May 22, 2017

KKK claims it burned crosses in Lancaster County (but nobody else saw it)

Hate Groups KKK
Cross burning Screengrab from East Coast Knights website/Gallery

The East Coast Knights of the Ku Klux Klan's website features several cross-burning pictures datelined Pennsylvania but offering no indication of whether they were taken at the May 20, 2017 event it claims occurred.

If a cross is burned in a rural area and no one is around to independently verify it happened, did it really occur?

Such was the question lingering two days after the East Coast Knights of the Ku Klux Klan said they would host a “family event” featuring “one of the biggest cross lightings in a long time” in Quarryville, Lancaster County.

In the runup to Saturday, local and state law-enforcement officials said they “don’t have any reason to think this is happening,” despite an onslaught of media attention about it.

On Monday morning, PhillyVoice checked back in with Quarryville Chief Kenneth Work to see whether it did.

“I have not spoken to anyone who saw anything,” said Work, who earlier noted that it very well may occur on private property where passersby couldn’t see it.

If one’s to believe what a Stormfront.org commenter who identifies as “Klavalier” posted on Monday afternoon, that’s precisely what happened.

“It was a great cross lighting with great speakers,” said the post on the white supremacy site at 12:15 p.m. Monday. “The East Coast Knights would like to thank all Klans that came and would like to also thank the N.S.M. (National Socialist Movement) as well.”

The poster noted there was a level of deception involved in the event planning.

“After hearing that the media were gonna try to come we sent them to another part of the county away from us. Our enemies thought they were gonna cause problems thinking we were just down the street, guess again because we made them look like the idiots that they are,” read the post.

Daryle Lamont Jenkins, a local Antifa leader who diligently tracks white supremacist groups, said that Stormfront post is the only thing he’s seen that indicated the event actually occurred.

He noted, however, that Klan groups “always do these events in private so not much info comes out of them.”

A gallery on the East Coast Knights’ website included several photographs datelined “Pennsylvania” but offers no indication of when they were taken. An email to the group went unreturned on Monday.

While we may never know whether a cross burning took place in or near Quarryville this weekend, we do know that a “Day of Unity” counter-protest drew more than 500 people to the Lancaster County Courthouse on Saturday.