It was disturbing to see Ku Klux Klan recruitment flyers pop up in Lincoln County after recent events in our nation.
We at The Lincoln County News condemn the KKK, Nazis, and any group that advocates violence against, or anything less than equality for, any race, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation. We do not want these groups in our county.
It is tempting to dismiss these flyers as the act of one individual – perhaps not even someone who lives in Lincoln County, but someone from away who drives around the state in the wee hours to distribute hateful propaganda. Similar flyers have popped up elsewhere in Maine, and they could easily have come from the same person.
To do so, however, would be to dismiss an issue that merits serious discussion.
We all need to do some soul-searching in the wake of events both national and local. How can we combat the resurgence of racial hatred in our country – and now evidence of this resurgence in our own backyard?
We have to address this issue the same way we have to address the larger political divide in this country – with civil discourse between people of different beliefs.
The events of recent weeks do not give us an excuse to call our neighbors names because they have different beliefs about Confederate symbols or the sufficiency of the president’s response to Charlottesville. These reactions only deepen the divide.
Also not helpful or necessary: the folks who are engaging in violent clashes with hate groups.
The non-violent methods of Martin Luther King Jr. were effective in the civil rights movement. Why abandon them now?
If the vast majority of Americans speak out and millions of Americans demonstrate peacefully against hate – like groups in the Twin Villages and Boothbay have recently – the KKK and Nazis in this country will crawl back into their holes, hopefully for good.