Why the Ku Klux Klan is delivering bags of candy in South Carolina

A Ku Klux Klan Imperial Klalif says the bags of candy found by residents in Oconee County were part of a recruitment drive. The KKK hotline has an anti-immigration message.

Some residents in northwestern South Carolina say they found bags of candy on their street containing a piece of paper asking them to join the Ku Klux Klan.

Residents in an Oconee County subdivision found the bags Saturday night or Sunday morning.

The paper said "Save Our Land, Join the Klan." It had a phone number that led to an automated message discussing KKK efforts against illegal immigration.

A voicemail message picked up when someone dials the "Klan Hotline" listed on the paper. It starts with, "Be a man join the Klan! Illegal immigration is destroying America," discusses immigration concerns and ends with, "always remember if it ain't white, it ain't right. White power," reported WISTV in Columbia, S.C.

Robert Jones told WHNS-TV that he's the imperial klaliff of the Loyal White Knights and said the effort was part of a recruiting event they hold three times a year.

He told WISTV in Columbia, S.C., that they're not a hate group but a civil rights organization following the Bible. He said the Klan has always been strong throughout South Carolina and that this type of recruitment is nothing new.

With more than 8,500 members, Jones said these days their focus is protesting against illegal immigration.

He said people who receive the candy and literature shouldn't be fearful unless they're doing something that the Klan considers morally wrong.

Oconee County resident Bo Morris said he thought it was "unacceptable" to see the bags and fliers in his neighborhood.

Earlier this month, KKK flyers were found in the driveways of residents in Katy, Texas. The flyers contained a similar anti-immigration message “seal the border-protect our nation.”  Each flyer was folded up in a zip lock sandwich bag and weighted down with small landscaping rocks so they wouldn’t blow away, reported CoveringKaty.com.

Katy resident Damien Neveaux told Covering Katy: “You know when you take off the uniform and you camouflage it with something else but the intent is still there, the hate.” Neveaux says he didn’t find the message of the flier offensive but he does not believe the clan is going to be the organization that will find a solution to the border security issues of the United States.

[Editor's note: In an earlier version of this story the headline and summary misspelled the name Ku Klux Klan.]

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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