By AMBER PATTON
KENNESAW, Ga. — The Ku Klux Klan still exists in the South, and the white supremacist group has made its presence known recently by leaving fliers in yards of a Douglas County neighborhood, including the yard of a Kennesaw State University professor.
The organization, which started back in 1866, is active today. The Klan is just one piece of evidence that racism still exists in the United States.
“I was in shock,” said KSU professor Tenisha Bell when she found fliers for the KKK in her yard. “I couldn’t believe that in 2016 that the KKK is still in existence, that people are still that ignorant to be stuck in such an angry, nasty, racist mindset, that they are still functioning as an organization totally shocked me.”
In 2014, the FBI reported that 3,081 hate crimes were reported to be racially motivated. Of those hate crimes, 63.5 percent were anti-black or against African-Americans.
The KKK is designated as a white supremacy extremist domestic terrorism organization, and the FBI has been actively looking into the group and its members since 1918.
Georgia has been one of the few states that does not have strict hate crime laws. In the South, tensions between races can still run high.
This racial tension is why actress Aunjanue Ellis teamed up with attorney Carlos Moore to bring down one of the last standing forms of racism in the country. They’re fighting to get Mississippi to stop flying the Confederate flag with their “Take It Down Rally” in Washington, D.C. June 14, 2016.
Ellis believes this issue is not just a Southern issue, but that it takes place everywhere and has become a form of terrorism.
“In 2015 alone, American terrorists used the Confederate flag as a marching order to shoot and kill churchgoers, shoot at protesters and throw a bomb into a Wal-Mart in Tupelo,” Ellis said. “This is not just racism. This is terrorism.”
Ellis is making it her mission to make the Confederate flag, racism and hatred in general obsolete in an effort to end KKK fliers from ever being distributed in yards in Georgia or any other place again.