BETHANY, Okla. (KFOR) – A concerned father is speaking out, taking a stand after he said his son spotted a KKK flyer at a Bethany gas station.
“He saw it and it stood out to him and brought it home,” said Nickle Ranck.
Ranck runs a woodworking business called The Wooden Nickle, but his main job is being a devoted father, and as a father, the flyer was alarming.
“I know they exist, I know they’re around but to have them actively recruiting in Bethany was surprising for me,” he said.
Ranck posted the photo and his concern to Facebook, condemning the flyer as actively recruiting for a hate group.
“I feel like if you ignore it, they win,” Ranck said, “so I want to be actively opposing it, I want them to know that there’s people that don’t believe what they do.”
According to Rose State political science professor James Davenport, there is evidence of an uptick in white supremacy groups, and that could be for a number of reasons, including a backlash towards changing social trends, and rhetoric by politicians that may have made people with radical perspectives more comfortable talking about them.
“For a long time, guys like me, white males, had it pretty good, and we didn’t have to compete with women, we didn’t have to compete with racial minorities for jobs, and things were going quite well,” Davenport said. “Now we have to compete with people that we didn’t have to compete with for jobs, for positions or getting accepted in college and things like this. That creates some frustration, in a certain group of people who liked having that preferential treatment and now they don’t get it. And so this type of group is certainly going to attract those types of people.”
However, he also pointed out that white supremacists represent a small percentage of the population and the fact that generally when people do see a flyer or something like this one, it evokes more outrage than interest.
In this case, Davenport said he’s not entirely convinced the flyer is an effort to recruit because hate groups have found more sophisticated ways of getting people on board.
“It could be someone who again was just having a backlash against political correctness, I’m going to show that I’m not going to be controlled by people who want to tell me how I can say things and whatnot in public, and I’m going to stick a fist to them in this way. It could be someone who is just looking for attention in which case we’re giving them exactly what they wanted,” Davenport said. “It could be someone who knows this will be a hot flash type of topic, it will get people talking, they want to do something that causes a stir and this is a simple way of doing that, or it could be someone genuinely who believes in this perspective and maybe doesn’t know there are better ways to recruit.”
But to Ranck, the message was loud and clear.
He said his post has gotten some criticism for possibly stirring the pot and giving the flyer attention, but he wanted to set an example by standing up for something he strongly believes.
“This is actively recruiting. They’re not looking for media attention with this, they were looking for members and I feel like I have to actively opposing that,” Ranck said. “It’s not a matter of politics, it’s not parties, it’s a matter of good and evil. It’s a matter of education and ignorance, and I don’t want to be on the wrong side of that, and I don’t want my kids to be on the wrong side of that.”