Westmoreland News in Virginia ( @TheWN ) featured this #racist ad on their front page today. In 2018. In America.— Jennifer Knecht (@_jenniferknecht) April 26, 2018
This is unacceptable and should enrage every decent human. #racists #racism #WhiteSupremacy #FightRacism pic.twitter.com/vBTZ7BzThw
A Virginia newspaper is being called out for racism after the paper published a KKK recruitment ad on its front page.
The Westmoreland News covered a story on how KKK recruitment flyers and DVDs started appearing in the town of Colonial Beach, Virginia. And then someone from the newspaper decided to place the ad of the recruitment flyer on the front page.
Apparently, this was done to illustrate the story, but the ad included all the racist and anti-Semitic language, making it look like a real marketing promotion for the KKK.
“They posted the whole flyer as if they were giving them free advertising,” Colonial Beach resident Betty Tate Thompson told WTVR. “It even had the number on flyer to contact the head of the KKK, which I thought was totally ridiculous.”
Westmoreland County is made up of 5,200 residents, with black residents as 15 percent of the population. Horror is what they must have felt after viewing the white power poster to say the least.
Colonial Beach Police Chief Danny Plott, who was naturally upset with the racist ad, called the editor of the paper, Brittlynn Powell, who “explained that she wanted to put it in to show people that those of us in Colonial Beach who may think there’s not racism … I think she didn’t expect for this to blow up the way it did,” Plott said. Plott initially gave the copy of the flyer to the newspaper, thinking it might help the story, but he never expected them to publish it, much less on the front page.
"It bothers me to think that kids would read that stuff and while it didn't incite anyone to violence, some of the statements in there were just disgusting,” he said.
“When I look into a newspaper from my community, I expect to be informed about the happenings of my local atmosphere. I don't expect to feel threatened, belittled and unwanted,” Facebook user J Lemar Smith wrote. “There is no problem with making the locals aware of the events surrounding these advertisements, but submitting a free advertisement on the front page is unacceptable.”
“I guess in the age of Trump it's OK to advertise for the KKK. You basically took a recruitment flyer and put it in the hands of everyone that buys your paper and to top it off IT'S ON THE FRONT PAGE ABOVE THE FOLD. It's not on page 3. Couldn't you all redact parts of the flyer and still make your point? Is this what everyone means by MAGA? Bad move,” wrote another Facebook user Steve Price.
Readers have called for a total boycott of the paper, with many commenting on the newspaper’s Facebook page.
The newspaper did not respond to a request for comment.
Note to the editor: How were you expecting an ad of KKK published on the front page of your paper to not hurt readers or blow up in this manner?
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Reuters, Johny Milano