Muskogee residents left with KKK pamphlets on eve of MLK Day, group points to birth of Robert E. Lee

As Muskogee celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a noon parade, Kalua Corbin and her granddaughter danced along the parade route. Different emotions from the ones Corbin was experiencing just 24 hours earlier. 

"I'm offended, period. I would be offended any day to get it," Corbin said just before the parade started Monday.

Offended after finding a letter in her front yard Sunday from the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

"So they're trying to recruit people for the Ku Klux Klan," Corbin said. "They had all this derogatory stuff about Martin Luther King."

Driving around Corbin's neighborhood just about every person, regardless of race, said they found the same letter in their yard. Corbin said because her neighborhood represents several different races, she was surprised to find the letter in almost every yard, but understands why it happened when it did.

"I saw the red writing," she said, holding up the letter. "It was associated with Martin Luther King not being worthy of having a holiday and derogatory things that he had done."

A spokesman with the Traditionalist American Knights told 2News Monday that members of his group distributed similar letters or pamphlets around the country this weekend in honor of Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee's birthday. 

Several of Corbin's neighbors contacted the Muskogee Police Department. Those neighbors say police told them the KKK organization appears to have targeted more than their neighborhood. 

"Several neighborhoods," Muskogee resident Mary Ankrom said she was told. "Because if they picked up 500 (letters), there are not 500 families in this area."

A spokesperson for Muskogee Police could not confirm how many letters the department has received reports about, but said it doesn't appear to be anything criminal, even if people are offended.

"Unfortunately it does look like it is one of those issues where somebody is expressing their freedom of speech," Cpl. Michael Mahan said. "We don't necessarily agree with it. It does appear to be hate speech, but at this time it is just something we are looking in to. If anything develops out of it, then we will do a follow-up on that."

The pamphlet makes several racial comments and discusses the need for racial segregation. Corbin calls it racism, something she still sees from time to time in Muskogee and elsewhere.

"It is strange in this day and time," she said. "I know there is still stuff. Racial stuff."

Something Corbin hopes stays out of Muskogee in the future. 

Also included with the letters were fliers from Kingdom Identity Ministries in Harrison, Ark., entitled "God Commands Racial Segregation." A spokesman with Kingdom Identity Ministries said his church doesn't identify with the KKK and didn't have anything to do with distributing letters around Muskogee. 

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