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I warn citizens about the risk of traveling to certain parts of northeast Connecticut due to the activities of white supremacy sympathizer organizations in those areas. Based on an article in Monday’s Chronicle, officials from the towns of Scotland and Hampton and two Town of Windham employees are seen with a Confederate flag at a party. One of the elected officials claimed the atmosphere at the party was one of patriotism, not racism. However, for many residents of the area, the Confederate flag waving at Ku Klux Klan rallies is a symbol of racism, bigotry and human repression. With a non-distant past of KKK rallies in the Scotland area, this incident reopen old wounds.

The number of hate groups in the United States has ticked up since the 2016 presidential campaign began, according to classifications of groups from the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based nonprofit activist group that tracks civil rights and hate crimes. The election of Donald Trump as the nation’s 45th president has been followed by a wave of reports of racially and ethnically motivated acts of intimidation and hatred both nationwide and in Connecticut, but spotty law enforcement data could limit our ability to fully understand the subject. The FBI released annual hate-crime statistics for 2015 last week, and a number of news organizations used the report to conclude hate crimes had risen 6.8 percent from 2014 to 2015.

James Flores



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