasted until the 1870s. The other began in 1915 and has continued to the present.
The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, founded by David Duke in 1975, has attempted, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, to put a "kinder, gentler" face on the Klan, courting media attention and attempting to portray itself as a modern "white civil rights" organization.