KKK flags fly outside 2 mobile homes, flag owner speaks out - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

KKK flags fly outside 2 mobile homes, flag owner speaks out

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A mobile homeowner who has a KKK flag flying in his front yard. A mobile homeowner who has a KKK flag flying in his front yard.

WEST BOCA RATON, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida homeowner is defending his rights after residents reacted to Ku Klux Klan flags seen flying outside two mobile homes.

Not one, but two homes in a West Boca Raton neighborhood has flags associated with the Ku Klux Klan in their front yards. The mobile homes, located within a block of each other, west of 441, along Sandalfoot Boulevard, in unincorporated Southwestern Palm Beach County, are raising neighbors' eyebrows.

One of the flags was taken down Tuesday night, but the homeowner said he would put it back up Wednesday morning, and he did. When asked why he put the flags back up after negative reaction from neighbors, the homeowner responded, "Because it's my right, I can."

After ignoring multiple questions from a 7News reporter, the mobile homeowner became flustered and said, "I said enough yesterday. Like I said, I just woke up, so leave me alone."

Tuesday, outside the other mobile home, there was a sign that read, "Members Wanted." Carolyn Jones lives inside that home. She said, "If you want to join, you join. If you don't, you don't. It's not for everyone, and everyone joins for their own reasons. It's not to be mean or show hate."

No show of hate according to Jones' home, but her home also has a noose outside in the front yard. "There's not burning of the crosses when you join. There's no hate, you know? You don't have to have prejudice or anything else to join. It's none of that. It's nothing about that," said Jones.

Asked about the noose, the homeowner said, "That's cause I don't have a big tree in my backyard to hang it from."

Asked if she would allow a Hispanic or an African-American person to join, she responded, "Umm ... I don't really know much about it, but I don't think so. African-American community they have their beliefs and their own little things. Muslims, they have their synagogue and mosque and everything else. Why can't a white person have this?" said Jones.

Several blocks from Jones, there is that other home that displays the same KKK flag but also a warning that read: "Warning: Mess with the Klan and the results will be ugly! Knights of the Ku Klux Klan."

This owner said the two are not affiliated. Asked if she was part of that other person's organization, Jones responded, "No. No."

Resident Margaret Martin, who lives across the street, has been living in fear. "It's like I'm going back in time. Like what my ancestors and family went through, so do I have to worry if I'm gonna get a burnt cross on my lawn?" said Martin.

The American Civil Liberties Union said condo or trailer park associations can ban the flying flags, but must ban all, not just one type. "You could own the property, but still within that common area, so I think he would be out on that situation," said the ACLU's Barry Butin. "As opposed to having a private home out in Davie or Southwest Ranches where you have two acres, you could probably fly those flags."

School kids walking home see the flags and noose everyday but one man think they are oblivious to the meaning behind it. "Kids think Ku Klux Klan is cool. You know, all of the reality TV shows, we all know people like whatever is cool, but I think they have a right to fly it," said freedom of speech advocate Daniel Hamble.

Neighbor Larry Gray, however, wants to see the flag removed. "Anyone can say whatever they want; I just don't happen to like it."

Another neighbor said, "I saw it once I pulled up."

Asked what he thought of it, he responded plainly: "They're racist."

Teens who live in the neighborhood said the man who lives in the trailer has tried to recruit them to join the KKK. "He said, 'Read these articles,' like, KKK books," said Devin Heilberg.

According to a neighbor, the KKK members are trying to recruit young children. They have 13 and 14-year-olds handing out flyers, the neighbor said.

According to the homeowner, he said he's not doing anything wrong and his actions are protected under the First Amendment. "I'm not saying any message. The same thing with the Puerto Rican flag; he's proud of his heritage, I'm proud of mine," said the homeowner.

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