The Ku Klux Klan seems to be taking advantage of the tragic shooting of nine parishioners in a historic black church in South Carolina last week, stepping up its recruitment by distributing flyers in Alabama and Georgia.
The Klan, which promotes the supremacy of Christian Caucasians, has reportedly been passing out recruitment flyers in Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties in Alabama as well as Rockdale County in Georgia, spooking and angering residents.
Angie View, who reported the flyers to the sheriff's office in Rockdale County, said she discovered two plastic bags with papers along her driveway when she was walking back to her house last Sunday night.
"I reached down to pick it up and it was from 'the white knight klan,' the KKK. So, I freaked out and I ran down to the end of the stop sign and they were in every driveway," View said, according Fox Atlanta.
"It's a little scary knowing that they're promoting hate and trying to recruit people," she added.
Similar materials were reported to have also been distributed in other neighbourhoods and shopping centres.
In Jonesboro, Bessember as well as Lake View, Tuscaloosa County, people were upset that stones and candies were put inside Ziploc bags containing flyers bearing "Join The Klan" phrases in order to lure kids into joining the hate group.
"If any of the kids had picked this up, kids would open this up. I don't have no idea, it could be laced with some kind of drug. These people aren't good so what would they put in candy for children," Shannon Phillips said, according to WVTM 13.
Mark Phillips said he was disgusted and disturbed to see the recruitment paraphernalia in his community.
"I don't have a problem with free speech. However, this is negative on what we're trying to build on relationships. It's hate speech that I don't support and I don't think anybody in the military that I'm in would support that as well," Phillips said, according to WVTM 13.
The Lake View Police Department asked the public for more information on the distribution of the KKK propaganda as it made the distributed materials available on its Facebook page.
The police department also asked people to be vigilant about further distribution of similar materials even after reporting the incidents to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) office in Birmingham.
"It just bothers me that we still have anyone around that is doing this and we certainly don't want it here in this county," said Sheriff Eric Levett, according to Fox Atlanta.
"It's sad that an individual or an organisation would even utilise such a tragedy for whatever purposes that they had in mind," he added.
Boasting a total of 6,000 membership primarily in South Carolina, Mississippi, and Texas, the group also known as the KKK has long gained notoriety for using extreme violence and torture to oppress other races, especially African-Americans.
Reports of KKK recruitment comes while the American nation still mourns the death of nine parishioners, who died when white conservative Dylann Roof opened fire at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, last week.
The Charleston shooting has revived discussions about the persistence of racism and discrimination in the American culture and politics as well as the issue of gun control in the United States.