Lehigh Valley

High school students marching against hate find second KKK flier

"Marching trumps hate," shouted a Central Bucks West student.

A message of love spread throughout downtown Doylestown Monday afternoon.

"I felt our community needs to be heard, we need to be spreading stuff other than hate," said tenth-grader Sam Seiden.

About two dozen people, mostly students from Central Bucks West, marched after a KKK flier was found in the borough a week ago. A similar one was found in Northampton, also in Bucks County.

Cutout hearts and signs with messages of love over hate, were made and displayed on hands and on area businesses.

"Yes this issue isn't going away just because we are handing out signs. This issue goes back to everyone of us," said fellow student Sarit Held to a group of marchers.

Held is a tenth-grader in the district.

"I think we are sending a message that we do care and we support the love, and we don't support the hate that is shown here," she said.

Seiden says she already experienced, by being Jewish.

"Just during high school kids think they're being funny, don't really know what is going on. I've experienced anti-semitism," she said.

The amount of hate statewide and nationwide is growing.

A study by the Southern Poverty Law Center shows Pennsylvania is fifth in the country with the number of hate group with 40. PA had 38 last year.

Overall the study found 914 different hate groups throughout the country, up from 784 in 2014.

"I know so many people were hurt and shocked and traumatize with this message in town," said Marlene Pray.

Pray, of the national grassroots organization Showing up for Racial Justice, says she's worked with former KKK members and white supremacist groups and leaving a letter is a tactic to test the waters of a neighborhood.

"We understand the tactics of hate groups. One is to do a simple act and see if the community respond," Pray said.

For lifelong borough resident Eric Welch, a father of two young girls, it's a sight he's proud of.

"They're taking a stance of saying their generation is not going to put up with that," Welch said.

Pray also said a second KKK letter, similar to last weeks was found on S. Main by students marching Monday afternoon. 

She says the KKK and similar groups have in the past tried to recruit CB West students after school.
Police are investigating.


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