Neighborhood watch groups are, for the most part, good things.
They have the stamp of approval from organizations like the National Crime Prevention Council, and motives of neighborhood watch groups are nonthreatening enough – they keep an eye on areas where crimes have occurred and they report anything suspicious to law enforcement. Simple.
But when the Ku Klux Klan signs on to perform a neighborhood watch, scratch all that.
Unfortunately, that is what happened in the eastern part of the state. After a rash of break-ins on one road in York County’s Fairview Township, a group calling itself the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan announced it was launching a neighborhood watch program. The group’s imperial wizard, Frank Ancona, opined to the website pennlive.com that his band of costumed, hooded brethren wanted to merely patrol the neighborhood “just like any neighborhood watch program.”
“It’s not targeting any specific ethnicity,” he continued, sidestepping the fact the Klan built a reputation over the last 140 years or so of doing precisely that. “We would report anything we see to law enforcement. We don’t hate people.”
On fliers that were distributed around the neighborhood, the group trumpeted, “You can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake!”
Not convinced of the purity of the Klan’s motives, civil rights organizations, churches and other community leaders urged the community to be unified against the Klan, and that, instead of walking the beat, the Klan should beat it.
Let’s hope the Klan takes the hint and that the only people in white sheets wandering the neighborhoods of our state after dark are youngsters dressed up as ghosts on Halloween night.