RED SPRINGS, N.C. (WBTW) - The Red Springs Police Department is investigating reports of racist messages left on residents' lawns.
The flyers have hate-filled messages that claim African-Americans and Hispanics are responsible for most of the crime in the United States.
The two letters used derogatory language against Jewish people, African-Americans, and Hispanics. The notes had a Loyal White Knights emblem on them.
Stephanie McArthur said one of the notes, which came in a plastic bag with white rice, was in her 75-year-old father's yard.
McArthur said her 18-year-old daughter, Dymond Carthen, found the note.
"It's like they're trying to make an issue," said Carthen. "Like it's something that we're past. It's over."
McArthur said the notes have alarmed the community.
"To think that someone, in this day and time, is still having these acts of racism," she told News13. "I thought we had come so far, but it seems like, you know, we're going back."
McArthur is a pastor in the area, and said the community needs to come together, and not let the messages affect opinions.
"In the past year or so more people are becoming bolder, and they're coming out," said McArthur. "It was suppressed at one time, but now people feel like it's tolerated, but we're not tolerating it," she continued. "We'll never go back to what they're trying to say."
The pastor said the letter could be viewed in different ways.
"At one point it seemed it might be a threat, and another way it seemed like it might be a recruit," she said. "I guess it was whomever yard it was put in."
She said racism is not common in her community, and is fearful of what might come next if the people who are distributing the fliers are not caught.
"As a pastor, I would say that we're not to be fearful," she said. "We have to stand up, and just let them know that we're not going to back down. We're here. We're going to try and get along as best we can."
Major Kimothy Monroe with the Red Springs Police Department said there are not yet any leads in the case.
"No leads," he said. "They came out of nowhere, and nobody has seen anybody who has distributed this information, so we have no leads as far as where it came from."
Major Monroe said the department has been in contact with the District Attorney's office to see what can be done about the situation.
"Hatred is not a crime, per se, so unless they're doing something that accelerates this case like an assault or like a hate crime that follows this message, then we can look at it a little closer," he explained. "But right now there's no lines that have been crossed criminally."
McArthur said she has faith in the youth in the community.
"I know this generation that we have will stand up for our rights, and just get along, and be together," she said.
The Red Springs Police Department released this statement:
"In the past week, the Red Springs Police Department has had reports of racist propaganda and paraphernalia thrown in the yards of citizens of the town according to Major Kim Monroe. Monroe said the department has received a report of a plastic bag containing racially charged remarks written on white paper with the insignia of the Loyal White Knights. Monroe said, presently we do not have any information about the organization, it’s origin or who is distributing the paraphernalia. Chief Ronnie Patterson encourages anyone with information about the items to call the Police Department immediately. We ask anyone who may find one of these type bags to place it in a secure location and contact the Police Department. If anyone witnesses this activity, Chief Patterson says there is certainly no harm telling the distributors to stay off their property not to return or face possible prosecution."
Monroe said the department asks the public to secure the bag if someone finds one in the town.
"We would like people to preserve the bag so we might do fingerprints that we might find on the bags, just to maybe track where it's coming from," he told WBTW.
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