KKK "pure evil": Townsville bishop

Saying he had not heard of a local link to the Ku Klux Klan, Townsville Bishop Michael Putney has described the US-founded group's record as "pure evil" and said he hoped local people would not be so foolish as to get involved.

The Townsville Bulletin reports that a Ku Klux Klan cell is rumoured to be operating from a Castle Hill address, sparking fear within Townsville's Aboriginal community.

It follows reports there is a recruitment drive occurring for the white supremacist group across the state.

A Cairns-based KKK member went public on national television this week revealing the White Legion Knights group was operating in the city and in other parts of the State.

The man appeared via phone with his voice digitally distorted but photographs were shown illustrating the group with an Australian flag.

The Bulletin also discovered that a separate body known as Stormfront was allegedly meeting at a Townsville address in the upmarket Castle Hill area.

It follows reports earlier this year the group was handing out leaflets across the state and that Townsville had been targeted along with Toowoomba, Rockhampton and Cairns.

The group runs under the tag 'White Pride World Wide'.

Currajong Aboriginal woman Pauline Geary said it was old news and stories had been circling for a long time that they were meeting somewhere in Castle Hill.

"We want respect in our own country and we are not getting it," Mrs Geary said.

"There is not enough happening on stamping it out. I don't have faith in the police but this is an illegal operation, isn't it?"

Aboriginal activist Gracelyn Smallwood also wasn't surprised by the news and revealed she was happy it had publicly come out.

She argued it would bring international attention, like the Hurley case, and show that Townsville and Australia was racist.

"This is what I have been fighting for 40 years, my father for 50 and the grandparents before him. It's a 220-year fight for the very issue of racism," Ms Smallwood said.

"The thing is now what are we going to do about it? It's not what the Aboriginal community is going to do, it's what are non-indigenous people going to do about it?

Catholic Bishop Michael Putney said he had never heard of a Townsville link and he hoped people would have more sense than to get involved.

"To get tied up with something that kind of carries the name of a group that did such terrible things in the United States, it wouldn't make sense that anyone would identify with a group with that name," Bishop Putney said.

"I find it very hard to think anyone would be so foolish. It would be very sad people who do that."

He told the Bulletin that the track record of the group was 'pure evil'.

Fear of KKK cell (Townsville Bulletin, 4/7/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Ku Klux Klan (Wikipedia)
Townsville diocese

Toowoomba diocese douses concerns over KKK (CathNews, 9/3/07)

5 Jul 2007