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June 17, 2003

A Sinister Conspiracy Or A Random Act?

David 'Kip' Koontz

A disturbing thing met me as I left for work Monday morning.

Found, tucked under the windshield wiper of my car, was a business card.

Thinking that it was simply someone inviting me to "get rich quick" or telling me they would pay me to lose weight - something like that - I almost didn't even look at it.

I did, though, and found, unfortunately, that the card was from the National Alliance, a white supremacist group.

Beyond telling me that "no-multi-racial society is a healthy one", they explained to me how, "in order for the white race to survive, we must unite together on the basis of common blood, organize them and inspire them with a common set of ideals" - and so on.

It is troubling that these kinds of groups exist.

It is more troubling to see they are active in Frederick City.

One has to question whether this was simply a random act, or does the leadership of the National Alliance think that Frederick may be fertile ground for gaining new members?

Sources say that this is not the first time the National Alliance "carded" vehicles in Frederick, saying that just a few years ago cars parked on and around Chapel Alley in Frederick were selected to receive their message.

One aspect of our freedoms is that groups such as this have a right, no matter how despicable it may be, to express their opinions.

It is troubling, though, to think that folks like these may believe they can gain members here.

Regrettably, Frederick has played host to the leadership and activism of the Ku Klux Klan.

Unfortunately, based on how actively the topic was discussed in the last city election, there is a perception that racism exists in the city's police force.

Candidates for office openly said they believed racism simply exists in Frederick.

It seems bigotry does raise its ugly head. The discussion surrounding the water transfer for the construction of a Mosque in Frederick found some who testified against the transfer using terms such as "'those people' should not be allowed to build here" when referring to the applicants.

Sexually oriented people have been reduced to second class citizens by our county commissioners, state delegation and the Human Relations Commission, in spite of overwhelming evidence that discrimination exists, as they are not included as a protected minority class in county law.

Some might say that State Senator Alex Mooney's entire belief system would give the National Alliance folks reason to believe they may be welcomed here.

The community, in voting for him, and those who did not speak out against him, may have sent that message as well.

Clearly, not all people in Frederick are prejudiced or bigoted. Most likely most are not.

Not all who voted for Senator Mooney are either, but, to those who participate in such groups as the National Alliance, it wouldn't much for them to be given hope that there are those among us that would be of like-mind.

In this troubled time, where even "homeland security" means to some - look at anyone who isn't white with some suspicion, is it not possible that there may be an overall rise in activity by white supremacist-type organizations?

There is fear out there. Some people of color and other minorities may find themselves the convenient scapegoats of this fear.

Let us hope that in Frederick, this was, however, simply a random act and not the start of something more.

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