Jody King, who grew up in Warwick, attended Pilgrim High School, served in the US Marine Corps and these days is most recognized for quahogging and his love of the Bay has encountered racism on …
Jody King, who grew up in Warwick, attended Pilgrim High School, served in the US Marine Corps and these days is most recognized for quahogging and his love of the Bay has encountered racism on occasion and in some cases dealt with it directly, but not until last Thursday did he feel uncomfortable living where he does in Oakland Beach.
Early Thursday, King left his house to walk to the marina where he keeps his boat when he saw a flyer about 5x7 inches lying in the street next to his truck. He picked it up and started reading. In part it reads, “above all, we stand for the security and prosperity of white New Englanders. Our motivations to carry out this mission do not come from a place of hatred, but love for our own people. No one else will protect us.”
He looked around and realized he was holding one of scores of flyers that had been broadcast on his street in what seemed like a distribution targeted at him and a neighbor who lived down the street with mixed-race daughters. He checked neighboring streets off Pequot Drive and didn’t see any flyers.
King was mildly irritated until he called a TV news reporter he has known for years. She told him to call the State Police and the Attorney General that this was a possible hate crime. The flyers suddenly went from being a prank to something far more serious.
Warwick Police responded and King handed over the flyers he collected. That afternoon Warwick Chief Col. Brad Connor said he doesn’t believe the incident to be linked to the distribution of anti-Semitic flyers that were individually enclosed in plastic sandwich bags with pellets that some people thought was rat poison, but turned out to be wood stove pellets. Police put out photographs of those flyers along with photos of two cars thought to have used in their distribution. King said those flyers were dropped on properties belonging to Jews as well as others. They were not distributed on his street.
Connor pointed out the flyers picked up by King claim to come from a New England social club of nationalists. The flyer says the group is focused on building a network of likeminded men and women dedicated to defending their lands and their people. “We oppose the criminal anti-American & anti-white street gangs such as MS13, Black Lives Matter and Antifa. We are for us. By us. And against those against us.”
“There are two ways to deal with bullies,” says King. He prefers to have “discussions” with them but if he has to, he’ll fight. In this case there is no one to confront. He views the dissemination of flyers as cowardly.
Yet he feels uneasy with what has happened. He’s not comfortable leaving his house, fearing if something was to happen it could harm his wife and pets.
King has faced racism from a young age.
“I’ve been beaten and stabbed in Warwick.”
The stabbing occurred when he stopped in for a beer at the Shack on his way home from work more than 35 years ago. King was 18 or 19 (the minimum age for the consumption of alcohol was 18 at the time). As King sat at the bar, he noticed a man at the end of the bar with a near empty glass in front of him. King didn’t recognize the man but told the bartender to get him a beer. When the beer arrived the man slid over to the stool next to King, demanding to know with the use of a lot of expletives, what he thought he was doing. At the same time he pulled out a knife and sliced at King’s side. Fortunately, King was wearing a leather coat with a heavy lining. The knife cut the coat but not King.
The bartender grabbed the man, threw him out and threatened to kill him if he returned, King said.
King said a lot has happened during his life but, “if you ever scorn me in a racial way I’ll remember it.”
King said one of his college teachers remarked on his ability “to defuse a room.” King explains he makes a point of meeting people, talking with people and not prejudging them.
“I’m here and I’m not a bad guy,” he says.
He recognizes “there are bad apples everywhere…but you don’t let it defeat you.”
On Thursday, King took his frustration out on the quahogs. Despite the windy and rough conditions he raked in “583 pieces in three hours.” When he got home he called the Attorney General. He aims to pursue this.
He said he lives by the saying he has on his card, “Good, better, best…never let it rest until good is better and better is best.”
Reached on Monday for an update on the police investigation, Col. Brad wrote in an email: “We are working closely with the US Attorney’s Office and the FBI to provide them with all the evidence that we have. It’s likely that if any charges come out of this investigation it will be at the federal level and may take more time.”
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