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The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) has embarked a massive membership drive after Dylann Storm Roof alarmed America by committing a hate crime, killing nine Charleston residents. Nationwide, cities have reported a host of Klan fliers appearing on the lawns of residents. The fliers, which include contact information for the Klan’s Loyal White Knights, were enclosed in plastic baggies accompanied with Tootsie Rolls and peppermint candy.
Law enforcement is not taking this lightly, some police departments have even contacted the FBI for help. The sheriff’s department in Rockdale County is investigating the possibility of criminal charges associated with the KKK’s actions and have collected nearly 100 fliers in the area. In response to the recruiting spree, Sheriff Eric Levett said it does not matter if it was from an organization or a joke; the fact that it was done during this sensitive time is cowardly and ignorant.
The KKK, which first emerged after the Civil War, is a known racist and anti-Semitic movement. They were America’s first true terrorist group. The Klan has a history of extreme violence when attempting to achieve its goals of white supremacy and racial segregation. There are multiple right-wing hate groups in existence in the USA, but the Klan has the most national and local organizations worldwide.
The Ku Klux Klan has endured many cycles of collapse and growth but maintained a dual heritage of violence and hate. Frank Ancona, the leader of the Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK based in Virginia, said he is tired of a few Klansmen destroying the organization’s reputation. The imperial Wizard maintains it is a Christian organization which is non-violent. Ancona added:
We do not hate people because of their race; we are a Christian organization. All Klansmen are supposed to be murderers and terrorists who want to lynch black people because of the acts of a few rogue Klansmen. That is a complete falsehood. We just want to keep our race white and wanting to maintain white supremacy it is not a hateful thing.
History proves that more than a few Klansmen have stained the organization’s reputation. The Loyal White Knights of the Klan based in North Carolina celebrated Roof, on a recorded message, for his actions with claims that he did what the Bible commands. A message ended by stating:
They have spilled our blood too long and it is about time someone spilled theirs. White Power!
According to Robert Jones of North Carolina’s Royal White Knights, the organization is on a national recruitment drive that has coincidentally embarked around the time of the Charleston murders. In lieu of all the media attention surrounding Roof and the Confederate flag, the KKK wants to let others know the organization is alive and well in communities from the East Coast to the West Coast. Jones, who called it a racial war against whites, stated:
The more the media pushes multiculturalism down our throat, the more you are going to see killings like this. I support Roof’s crime, but would have preferred he shot the correct people, such as drug dealers rather than churchgoers.
Roof, who was heavily influenced by white supremacy groups such as the Klan, is obsessed with black on white crime and calls slavery a myth. Days after he murdered the “Charleston9” a manifesto written by Roof, which sheds light on the shooter’s twisted thinking and hatred for non-whites, was found. A portion of the declaration read:
I have no choice. I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. I chose Charleston because it is the most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.
Captain Rod Howell, of the Mayes County sheriff’s department, said the timing of the Klan’s recruiting spree is no coincidence. He believes they are soliciting as many as they can to help fuel the fire. Across the country, the KKK has embarked upon a massive hunt to increase membership after the Charleston massacre. People were horrified to find the hate bags were filled with candy in efforts to attract and poison the minds of children. Law enforcement has reached out to the FBI for support and is investigating the possibility of criminal charges.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Daily Beast: The Klan’s Vile Post-Charleston Recruiting Spree
Anti-Defamation League: About the Ku Klux Klan
Daily Beast: Dylann Roof’s Racist Manifesto Is Chilling
Huffington Post: KKK Leader Disputes Hate Group Label
Images Courtesy of Martin – Flickr License