Courtesy photo – IBLC
Staff report written from press release
Indianapolis, Indiana – November 10, 2023
State Rep. Earl Harris Jr. (D-East Chicago), chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus (IBLC), condemned the recent distribution of Ku Klux Klan (KKK) recruitment fliers in Carmel and surrounding communities over the weekend.
Harris issued a statement expressing his dismay and concern about the resurgence of such hateful activities in the year 2023. He highlighted the historical influence of the Klan in Indiana less than a century ago, emphasizing its shadow government role and infiltration into various institutions.
“It is shameful, though unfortunately not surprising, that the KKK is working to recruit Hoosiers into their hate group in the year 2023,” Harris remarked. “The memory of this influence sadly still looms over the Hoosier state today. The recruitment fliers that were left in and around Carmel are not new tactics, but when hate rears its ugly head, we are called to address it and to dismantle it.”
Addressing the affected communities, particularly Carmel, Harris encouraged residents to voice their concerns to local officials and representatives, urging swift action to denounce hate. He underscored the importance of solidarity and ongoing efforts to create a safer environment for everyone.
“To Black Hoosiers and Hoosiers of color, know that the IBLC stands in solidarity and will continue our work to make Indiana a better place for everyone,” Harris affirmed. “Throughout our state and nation, we are seeing a rise in hate crimes. It is imperative that Indiana codifies hate crime legislation to ensure that anyone who commits violence against another person based on their race, gender, religion, nationality, or sexual orientation is punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
Harris concluded by addressing the Klan’s historical association with Indiana, stating, “The Klan has for too long made Indiana their hotbed for spreading hate and white supremacy. This unfortunate incident provides us a new opportunity to address Indiana’s dark history head-on and work toward a state where everyone is safe to be themselves.”