The hacker group known only as Anonymous vows to unhood 1,000 members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in November. After watching the KKK for such a long time, the hacktivist group feels that releasing the names of the “unknown” members is the right thing to do. During a maneuver called Operation KKK, the organization will also release names of members that come from groups that are affiliated with the Klan.
This virtual war began last November when a local chapter of the KKK warned Ferguson demonstrators that they had “awakened a sleeping giant” and issued violent threats to the activists. After learning of the intended violence, Anonymous responded by declaring war on the Klan. The hacktivist group took charge of the Twitter account belonging to the white supremacist group and reportedly still has control of the social media account. They replaced the KKK’s logo with their own to show their possession.
The grassroots-style organization popped up on the scene about 12 years ago. They have successfully targeted some of the most controversial organizations and people by hacking into online accounts to release information which had previously been kept hidden. In times past, Anonymous targeted Westboro Baptist Church and child pornography rings, along with many others. Now, the organization has vowed to unhood up to 1,000 KKK members and release their names to the public.
Anonymous considers the Klan to be a group of terrorists and wants to expose them for who they really are. The practice of revealing someone’s identity online is usually considered an abomination to the culture of the hacktivist group, but they appear to have made an exception to this rule when it comes to removing the hoods of KKK members. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), this white supremacy group, which was founded after the civil war, is considered America’s oldest hate group. During its prime, around the 1920s, the KKK had as many as four million members; today its membership is estimated to have no more than 8,000.
The activist group believes applying transparency to the organization is not only appropriate but the only right course of action. They called the Klan an abhorrent and criminal-minded group of people who has had blood on their hands for nearly 200 years. Although African-Americans have typically been the Klan’s primary target, it also has attacked gays and lesbians, immigrants, Jews, and, until recently, Catholics. Anonymous sent a warning to the white supremacy group to inform members that their privacy no longer exists in cyberspace. The activist group wrote:
You are more than extremists. You are more than a hate group. You operate much more like terrorists and you should be recognized as such. You are terrorists that hide your identities beneath sheets and infiltrate society on every level. You continue to inflict civil rights violations, commit violent crimes and solicit others to commit violent criminal acts. You seek to intimidate and/or eliminate those that are different from you and those that you dislike by any means possible. You seek to terrorize anyone and anything that you feel is a threat to your narrow view of the American way of life.
The activist group maintains that it is unjust for the American public to be subjected to or victimized by hate groups. Anonymous promised to always stand with the citizens of this great country and to wage war against injustice and oppression. Anonymous believes it is a civic responsibility of humanity to be conscious and self-critical of the society in order to improve upon the shape of things to come. The group explained it is unfortunate that anyone would disagree with their actions when they are only trying to change the world for the better.
The hacktivist group has vowed to unhood up to 1,000 Klan members and asked people to support their efforts by legally raising awareness of Operation KKK. This can be done through sharing thoughts and ideas about the hate group on Twitter and other social media platforms by including the hashtags #OpKKK and #HoodsOff. Anonymous believes their cause is noble and a part of their civic duties to bring to light the darker parts of society.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
SPLC: Ku Klux Klan
A Non-Intel Group: Press Release
Fox News: Anonymous intends to unveil names of up to 1,000 Ku Klux Klan members
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Inline Image Courtesy of J.A. Paredes – Flickr License
Featured Image Courtesy of Martin – Flickr License