ROME, NY – People in the Rome community responded to KKK pamphlets and flyers that were left on doorsteps in the town of Lee with candlelight vigils on Saturday.
The first vigil was held at Delta United Methodist Church, located a short distance from where the literature was left behind.
20 to 30 people gathered on the lawn of the church to pray and sing songs like “We Shall Overcome.”
Pastor Brian Lothridge of the Rome First Methodist Church says they wish to meet the message of hate with a message of love.
“When the KKK comes knocking at our doorstep, evil has entered our community. We’re called by our baptism to show up and resist that and offer the counter-narrative of love.”
A slightly larger vigil, with about 40 to 50 people, took place on the Griffo Green, located behind Rome City Hall.
They lit candles, sang songs, and let it be known how they felt about the recent KKK activity.
“I just wanted to get people together to let groups like the KKK know that they are not welcome here,” says Cam Tien, who helped organize the City Hall vigil.
“Their hate against fellow human beings is not welcome in the city of Rome or the surrounding areas.”