Shortly before midnight on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, members of the largest white supremacist hate group in the country, the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, distributed small zip-locked packets on the windshields of vehicles parked along the sleepy streets and in the driveways of Many, Louisiana.
Many, the seat of Sabine Parish, is a tiny town of less than 3,000 residents tucked away in the farthest corner of West Central Louisiana, within shouting distance of the Texas border.
According to the most recent Census, the town’s racial demographics are split almost evenly: 48.18% white and 47.42% African-American, and their most famous hometown hero is Charlie Joiner, an African-American and a record-breaking NFL wide receiver who was inducted into pro-football’s Hall of Fame and who was once praised by Coach Bill Walsh as “the most intelligent, the smartest, the most calculating receiver the game has ever known.”
Two days ago, members of a Ku Klux Klan organization (it’s not worth using the adjective “fringe,” because all KKK groups deliberately embrace their fringe identities) targeted Charlie Joiner’s hometown and, during the dead of the night, distributed these packets, according to multiple sources in Many and in the surrounding area:
Notwithstanding the unintentionally hilarious misspelling of the word “polls” (which has already generated a healthy amount of online commentary about strip clubs, Poland, and Santa Claus), the mailer deliberately parrots the rhetoric being employed by Republican Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump (i.e. “Your vote could decide if we have a country anymore (sic) or not” and “Please join and help us take our country back”).
In this particular case, the packet includes what appears to be a white LifeSaver candy, though at least one other recipient reports receiving a pack of Smarties.
It also includes a 27/4 “hotline” to a number traced to Loyal White Knights of the KKK’s headquarters in North Carolina.
The self-proclaimed grand wizard of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, William Quigg, is an outspoken, “effusive” supporter of Donald Trump, though he attempted- at some point in March of this year- to sarcastically convince a British tabloid that he had shifted his alliances to Hillary Clinton because of Trump’s “toupee” and joked that he had donated $20,000 to the Clinton campaign (which, of course, never happened).
Quigg’s hate group has been known to do this in the past. His group has distributed similar mailers in Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Georgia.
However, this year, it’s hard to overlook why he and his organization would be targeting Louisiana.
For the first time in nearly a quarter of a century, David Duke- the former grand wizard of the Ku Klan Klan- is running for a major statewide office, the United States Senate, and because of his near universal name recognition and his enthusiastic support of the Republican presidential nominee, he recently narrowly qualified to participate in the final televised statewide debate.
Thus far, there is no concrete evidence of collusion between Duke’s campaign and white nationalist or white supremacist organizations, but that may be designed on purpose.
We do know this for certain: David Duke isn’t spending a dime on television or traditional direct mail, but $102,434, that’d buy a lifetime supply of white LifeSavers.