Commission on Human Rights
Statement regarding the current KKK activities in Western Kentucky
Media in Western Kentucky this week have contacted Kentucky Commission on Human Rights (KCHR) Executive Director John Johnson about alleged recent activity of the Ku Klux Klan in Morgantown, Owensboro and Bowling Green.
According to a Western Kentucky Public Radio reporter, the KKK in the last few weeks has been leaving business-type cards in front of residents’ properties near their mailboxes saying, “I was watching over your neighborhood last night while you slept.”
Yesterday, a recipient of one of the cards called the KCHR to report that on one street block, residents believed only individuals recognized as supporting civil rights work and black families received the cards. The caller expressed feelings of fear and intimidation.
In response to these incidents, KCHR Executive Director John Johnson states: “The KKK has historically promoted hatred and divisiveness, and this type of organization is a dying breed. The overwhelming majority of Kentucky’s people are striving for understanding, tolerance and unity, and our state’s young people deserve better than the legacy a group like the Ku Klux Klan would attempt to force upon them.”
Executive Director Johnson urges anyone who feels he or she is a victim of fear and intimidation to contact local law authorities immediately for protection. He further advises that if residents receive this type material inside their mailboxes or directly on their properties, to contact the FBI to report possible violations of federal law.
“If you believe you may be a victim of illegal discrimination because of your race, color, gender, age, disability, national origin or religion,” Mr. Johnson continues, “please contact the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights or our local human rights commission partners in your area to file a complaint.”
KCHR is the state government agency that enforces the Kentucky Civil Rights Act and policies of federal civil rights laws. It initiates, receives, investigates, conciliates and rules upon jurisdictional complaints. KCHR has jurisdiction in housing, employment, public accommodations, and financial transactions. The Kentucky Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status in housing, disability, age (40 or over) in employment, and smoking status in employment. Complaints not dismissed, settled or conciliated go to administrative hearing where commission rulings have the authority of a court of law.