Gloversville’s Mayor Dayton King is reacting to claims made in a series of articles published by the Leader-Herald, about the Ku Klux Klan's presence in Gloversville and Fulton County.
In the first article of a three-part series, The author says he met with four Klan members in the woods, two of whom chose not to be identified, while two used fake names.
The article reads: "The local Klan members claim there are 4,000 KKK members in New York state, about 200 of which are practicing members in Fulton County."
The article describes the so-called members' activities by saying, "They do take “night rides” on Glove Cities streets, staking out drug-infested streets as curious neighborhood watchers. Pledging ever loving Christian faith as “soldiers” of their God, they profess to be extremely family-oriented. They are a whites-only brotherhood, they say."
The second article, released Monday, says that on September 24, a caller identifying himself as a member of the KKK left the newspaper a voicemail saying “We are here. We are growing. Gloversville is full of Klan members. Fulton County is full of Klan members. We are all over New York state. We are not going to stop.”
"I think you've got some people that are demented," King said. "You've got that of every community. You've got some really sick people. But again I think to glorify it, you know, I use the word sensationalism. That's what this is."
But the newspaper's publisher tells Spectrum News off-camera that he encourages readers to withhold judgment against the paper until they see what the third article says. Meanwhile, the editor is claiming the series is not an endorsement of the group, but rather an opportunity to have a discussion, saying, "The Leader-Herald does not support the Ku Klux Klan. These articles are meant to empower the local community, to report on an issue that affects everyone."
The series comes on the heels of a second white nationalist rally held in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday. In August, tensions were high after white nationalists and counter-protesters clashed, resulting in one death.
Part three of the series will be released tomorrow, but some local residents have told Spectrum News they plan to cancel their subscriptions.