Did you know that the Ku Klux Klan is active in Upstate New York? You do now. And, not only are they active in our neck of the woods, but it appears that they're trying to recruit our kids, something that Governor Andrew Cuomo is having nothing of.

Governor Cuomo has "ordered state police to investigate and directed the state police Hate Crimes Task Force to kick off a "public awareness campaign" to counter hate" in light of what appears to be a recruitment campaign orchestrated by the Ku Klux Klan.

According to the governor's office, the Klan has been handing out propaganda and including sweet treats with the fliers in Oneida and in other counties. Denise Szarek, a member of the Westmoreland Board of Education told KNWA, “They come between 4 and 6 in the morning so the candy bars and packets are at the end of the driveway when kids are getting on the school bus.”

According to the governor's office,

Governor Cuomo created the Hate Crimes Task Force in 2017 to fight the increase in reports of bias-motivated threats, harassment and violence throughout New York State. The Task Force, run by the New York State Police, has engaged county leaders, district attorneys, school district leaders, local police departments and other key stakeholders to identify and investigate hate motivated crimes and bias related trends, community vulnerabilities and discriminatory practices.

The United States FBI defines a hate group as a social group which commits a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

If you think that this incident with the Ku Klux Klan is an isolated one and that New York State doesn't have a problem with hate groups, that such groups are primarily located in southern states, think again. According to Syracuse.com, in 2017 there's were 47 know different hate groups located in New York state.

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