Alleged Hate Group Represented on City Statue

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- It's hard to miss the bee-hive in Public Square in Wilkes-Barre, but three weeks ago, a plaque on the statue was installed that had gone unnoticed.

Now, it's causing quite a stir.

"I feel like they are just trying to get a rise out of African Americans, and they're not going to," said Belinda Vosburgh, of Wilkes-Barre.

The plaque reads "East Coast Knights of the True Invisible Empire," which is a group that is associated with the Ku Klux Klan. The group's website's main page shares the ideology of the Klan.

"I'm biracial, so it's like weird to know it's on the square or something that we literally pass every day - just to kill time, hang out with friends, and then knowing that it's there, I don't want to be on Public Square no more," said Patty Dapis.

According to city officials, the plaque was bought in September 2016 by an individual from Venus, Texas. That person later provided an address in Nanticoke for the application. The plaque was installed three weeks ago along with other memorial plaques.

While many we spoke with say they don't appreciate the plaque being here on Public Square, it looks like it may be here to stay.

Wilkes-Barre City Administrator Rick Gazenski told Newswatch 16 in a statement that "as much as we don't like what's there, we cannot take it down. It would be unconstitutional."

"That's glorifying something that was such a horrific time for people just because it was based on their race. And that's just wrong," said Dawn Krumpfer of New Jersey.

Krumpfer is visiting Wilkes-Barre with her daughter, who will be attending Wilkes University in the fall. She says it's disappointing to see something like this on prominent display.

"If we're going to go as a nation and go forward from here, we have to stop the hate. And we're not going to stop the hate if we do things like that," said Krumpfer.

We attempted to reach the person whose name is on the city receipt for the plaque, but our calls have not been returned.

8 comments

  • fortisveritas

    🇺🇸
    Take a look at the ‘alleged hate group’ web site. If you were to substitute the words ‘white Christians’ with black, Latino, gay, Muslim, feminist, atheist, agnostic, or Buddhist; this wouldn’t have even made the news. So stop trying to make news out of nothing.
    ✝️ ☪️ 👨🏼‍🔧👨🏿‍🔧👫🏳️‍🌈

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