OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - City leaders in Ocean Springs started out the week with some unwelcome mail. Packages containing white sheets and a note arrived at City Hall Monday afternoon, addressed to each of the board of alderman, as well as Mayor Shea Dobson.
Attached to each of the eight packages, which appeared to be shipped through Amazon, the note read:
With the white sheets an obvious reference to the Klan, the alderman at large, Bobby Cox, did not take kindly to the insinuation.
"We are no way part of or involved in that organization, and to send us a package like that to me is just ridiculous," Cox said.
Mayor Shea Dobson was not pleased either.
"My initial reaction was disappointment. We've seen the rhetoric continue. We've done our best to try and focus on positive stuff, try to focus on all the good that is happening in our community."
That person, Sarah Halstead, is a former Ocean Springs resident who currently lives in Roanoke, VA, according to her Facebook page.
With the flag still flying at City Hall, officials say the battle should be fought elsewhere, according to Cox.
"I think you've got a group that's very passionate about getting the flag changed. I just think they are focusing their attention on the local where we can't change the flag. Yes, we can remove one flag, but if you're that focused on getting the flag changed, we need to go to the state."
That's an action that's already been taken by city leaders, the Mayor explained.
"The board sent the resolution requesting the state hold a new vote on the design of the flag. I think we should have had a new vote. I've come out in support for a new vote from day one," said the Mayor.
According to Mayor Dobson, the group of city leaders is considering donating the newly-packaged bed sheets to a local charity.
The packages were part of the backlash the city leaders have received since voting in November to fly the Mississippi state flag over city government buildings. That drama continues to unfold, with members of the Mississippi Rising Coalition filing a lawsuit Wednesday in their continued efforts to have the flag taken down from city buildings.
This action by the Mississippi Rising Coalition comes after they were sent two videos by a group claiming to be the United Dixie White Knights.
As for the Klan, the Mayor offered his take. "The Klan should never have existed. It certainly should have no business in 2018. And I don't know, it's just sad," he stated.
What's also sad for the Mayor is today's political climate. He said, "We should be able to agree to disagree and it's becoming harder and harder to do that apparently."
According to Mayor Dobson, the group of city leaders has agreed to donate the lines to a Coast homeless shelter.