Lafayette celebrates diversity days after someone distributed KKK pamphlets

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LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WTHR) - The residents of Lafayette used Martin Luther King Jr. Day to show what the day really means, just a week after someone distributed pamphlets promoting the Ku Klux Klan in town.

"From a law enforcement standpoint, there is not a lot police can do because of free speech, but as the mayor of this community, I can tell you we do not support the message in those pamphlets," Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski said.

Last week, someone was distributing this flyer around Lafayette.
Last week, someone was distributing this flyer around Lafayette.

That was clearly evident at Monday's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebration.

Joshua Campbell, a senior at Purdue, was one of the featured speakers who referred to the pamphlets.

"It was hurtful to me. It shows not everyone shares the same sentiments of celebrating diversity and seeking continued progress and equal treatment and fair treatment of all people," Campbell said.

"Ignorance is going to be ignorance. They do not have a timeline. They will try to do terrible things and it's important for people who don't involve themselves in that know those things exist and stay focused on things like education and good things going on in this world and ways you can do good things. That is what I focus on," said Ja'Niah Downing, senior assistant director of Admissions for Diversity and Inclusion at Purdue.

"That message is one of hate that we don't condone here. We are a warm welcoming community. We hate to see that and want to make it clear this is not a community that supports that," Roswarski added.

It was just a few days ago when someone was passing out KKK pamphlets near the corner of Main and 5th streets, but Monday, that pamphlet had been replaced by one with a message of hope.