Reaction to KKK fliers in Ocean Springs is swift and strong

Reaction to KKK fliers in Ocean Springs is swift and strong

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - When Doug Myatt picked up the flier this weekend, he felt he was the only recipient for one reason.

"I'm gay. I'm openly gay. Most folks in town are aware of that. My fiance and I live together in that home, so I thought it was potentially a targeted thing," Myatt explained.

But, others received them as well. The fliers contain anti-gay statements and a call to boycott Hawaii, because leaders in that state have been critical of the religious freedom bill in this state.

The Mississippi Rising Coalition is reacting as well.  Lea Campbell is with that organization.

"Any time there is a group advocating for hate and discrimination against another group of citizens, I think there should be concern. It's anti-American," Campbell said.

For Myatt, initial shock turned into action.

"I think they don't want any light shone on them. They scurry around in the dark. They throw these out of the window of their truck at two o'clock in the morning. I'm hoping to shed some light on them," said Myatt.

Some, including Campbell, acknowledge the KKK has rights as well though.

"They're free to espouse whatever views they want to. I don't think it's going to be a very effective call to action," said Campbell.

The repercussions have been felt all the way to city hall, where Mayor Connie Moran pulled no punches.

"We can't stand cowardly characters, and we ask them to keep their thoughts to themselves. But to cross the line and when you put fliers and harass and intimidate people, we are going to get to the bottom of it," Moran said.

Over the years, the City of Ocean Springs has developed a reputation of being a cosmopolitan and welcoming city, especially from a business standpoint. These KKK fliers have raised concerns in the business community. Cynthia Sutton is the Director of the Chamber of Commerce.

"It does concern me. Anything negative of course does shine a negative light on our town, and we don't like that. We are a very welcoming community," said Sutton.

The only thing not welcome is the KKK fliers.

A person representing the KKK called WLOX News Now requesting an interview to tell his side of the story. However, we have not yet been able to schedule a time and date for that interview to take place.

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