ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — A few weeks ago it was South Austin, now people in one Round Rock subdivision are also getting Klu Klux Klan recruitment flyers left in their neighborhood.
An average day in Round Rock’s Forest Creek neighborhood is quiet, but the last few days, there’s been an unsettling feeling for some neighbors.
“Insecure, I’ve got kids, I don’t like it.”
This man who doesn’t want to be identified for the safety of his family, says he found a plastic bag near the curb of his house. Inside, was a recruitment letter from the Texas Invisible Empire, which, if you read closer, is really the Ku Klux Klan. The bottom of the flyer has a number and reads “If you would like to join us in our fight to save our White Christian Race, please contact us.” When KXAN News called the number listed on the flyer, it went to a voicemail.
“In today’s day and age, it’s just something that shouldn’t be.”
Just three weeks ago, a neighborhood in South Austin saw something similar, KKK pamphlets. According to the Anti-Defamation League, instances of the Klan distributing flyers are on the rise. Last year, the ADL saw 70 such cases in the United States, up from 26 in 2013.
“They’re using this as a tactic to get media attention and attention of the community, when really the KKK has been in decline for decades.”
Renee Lafair, regional director with the Austin chapter of the ADL, says there is no single, united Klu Klux Klan today, only about 35 smaller groups nationwide. She says the Texas Invisible Empire isn’t one of those.
“As far as we know, they haven’t been in existence before, which in our mind probably means there was one person behind this or a small group of people who were behind this particular flyer,” says Renee.
Still, neighbors say they’re cautious.
“Just keep my eyes open I guess,” says a neighbor.
The Round Rock Police Department has received several complaints about the flyers.
“It is not illegal to distribute literature within the City of Round Rock,” said Angelique Myers a spokesperson for the Round Rock Police Department in a statement. “A violation of the law has not occurred.”
While the Round Rock flyers were from T.I.E, the ones found in South Austin were from the Loyal White Knights of the Klu Klux Klan.
Earlier this year, KXAN’s Kevin Schwaller looked into the history of the KKK in Central Texas and the current state of the organization. The Texas Department of Public Safety looked at the threats to the state in a report released during last legislative session. The report says “antigovernment or racial extremist groups have had significant footholds” in Texas. It says groups like the KKK usually don’t openly support crime and they have not been specifically linked with any recent attacks.