Archive for the ‘Ku Klux Klan’ Category

Georgia’s high court rules in favor of Ku Klux Klan in …

ATLANTA Dismissing an appeal on a technicality, Georgia’s highest court granted a victory to a Ku Klux Klan group that has been seeking for years to participate in a highway cleanup program.

The Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the state’s appeal of a lower court decision that the state had violated the KKK group’s free speech rights. The Department of Transportation filed its appeal incorrectly, leaving the high court without authority to consider its merits, the opinion said.

The state attorney general’s office, which represents the department, is reviewing the decision and considering its options, spokesman Nicholas Genesi said in an email.

The north Georgia KKK group applied to join the state’s Adopt-A-Highway program in May 2012, hoping to pick up litter along part of Route 515 in the Appalachian Mountains. The program was started in 1989 to get volunteers to clean up sections of roads in the state. In exchange, the Department of Transportation posts a sponsorship sign along the road with the program logo and the volunteer group’s name.

The state Department of Transportation, which runs the program, denied the KKK group’s application, saying its program was aimed at “civic-minded organizations in good standing” and citing what it called the KKK’s “long-rooted history of civil disturbance” and the “potential for social unrest.”

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation sued on behalf of the KKK group in September 2012, arguing that the state violated the group’s right to free speech.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Shawn Ellen LaGrua agreed and ruled in the group’s favor in November 2014, saying the KKK’s group’s application was treated differently than others and that “viewpoint-based discrimination” is not allowed under the Georgia Constitution.

The state appealed, arguing that the KKK group’s arguments were barred by the principle of sovereign immunity, which shields the state and its agencies from being sued in their official capacity unless the General Assembly waives that protection.

The Department of Transportation didn’t have an automatic right to appeal in this case and failed to file a necessary application to appeal, leaving the high court without jurisdiction and with no choice but to dismiss the appeal, the opinion says.

Alan Begner, an attorney for the KKK group, said they are considering the ruling a victory, though he and his clients would have liked the Supreme Court to weigh in on the underlying issue of sovereign immunity in cases of constitutional challenges to government actions.

It’s not entirely clear what happens next.

The Department of Transportation adopted a moratorium on allowing any new participants in the highway cleanup program shortly after it denied the KKK group’s request. In her original ruling, LaGrua had dismissed the KKK group’s request to order the state to allow it to participate in the program. Begner said he needs to talk to the ACLU and his clients about possible next steps.

Read the original post:

Georgia’s high court rules in favor of Ku Klux Klan in …

Fair Usage Law

July 7, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

Ku Klux Klan dream of a U.S comeback as group marks 150 years …

Despite plummeting from millions of racist members in the 1920s to thousands today, the Ku Klux Klan is attempting to restore itself to the force it once was.

As it marks 150 years, the fascist group is looking to raise its hooded head once more and with the development in online communications, spreading the word has never been easier.

Prospective white supremacy members can fill in forms online to join and can get their hands on the infamous white robes for $145, or upgrade from cotton to satin for $165 – under one condition – they are white and Christian.

Klan leaflets are appearing in suburban neighborhoods all the way from the Deep South to the Northwest, there are still thousands of members actively involved and with immigration a hot topic in the U.S. presidency race, the Klan believe it is their time to shine once more.

As recently as April, the KKK met in Georgia, chanting, ‘Death to the ungodly!’, ‘Death to our enemies!’ and ‘White power!’ as they burned crosses and carried out the rituals their murdering forefathers carried out decades ago.

Scroll down for video

Klan members still gather by the dozens under starry Southern skies to set fire to crosses in the dead of night, and KKK leaflets have shown up in suburban neighborhoods from the Deep South to the Northeast in recent months

Today’s members of the KKK dream of restoring the fascist movement to what it once was – an invisible empire spreading its tentacles throughout society

Masked and hooded: New members can purchase the infamous cotton white robes online for $145 or a satin version costs $165

Born in the ashes of the smoldering South after the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan died and was reborn before losing the fight against civil rights in the 1960s.

Membership dwindled, a unified group fractured, and members went to prison for a string of murderous attacks against black people.

But today, the KKK is still alive and dreams of restoring itself to an invisible empire spreading its tentacles throughout society.

As it marks 150 years of existence, the Klan is trying to reshape itself for a new era.

Klan members still gather by the dozens under starry Southern skies to set fire to crosses in the dead of night, and KKK leaflets have shown up in suburban neighborhoods from the Deep South to the Northeast in recent months.

Perhaps most unwelcome to opponents, some independent Klan organizations say they are merging with larger groups to build strength.

‘We will work on a unified Klan and/or alliance this summer,’ said Brent Waller, imperial wizard of the United Dixie White Knights in Mississippi.

In a series of interviews, Klan leaders said they feel that U.S. politics are going their way, as a nationalist, us-against-them mentality deepens across the nation.

Stopping or limiting immigration – a desire of the Klan dating back to the 1920s – is more of a cause than ever.

And leaders say membership has gone up at the twilight of President Barack Obama’s second term in office, though few would provide numbers.

Joining the Klan is as easy as filling out an online form – provided you’re white and Christian.

Members can visit an online store to buy one of the Klan’s trademark white cotton robes for $145, though many splurge on the $165 satin version.

While the Klan has terrorized minorities during much of the last century, its leaders now present a public front that is more virulent than violent.

Leaders from several different Klan groups all said they have rules against violence aside from self-defense, and even opponents agree the KKK has toned itself down after a string of members went to prison for deadly arson attacks, beatings, bombings and shootings.

‘While today’s Klan has still been involved in atrocities, there is no way it is as violent as the Klan of the `60s,’ said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group that tracks activity by groups it considers extremist.

‘That does not mean it is some benign group that does not engage in political violence,’ he added.

Leaders from several different Klan groups all said they have rules against violence aside from self-defense, and even opponents agree the KKK has toned itself down after a string of members went to prison for deadly arson attacks, beatings, bombings and shootings

Historian David Cunningham, author of ‘Klansville, U.S.A.: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan,’ notes that while the Klan generally doesn’t openly advocate violence, ‘I do think we have the sort of “other” model of violence, which is creating a culture that supports the commission of violence in the name of these ideas.’

Klan leaders admitted most of today’s groups remain small and operate independently, kept apart by disagreements over such issues as whether to associate with neo-Nazis, hold public rallies or wear the KKK’s robes in colors other than white.

So-called ‘traditional’ Klan groups avoid public displays and practice rituals dating back a century while others post web videos dedicated to preaching against racial diversity and warning of a coming ‘white genocide’.

Women are voting members in some groups, but not in others.

Some leaders will not speak openly with the media but others do, articulating ambitious plans that include quietly building political strength.

Some groups hold annual conventions, just like civic clubs, where members gather in meeting rooms to discuss strategies that include electing Klan members to local political offices and recruiting new blood through the internet.

It’s impossible to say how many members the Klan counts today since groups don’t reveal that information, but leaders claim adherents in the thousands among scores of local groups called Klaverns.

Waller said his group is growing, as did Chris Barker, imperial wizard of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Eden, North Carolina.

‘Most Klan groups I talk to could hold a meeting in the bathroom in McDonald’s,’ Barker said.

As for his Klavern, he said, ‘Right now, I’m close to 3,800 members in my group alone.’

The Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish protection group that monitors Klan activity, describes Barker’s Loyal White Knights as the most active Klan group today, but estimates it has no more than 200 members total.

The ADL puts total Klan membership nationwide at around 3,000.

The Alabama-based SPLC says there’s no evidence the Klan is returning to the strength of its heyday.

It estimates the Klan has about 190 chapters nationally with no more than 6,000 members total, which would be a mere shadow of its estimated 2 million to 5 million members in the 1920s.

It is estimated the Klan has about 190 chapters nationally with no more than 6,000 members total, which would be a mere shadow of its estimated two to five million members in the 1920s

‘The idea of unifying the Klan like it was in the 20s is a persistent dream of the Klan, but it’s not happening,’ Potok said.

Formed just months after the end of the Civil War by six former Confederate officers in Pulaski, Tennessee, the Klan originally seemed more like a college fraternity with ceremonial robes and odd titles for its officers.

But soon, freed blacks were being terrorized, and the Klan was blamed.

Hundreds of people were assaulted or killed within the span of a few years as whites tried to regain control of the defeated Confederacy.

Congress effectively outlawed the Klan in 1871, leading to martial law in some places and thousands of arrests, and the group died.

The Klan seemed relegated to history until World War I, when it was resurrected.

It grew as waves of immigrants arrived aboard ships from Europe and elsewhere, and grew more as the NAACP challenged Jim Crow laws in the South in the 1920s.

Millions joined, including community leaders like bankers and lawyers.

The KKK grew as waves of immigrants arrived aboard ships from Europe and elsewhere encouraged millions to join, including community leaders like bankers and lawyers.

A hooded man (left) displays a hangman’s noose dangling from an automobile as a warning for black people to stay away from voting places in the municipal primary election at Miami but in spite of the threats, 616 voted; Pictured right two young boys raise their arms as a white power T-shirt is held in front of them during a Klan rally held near Benson, N.C in 1980

Members of the Ku Klux Klan, wearing traditional white hoods and robes, stand back and watch with their arms crossed after burning a 15-foot cross at Tampa, Fla, in 1939

That momentum declined, and best estimates place Klan membership at about 40,000 by the mid-’60s, the height of the civil rights movement.

Klan members were convicted of using murder as a weapon against equality in states including Mississippi and Alabama, where one Klansman remains imprisoned for planting the bomb that killed four black girls in a Birmingham church in 1963.

Cunningham, the historian, said the Klan dwindled to nearly nothing during the 1970s and `80s, when the SPLC sued the Alabama-based United Klans of America over the 1981 murder of Michael Donald, a black man whose beaten, slashed body was hanged from a tree.

In an odd twist, Donald’s mother wound up with the title to the Klan’s headquarters near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, because the group didn’t have the money to pay the $7 million judgment awarded in the SPLC suit.

KKK leader Brent Waller was raised in Laurel, Mississippi, in the shadow of the civil rights-era Klan.

He has boyhood memories of flaming crosses and of Sam Bowers, a Klan boss who served six years in prison for his role directing the murders of three civil rights workers in 1964, and who later was convicted of killing a civil rights leader in 1966.

Rather than a white robe, Waller, 47, wears a snow-white suit and orange tie when in public on Klan business and insists on donning sunglasses in photos to protect his identity.

The new breed: A member of the Ku Klux Klan uses a mobile device during cross burnings after a ‘white pride’ rally in rural Paulding County near Cedar Town (left) whileBrent Waller, Mississippi grand dragon and spokesman for the Tennessee-based imperial wizard of the United Dixie White Knights in Mississippi poses for a photograph

A man with a Nazi swastika tattooed across his shoulderblade walks during a protest at Stone Mountain Park, in Stone Mountain, Ga

Stopping immigration, not blocking minority rights, is the Klan’s number one issue today, Waller said.

His group operates by the KKK rulebook called the ‘Kloran,’ which was first published in 1915.

Various versions of the book are now online, and an edition posted by the University of Wisconsin library states in part: ‘We shall ever be true in the faithful maintenance of White Supremacy and will strenuously oppose any compromise thereof in any and all things.’

The current hot-button issue for Klan members – fighting immigration and closing U.S. borders – is one of the most talked-about topics in the presidential election.

Klan leaders say Donald Trump’s immigration position and his ascendancy in the GOP are signs things are going their way.

‘You know, we began 40 years ago saying we need to build a wall,’ Arkansas-based Klan leader Thomas Robb said.

Years ago, the group Robb heads near Harrison, Arkansas, changed its name from the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to the Knights Party USA, mainly to get away from the stigma associated with the Klan name.

It now presents itself as more of a political or Christian entity.

‘There is a lot of baggage with the name,’ said Rachel Pendergraft, Robb’s daughter, who leads the group with him.

‘You say the name “KKK” and a lot of people have a narrative in their minds of what it is about, what it does. The name resonates with people, whether it is good or whether it is bad.’

Despite trying to rebrand itself in many ways, 150 years later, the Klan has not stepped away from burning crosses, though it rarely does so in public.

Instead, the ‘lightings,’ as members call them, are held on private property away from law enforcement and demonstrators.

In April, Klan members and other white supremacists held two rallies on the same warm Saturday in Georgia.

As the sun set, about 60 robed Klan members and others holding flaming torches gathered in a huge circle in a field in northwest Georgia to set a cross and Nazi swastika afire.

‘White power!’ they chanted in unison.

‘Death to the ungodly! Death to our enemies!’

Read the original:

Ku Klux Klan dream of a U.S comeback as group marks 150 years …

Fair Usage Law

July 1, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

At 150, KKK sees opportunities in US political trends

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Born in the ashes of the smoldering South after the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan died and was reborn before losing the fight against civil rights in the 1960s. Membership dwindled, a unified group fractured, and one-time members went to prison for a string of murderous attacks against blacks. Many assumed the group was dead, a white-robed ghost of hate and violence.

Yet today, the KKK is still alive and dreams of restoring itself to what it once was: an invisible white supremacist empire spreading its tentacles throughout society. As it marks 150 years of existence, the Klan is trying to reshape itself for a new era

Klan members still gather by the dozens under starry Southern skies to set fire to crosses in the dead of night, and KKK leaflets have shown up in suburban neighborhoods from the Deep South to the Northeast in recent months. Perhaps most unwelcome to opponents, some independent Klan organizations say they are merging with larger groups to build strength.

“We will work on a unified Klan and/or alliance this summer,” said Brent Waller, imperial wizard of the United Dixie White Knights in Mississippi.

In a series of interviews with The Associated Press, Klan leaders said they feel that U.S. politics are going their way, as a nationalist, us-against-them mentality deepens across the nation. Stopping or limiting immigration a desire of the Klan dating back to the 1920s is more of a cause than ever. And leaders say membership has gone up at the twilight of President Barack Obama’s second term in office, though few would provide numbers.

Joining the Klan is as easy as filling out an online form provided you’re white and Christian. Members can visit an online store to buy one of the Klan’s trademark white cotton robes for $145, though many splurge on the $165 satin version.

While the Klan has terrorized minorities during much of the last century, its leaders now present a public front that is more virulent than violent. Leaders from several different Klan groups all said they have rules against violence aside from self-defense, and even opponents agree the KKK has toned itself down after a string of members went to prison years after the fact for deadly arson attacks, beatings, bombings and shootings.

“While today’s Klan has still been involved in atrocities, there is no way it is as violent as the Klan of the ’60s,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group that tracks activity by groups it considers extremist. “That does not mean it is some benign group that does not engage in political violence,” he added.

Historian David Cunningham, author of “Klansville, U.S.A.: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan,” notes that while the Klan generally doesn’t openly advocate violence, “I do think we have the sort of ‘other’ model of violence, which is creating a culture that supports the commission of violence in the name of these ideas.”

Klan leaders told the AP that most of today’s groups remain small and operate independently, kept apart by disagreements over such issues as whether to associate with neo-Nazis, hold public rallies or wear the KKK’s trademark robes in colors other than white.

So-called “traditional” Klan groups avoid public displays and practice rituals dating back a century; others post web videos dedicated to preaching against racial diversity and warning of a coming “white genocide.” Women are voting members in some groups, but not in others. Some leaders will not speak openly with the media but others do, articulating ambitious plans that include quietly building political strength.

Some groups hold annual conventions, just like civic clubs. Members gather in meeting rooms to discuss strategies that include electing Klan members to local political offices and recruiting new blood through the internet.

It’s impossible to say how many members the Klan counts today since groups don’t reveal that information, but leaders claim adherents in the thousands among scores of local groups called Klaverns. Waller said his group is growing, as did Chris Barker, imperial wizard of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Eden, North Carolina.

“Most Klan groups I talk to could hold a meeting in the bathroom in McDonald’s,” Barker said. As for his Klavern, he said, “Right now, I’m close to 3,800 members in my group alone.”

The Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish protection group that monitors Klan activity, describes Barker’s Loyal White Knights as the most active Klan group today, but estimates it has no more than 200 members total. The ADL puts total Klan membership nationwide at around 3,000.

The Alabama-based SPLC says there’s no evidence the Klan is returning to the strength of its heyday. It estimates the Klan has about 190 chapters nationally with no more than 6,000 members total, which would be a mere shadow of its estimated 2 million to 5 million members in the 1920s.

“The idea of unifying the Klan like it was in the ’20s is a persistent dream of the Klan, but it’s not happening,” Potok said.

Formed just months after the end of the Civil War by six former Confederate officers in Pulaski, Tennessee, the Klan originally seemed more like a college fraternity with ceremonial robes and odd titles for its officers. But soon, freed blacks were being terrorized, and the Klan was blamed. Hundreds of people were assaulted or killed within the span of a few years as whites tried to regain control of the defeated Confederacy. Congress effectively outlawed the Klan in 1871, leading to martial law in some places and thousands of arrests, and the group died.

The Klan seemed relegated to history until World War I, when it was resurrected. It grew as waves of immigrants arrived aboard ships from Europe and elsewhere, and grew more as the NAACP challenged Jim Crow laws in the South in the 1920s. Millions joined, including community leaders like bankers and lawyers.

That momentum declined, and best estimates place Klan membership at about 40,000 by the mid-’60s, the height of the civil rights movement. Klan members were convicted of using murder as a weapon against equality in states including Mississippi and Alabama, where one Klansman remains imprisoned for planting the bomb that killed four black girls in a Birmingham church in 1963.

Cunningham, the historian, said the Klan dwindled to nearly nothing during the 1970s and ’80s, when the SPLC sued the Alabama-based United Klans of America over the 1981 murder of Michael Donald, a black man whose beaten, slashed body was hanged from a tree. In an odd twist, Donald’s mother wound up with the title to the Klan’s headquarters near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, because the group didn’t have the money to pay the $7 million judgment awarded in the SPLC suit.

KKK leader Brent Waller was raised in Laurel, Mississippi, in the shadow of the civil rights-era Klan. He has boyhood memories of flaming crosses and of Sam Bowers, a Klan boss who served six years in prison for his role directing the murders of three civil rights workers in 1964, and who later was convicted of killing a civil rights leader in 1966.

Rather than a white robe, Waller, 47, wears a snow-white suit and orange tie when in public on Klan business and insists on donning sunglasses in photos to protect his identity.

Stopping immigration, not blocking minority rights, is the Klan’s No. 1 issue today, Waller said. His group operates by the KKK rulebook called the “Kloran,” which was first published in 1915. Various versions of the book are now online, and an edition posted by the University of Wisconsin library states in part: “We shall ever be true in the faithful maintenance of White Supremacy and will strenuously oppose any compromise thereof in any and all things.”

The current hot-button issue for Klan members fighting immigration and closing U.S. borders is one of the most talked-about topics in the presidential election. Klan leaders say Donald Trump’s immigration position and his ascendancy in the GOP are signs things are going their way.

“You know, we began 40 years ago saying we need to build a wall,” Arkansas-based Klan leader Thomas Robb said.

Years ago, the group Robb heads near Harrison, Arkansas, changed its name from the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to the Knights Party USA, mainly to get away from the stigma associated with the Klan name. It now presents itself as more of a political or Christian entity.

“There is a lot of baggage with the name,” said Rachel Pendergraft, Robb’s daughter, who leads the group with him. “You say the name ‘KKK’ and a lot of people have a narrative in their minds of what it is about, what it does. The name resonates with people, whether it is good or whether it is bad.”

Despite trying to rebrand itself in many ways, 150 years later, the Klan has not stepped away from burning crosses, though it rarely does so in public. Instead, the “lightings,” as members call them, are held on private property away from law enforcement and demonstrators.

In April, Klan members and other white supremacists held two rallies on the same warm Saturday in Georgia. As the sun set, about 60 robed Klan members and others holding flaming torches gathered in a huge circle in a field in northwest Georgia to set a cross and Nazi swastika afire.

“White power!” they chanted in unison.

“Death to the ungodly! Death to our enemies!”

___

Associated Press writer Ryan Phillips in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and AP photographer Mike Stewart in Rome, Georgia, contributed to this report.

Continue reading here:

At 150, KKK sees opportunities in US political trends

Fair Usage Law

July 1, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

Ku Klux Klan dreams of rising again 150 years after founding

The Associated Press In this Saturday, April 23, 2016 photo, members of the Ku Klux Klan participate in cross burnings after a “white pride” rally in rural Paulding County near Cedar Town, Ga. Born in the ashes of the smoldering South after the Civil War, the KKK died and was reborn before losing the fight against civil rights in the 1960s. Membership dwindled, a unified group fractured, and one-time members went to prison for a string of murderous attacks against blacks. Many assumed the group was dead, a white-robed ghost of hate and violence. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Born in the ashes of the smoldering South after the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan died and was reborn before losing the fight against civil rights in the 1960s. Membership dwindled, a unified group fractured, and one-time members went to prison for a string of murderous attacks against blacks. Many assumed the group was dead, a white-robed ghost of hate and violence.

Yet today, the KKK is still alive and dreams of restoring itself to what it once was: an invisible empire spreading its tentacles throughout society. As it marks 150 years of existence, the Klan is trying to reshape itself for a new era.

Klan members still gather by the dozens under starry Southern skies to set fire to crosses in the dead of night, and KKK leaflets have shown up in suburban neighborhoods from the Deep South to the Northeast in recent months. Perhaps most unwelcome to opponents, some independent Klan organizations say they are merging with larger groups to build strength.

In a series of interviews with The Associated Press, Klan leaders said they feel that U.S. politics are going their way, as a nationalist, us-against-them mentality deepens across the nation. Stopping or limiting immigration a desire of the Klan dating back to the 1920s is more of a cause than ever. And leaders say membership has gone up at the twilight of President Barack Obama’s second term in office.

Joining the Klan is as easy as filling out an online form provided you’re white and Christian. Members can visit an online store to buy one of the Klan’s trademark white cotton robes for $145, though many splurge on the $165 satin version.

While the Klan has terrorized minorities during much of the last century, its leaders now present a public front that is more virulent than violent. Leaders from several different Klan groups all said they have rules against violence aside from self-defense, and even opponents agree the KKK has toned itself down after a string of members went to prison years after the fact for deadly arson attacks, beatings, bombings and shootings.

“While today’s Klan has still been involved in atrocities, there is no way it is as violent as the Klan of the ’60s,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group that tracks activity by groups it considers extremist.

“That does not mean it is some benign group that does not engage in political violence,” he added.

Klan leaders told the AP that most of today’s groups remain small and operate independently, kept apart by disagreements over such issues as whether to associate with neo-Nazis, hold public rallies or wear the KKK’s trademark robes in colors other than white.

It’s impossible to say how many members the Klan counts today since groups don’t reveal that information, but leaders claim adherents in the thousands among scores of local groups called Klaverns.

“Most Klan groups I talk to could hold a meeting in the bathroom in McDonald’s,” said Chris Barker, imperial wizard of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Eden, North Carolina. As for his Klavern, he said, “Right now, I’m close to 3,800 members in my group alone.”

The Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish protection group that monitors Klan activity, describes Barker’s Loyal White Knights as the most active group today, but estimates it has no more than 200 members. The ADL puts total Klan membership nationwide at around 3,000.

The Alabama-based SPLC estimates the Klan has about 190 chapters nationally with no more than 6,000 members total, which would be a mere shadow of its estimated 2 million to 5 million members in the 1920s.

“The idea of unifying the Klan like it was in the ’20s is a persistent dream of the Klan, but it’s not happening,” Potok said.

Formed just months after the end of the Civil War by six former Confederate officers, the Klan originally seemed more like a college fraternity with ceremonial robes and odd titles for its officers. But soon, freed blacks were being terrorized, and the Klan was blamed. Hundreds of people were assaulted or killed as whites tried to regain control of the defeated Confederacy. Congress effectively outlawed the Klan in 1871, and the group died.

The Klan seemed relegated to history until World War I, but it was resurrected as waves of immigrants arrived from Europe and elsewhere, and grew more as the NAACP challenged the South’s Jim Crow laws in the 1920s. Millions joined, including community leaders like bankers and lawyers.

That momentum declined, and best estimates place membership at about 40,000 by the mid-’60s, the height of the civil rights movement. Klan members were convicted of using murder as a weapon against equality in states including Mississippi and Alabama, where one Klansman remains imprisoned for planting the bomb that killed four black girls in a Birmingham church in 1963.

KKK leader Brent Waller, imperial wizard of the United Dixie White Knights in Mississippi, said stopping immigration not blocking minority rights is the Klan’s No. 1 issue today.

And other Klan leaders say Donald Trump’s ascendancy in the GOP is a sign things are going their way.

“You know, we began 40 years ago saying we need to build a wall,” Arkansas-based Klan leader Thomas Robb said.

Despite trying to rebrand itself, the Klan has not stepped away from burning crosses. As the sun set on a warm Saturday in April, Klan members gathered in a huge circle in a northwest Georgia field to set a cross and Nazi swastika afire.

“White power!” they chanted in unison.

“Death to the ungodly! Death to our enemies!”

___

Associated Press writer Ryan Phillips in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and AP photographer Mike Stewart in Rome, Georgia, contributed to this report.

Continue reading here:

Ku Klux Klan dreams of rising again 150 years after founding

Fair Usage Law

July 1, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

The Ku Klux Klan is slowly rising again | New York Post

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Born in the ashes of the smoldering South after the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan died and was reborn before losing the fight against civil rights in the 1960s. Membership dwindled, a unified group fractured, and one-time members went to prison for a string of murderous attacks against blacks. Many assumed the group was dead, a white-robed ghost of hate and violence.

Yet today, the KKK is still alive and dreams of restoring itself to what it once was: an invisible empire spreading its tentacles throughout society. As it marks 150 years of existence, the Klan is trying to reshape itself for a new era.

Klan members still gather by the dozens under starry Southern skies to set fire to crosses in the dead of night, and KKK leaflets have shown up in suburban neighborhoods from the Deep South to the Northeast in recent months. Perhaps most unwelcome to opponents, some independent Klan organizations say they are merging with larger groups to build strength.

We will work on a unified Klan and/or alliance this summer, said Brent Waller, imperial wizard of the United Dixie White Knights in Mississippi.

In a series of interviews with the Associated Press, Klan leaders said they feel that US politics are going their way, as a nationalist, us-against-them mentality deepens across the nation. Stopping or limiting immigration a desire of the Klan dating back to the 1920s is more of a cause than ever. And leaders say membership has gone up at the twilight of President Barack Obamas second term in office, though few would provide numbers.

Joining the Klan is as easy as filling out an online form provided youre white and Christian. Members can visit an online store to buy one of the Klans trademark white cotton robes for $145, though many splurge on the $165 satin version.

While the Klan has terrorized minorities during much of the last century, its leaders now present a public front that is more virulent than violent. Leaders from several different Klan groups all said they have rules against violence aside from self-defense, and even opponents agree the KKK has toned itself down after a string of members went to prison years after the fact for deadly arson attacks, beatings, bombings and shootings.

While todays Klan has still been involved in atrocities, there is no way it is as violent as the Klan of the 60s, said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group that tracks activity by groups it considers extremist. That does not mean it is some benign group that does not engage in political violence, he added.

Historian David Cunningham, author of Klansville, U.S.A.: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan, notes that while the Klan generally doesnt openly advocate violence, I do think we have the sort of other model of violence, which is creating a culture that supports the commission of violence in the name of these ideas.

Klan leaders told the AP that most of todays groups remain small and operate independently, kept apart by disagreements over such issues as whether to associate with neo-Nazis, hold public rallies or wear the KKKs trademark robes in colors other than white.

So-called traditional Klan groups avoid public displays and practice rituals dating back a century; others post web videos dedicated to preaching against racial diversity and warning of a coming white genocide. Women are voting members in some groups, but not in others. Some leaders will not speak openly with the media but others do, articulating ambitious plans that include quietly building political strength.

Some groups hold annual conventions, just like civic clubs. Members gather in meeting rooms to discuss strategies that include electing Klan members to local political offices and recruiting new blood through the internet.

Its impossible to say how many members the Klan counts today since groups dont reveal that information, but leaders claim adherents in the thousands among scores of local groups called Klaverns. Waller said his group is growing, as did Chris Barker, imperial wizard of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Eden, North Carolina.

Most Klan groups I talk to could hold a meeting in the bathroom in McDonalds, Barker said. As for his Klavern, he said, Right now, Im close to 3,800 members in my group alone.

The Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish protection group that monitors Klan activity, describes Barkers Loyal White Knights as the most active Klan group today, but estimates it has no more than 200 members total. The ADL puts total Klan membership nationwide at around 3,000.

The Alabama-based SPLC says theres no evidence the Klan is returning to the strength of its heyday. It estimates the Klan has about 190 chapters nationally with no more than 6,000 members total, which would be a mere shadow of its estimated 2 million to 5 million members in the 1920s.

The idea of unifying the Klan like it was in the 20s is a persistent dream of the Klan, but its not happening, Potok said.

Formed just months after the end of the Civil War by six former Confederate officers in Pulaski, Tennessee, the Klan originally seemed more like a college fraternity with ceremonial robes and odd titles for its officers. But soon, freed blacks were being terrorized, and the Klan was blamed. Hundreds of people were assaulted or killed within the span of a few years as whites tried to regain control of the defeated Confederacy. Congress effectively outlawed the Klan in 1871, leading to martial law in some places and thousands of arrests, and the group died.

The Klan seemed relegated to history until World War I, when it was resurrected. It grew as waves of immigrants arrived aboard ships from Europe and elsewhere, and grew more as the NAACP challenged Jim Crow laws in the South in the 1920s. Millions joined, including community leaders like bankers and lawyers.

That momentum declined, and best estimates place Klan membership at about 40,000 by the mid-60s, the height of the civil rights movement. Klan members were convicted of using murder as a weapon against equality in states including Mississippi and Alabama, where one Klansman remains imprisoned for planting the bomb that killed four black girls in a Birmingham church in 1963.

Cunningham, the historian, said the Klan dwindled to nearly nothing during the 1970s and 80s, when the SPLC sued the Alabama-based United Klans of America over the 1981 murder of Michael Donald, a black man whose beaten, slashed body was hanged from a tree. In an odd twist, Donalds mother wound up with the title to the Klans headquarters near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, because the group didnt have the money to pay the $7 million judgment awarded in the SPLC suit.

KKK leader Brent Waller was raised in Laurel, Mississippi, in the shadow of the civil rights-era Klan. He has boyhood memories of flaming crosses and of Sam Bowers, a Klan boss who served six years in prison for his role directing the murders of three civil rights workers in 1964, and who later was convicted of killing a civil rights leader in 1966.

Rather than a white robe, Waller, 47, wears a snow-white suit and orange tie when in public on Klan business and insists on donning sunglasses in photos to protect his identity.

Stopping immigration, not blocking minority rights, is the Klans No. 1 issue today, Waller said. His group operates by the KKK rulebook called the Kloran, which was first published in 1915. Various versions of the book are now online, and an edition posted by the University of Wisconsin library states in part: We shall ever be true in the faithful maintenance of White Supremacy and will strenuously oppose any compromise thereof in any and all things.

The current hot-button issue for Klan members fighting immigration and closing US borders is one of the most talked-about topics in the presidential election. Klan leaders say Donald Trumps immigration position and his ascendancy in the GOP are signs that things are going their way.

You know, we began 40 years ago saying we need to build a wall, Arkansas-based Klan leader Thomas Robb said.

Years ago, the group Robb heads near Harrison, Arkansas, changed its name from the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to the Knights Party USA, mainly to get away from the stigma associated with the Klan name. It now presents itself as more of a political or Christian entity.

There is a lot of baggage with the name, said Rachel Pendergraft, Robbs daughter, who leads the group with him. You say the name KKK and a lot of people have a narrative in their minds of what it is about, what it does. The name resonates with people, whether it is good or whether it is bad.

Despite trying to rebrand itself in many ways, 150 years later, the Klan has not stepped away from burning crosses, though it rarely does so in public. Instead, the lightings, as members call them, are held on private property away from law enforcement and demonstrators.

In April, Klan members and other white supremacists held two rallies on the same warm Saturday in Georgia. As the sun set, about 60 robed Klan members and others holding flaming torches gathered in a huge circle in a field in northwest Georgia to set a cross and Nazi swastika afire.

White power! they chanted in unison.

Death to the ungodly! Death to our enemies!

Read this article:

The Ku Klux Klan is slowly rising again | New York Post

Fair Usage Law

July 1, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

Ku Klux Klan at 150: Trying to reshape itself for a new era …

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Born in the ashes of the smoldering South after the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan died and was reborn before losing the fight against civil rights in the 1960s. Membership dwindled, a unified group fractured, and one-time members went to prison for a string of murderous attacks against blacks. Many assumed the group was dead, a white-robed ghost of hate and violence.

Yet today, the KKK is still alive and members dreams of restoring the group to what it once was: an invisible white supremacist empire spreading its tentacles throughout society. As it marks 150 years of existence, the Klan is trying to reshape itself for a new era.

Klan members still gather by the dozens under starry Southern skies to set fire to crosses in the dead of night, and KKK leaflets have shown up in suburban neighborhoods from the Deep South to the Northeast in recent months. Perhaps most unwelcome to opponents, some independent Klan organizations say they are merging with larger groups to build strength.

“We will work on a unified Klan and/or alliance this summer,” said Brent Waller, imperial wizard of the United Dixie White Knights in Mississippi.

In a series of interviews with The Associated Press, Klan leaders said they feel that U.S. politics are going their way, as a nationalist, us-against-them mentality deepens across the nation. Stopping or limiting immigration a desire of the Klan dating back to the 1920s is more of a cause than ever. And leaders say membership has gone up at the twilight of President Barack Obama’s second term in office, though few would provide numbers.

Joining the Klan is as easy as filling out an online form provided you’re white and Christian. Members can visit an online store to buy one of the Klan’s trademark white cotton robes for $145, though many splurge on the $165 satin version.

While the Klan has terrorized minorities during much of the last century, its leaders now present a public front that is more virulent than violent. Leaders from several different Klan groups all said they have rules against violence aside from self-defense, and even opponents agree the KKK has toned itself down after a string of members went to prison years after the fact for deadly arson attacks, beatings, bombings and shootings.

“While today’s Klan has still been involved in atrocities, there is no way it is as violent as the Klan of the ’60s,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group that tracks activity by groups it considers extremist. “That does not mean it is some benign group that does not engage in political violence,” he added.

Historian David Cunningham, author of “Klansville, U.S.A.: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan,” notes that while the Klan generally doesn’t openly advocate violence, “I do think we have the sort of ‘other’ model of violence, which is creating a culture that supports the commission of violence in the name of these ideas.”

Klan leaders told the AP that most of today’s groups remain small and operate independently, kept apart by disagreements over such issues as whether to associate with neo-Nazis, hold public rallies or wear the KKK’s trademark robes in colors other than white.

So-called “traditional” Klan groups avoid public displays and practice rituals dating back a century; others post web videos dedicated to preaching against racial diversity and warning of a coming “white genocide.” Women are voting members in some groups, but not in others. Some leaders will not speak openly with the media but others do, articulating ambitious plans that include quietly building political strength.

Some groups hold annual conventions, just like civic clubs. Members gather in meeting rooms to discuss strategies that include electing Klan members to local political offices and recruiting new blood through the internet.

It’s impossible to say how many members the Klan counts today since groups don’t reveal that information, but leaders claim adherents in the thousands among scores of local groups called Klaverns. Waller said his group is growing, as did Chris Barker, imperial wizard of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Eden, North Carolina.

“Most Klan groups I talk to could hold a meeting in the bathroom in McDonald’s,” Barker said. As for his Klavern, he said, “Right now, I’m close to 3,800 members in my group alone.”

The Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish protection group that monitors Klan activity, describes Barker’s Loyal White Knights as the most active Klan group today, but estimates it has no more than 200 members total. The ADL puts total Klan membership nationwide at around 3,000.

The Alabama-based SPLC says there’s no evidence the Klan is returning to the strength of its heyday. It estimates the Klan has about 190 chapters nationally with no more than 6,000 members total, which would be a mere shadow of its estimated 2 million to 5 million members in the 1920s.

“The idea of unifying the Klan like it was in the ’20s is a persistent dream of the Klan, but it’s not happening,” Potok said.

Formed just months after the end of the Civil War by six former Confederate officers in Pulaski, Tennessee, the Klan originally seemed more like a college fraternity with ceremonial robes and odd titles for its officers. But soon, freed blacks were being terrorized, and the Klan was blamed. Hundreds of people were assaulted or killed within the span of a few years as whites tried to regain control of the defeated Confederacy. Congress effectively outlawed the Klan in 1871, leading to martial law in some places and thousands of arrests, and the group died.

The Klan seemed relegated to history until World War I, when it was resurrected. It grew as waves of immigrants arrived aboard ships from Europe and elsewhere, and grew more as the NAACP challenged Jim Crow laws in the South in the 1920s. Millions joined, including community leaders like bankers and lawyers.

That momentum declined, and best estimates place Klan membership at about 40,000 by the mid-’60s, the height of the civil rights movement. Klan members were convicted of using murder as a weapon against equality in states including Mississippi and Alabama, where one Klansman remains imprisoned for planting the bomb that killed four black girls in a Birmingham church in 1963.

Cunningham, the historian, said the Klan dwindled to nearly nothing during the 1970s and ’80s, when the SPLC sued the Alabama-based United Klans of America over the 1981 murder of Michael Donald, a black man whose beaten, slashed body was hanged from a tree. In an odd twist, Donald’s mother wound up with the title to the Klan’s headquarters near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, because the group didn’t have the money to pay the $7 million judgment awarded in the SPLC suit.

KKK leader Brent Waller was raised in Laurel, Mississippi, in the shadow of the civil rights-era Klan. He has boyhood memories of flaming crosses and of Sam Bowers, a Klan boss who served six years in prison for his role directing the murders of three civil rights workers in 1964, and who later was convicted of killing a civil rights leader in 1966.

Rather than a white robe, Waller, 47, wears a snow-white suit and orange tie when in public on Klan business and insists on donning sunglasses in photos to protect his identity.

Stopping immigration, not blocking minority rights, is the Klan’s No. 1 issue today, Waller said. His group operates by the KKK rulebook called the “Kloran,” which was first published in 1915. Various versions of the book are now online, and an edition posted by the University of Wisconsin library states in part: “We shall ever be true in the faithful maintenance of White Supremacy and will strenuously oppose any compromise thereof in any and all things.”

The current hot-button issue for Klan members fighting immigration and closing U.S. borders is one of the most talked-about topics in the presidential election. Klan leaders say Donald Trump’s immigration position and his ascendancy in the GOP are signs things are going their way.

“You know, we began 40 years ago saying we need to build a wall,” Arkansas-based Klan leader Thomas Robb said.

Years ago, the group Robb heads near Harrison, Arkansas, changed its name from the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to the Knights Party USA, mainly to get away from the stigma associated with the Klan name. It now presents itself as more of a political or Christian entity.

“There is a lot of baggage with the name,” said Rachel Pendergraft, Robb’s daughter, who leads the group with him. “You say the name ‘KKK’ and a lot of people have a narrative in their minds of what it is about, what it does. The name resonates with people, whether it is good or whether it is bad.”

Despite trying to rebrand itself in many ways, 150 years later, the Klan has not stepped away from burning crosses, though it rarely does so in public. Instead, the “lightings,” as members call them, are held on private property away from law enforcement and demonstrators.

In April, Klan members and other white supremacists held two rallies on the same warm Saturday in Georgia. As the sun set, about 60 robed Klan members and others holding flaming torches gathered in a huge circle in a field in northwest Georgia to set a cross and Nazi swastika afire.

“White power!” they chanted in unison.

“Death to the ungodly! Death to our enemies!”

___

Associated Press writer Jay Reeves wrote this article. Ryan Phillips in Stone Mountain, Ga.; and AP photographer Mike Stewart in Rome, Ga., contributed to this report.

Originally posted here:

Ku Klux Klan at 150: Trying to reshape itself for a new era …

Fair Usage Law

July 1, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

Knights of the Ku Klux Klan | Southern Poverty Law Center

The group’s leaders, from Duke to current chief Thomas Robb, have been plagued by their own racist views, which inevitably shine through the smokescreen, and by the attacks of other Klan members who view their interest in mainstream media and politics as hypocritical and counterproductive.

In Its Own Words “Non-whites who reside in America should be expected to conduct themselves according to Christian principles and must recognize that race mixing is definitely wrong and out of the question. It will be a privilege to live under the authority of a compassionate White Christian government.” The Knights Party website

“[T]here are politicians in Washington D.C. working around the clock chipping away at our liberty, but thanks to the foresight of our founding fathers America has held out the longest against the global, race mixing, homosexual, anti-Christ forces working to wipe out White Christianity the way we have always known it.” The Knights Party website

“The Mexican birthrate in this country is five times that of white people. The black birthrate is four times larger. America will become a Third World nation if these trends continue. Unless we slow down and cut off immigration by beefing up border control and encourage welfare recipients to have fewer kids, the white population in America will be swamped.” David Duke in the run-up to the KKKK’s 1977 “Border Patrol” operation

“Dats when A’hs does what A’hs want. Dat’s also when A’hs kin have da white girls, and da free food stamps.” KKKK leader Thomas Robb, The White Patriot

“Fear of the Klan will never win our people over but rekindling the love for their heritage will and love of heritage is what we want. Love of Race, Love of Nation, Love of Faith. This is our Goal This is our Hope!” The Crusader, 2005

Background In true David Duke style, the foundation of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKKK) is shrouded in political myth. Duke’s claim that the Knights were founded in 1956 by Ed White (a pseudonym for Jim Lindsay) has, however, been largely discredited as a propagandistic attempt by the budding Klan leader to fend off depictions of his group as an inconsequential upstart. The group seems to have first appeared briefly in New Orleans in 1973, with Duke billing himself grand dragon and Jim Lindsay grand wizard. But records show that the KKKK was not formally incorporated in Louisiana until 1975, following Lindsay’s murder, when Duke listed himself as founder and national director and his then-wife, Chloe, as secretary.

Duke’s attempts to win over the old guard of Klan leaders, both by re-imagining the origins of his group and by reaching out early on to fellow “Klan brothers,” belied his revolutionary plans. Famously calling on fellow Klansmen to “get out of the cow pasture and into hotel meeting rooms,” Duke saw himself as the leader of a slick, new Klan which would captivate the public through political discourse, eschewing the violent methods of the past. Duke thus brought the art of media manipulation to the Klan, wooing mainstream media personalities such as NBC host Tom Snyder and attracting dozens of reporters to write excited stories about the Knights’ 1977 “Border Patrol” publicity stunt, a supposed effort to close the U.S.-Mexico border to undocumented entrants that lasted just a few days. Under Duke’s management, the Knights opened its doors to women and Catholics (while never giving up entirely on the view that women are, above all else, best utilized for producing white babies). This all served to reinforce the public image of a more modern, educated Klan, an image that Duke reinforced by shunning Klan robes for suits and ties.

Duke also revamped the Klan’s particular brand of bigotry. No longer a mere horde of cross-burning minority-haters, the Knights, like many other American hate groups, became “Nazified” focused on Jews rather than blacks as the primary enemy with Duke spinning elaborate theories about everything from Jewish control of the Federal Reserve to a Jewish conspiracy behind the civil rights movement. Likewise, the leadership of state KKKK chapters boasted a pantheon of budding neo-Nazi figures, including notorious anti-Semite Don Blackin Alabama, White Aryan Resistance founder Tom Metzger in California, and David Lane, a future leader of the terrorist group The Order, in Colorado.

For a while, the Knights prospered, hosting in 1975 one of the largest Klan gatherings in decades in Walker, La. By 1979, Duke had built membership in the KKKK to an estimated 1,500, with another 10,000 non-member supporters. Duke and his tactics were arguably the catalyst for the Knights’ growth, but the egocentric leader also posed a constant threat to his group. Even one of the Knights’ greatest successes, the Walker rally in 1975, contained the seeds of trouble. In the rally’s wake, its organizer, Knights member Bill Wilkinson, quit in disgust over Duke’s management of the proceeds. This kind of criticism soon became common, with aides to Duke, also including Metzger and others, eventually alienated by what they portrayed as his corruption, his womanizing and his self-serving desire for personal political glory. A series of schisms rocked the Knights, and by 1980, the breakaway group that Wilkinson had formed following his departure the Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan boasted more members than Duke’s KKKK.

Thus, by the time that David Duke left in disgrace, after being caught on camera trying to sell the Knights’ membership list, the KKKK was already weakened. That, plus the prosecution of several group leaders including Duke for allegedly inciting a riot at a New Orleans meeting, decimated the Knights. Many of those KKKK members who remained followed Duke to his new, non-Klan group, the National Association for the Advancement of White People, and the KKKK almost entirely collapsed several years later with Don Black’s 1981 arrest for conspiring to invade the Caribbean nation of Dominica. Leadership of the weakened KKKK passed to Stanley McCollum and the 1980s saw a decline in Klan activity, with the Knights claiming only a few hundred members when Thom Robb took over in 1989.

Robb, who eschewed the Klannish “Imperial Wizard” title in favor of the more businesslike “National Director,” led the group to something of a revival in the early 1990s, even attempting at one point to start a family-oriented Klan camp near the KKKK’s new headquarters at his home in Harrison, Ark. Claiming, like Duke, to represent a “kinder, gentler” Klan, Robb followed in Duke’s media-exploiting footsteps with the added boon of expanded Internet communications. Robb’s was the first Klan site on the Web and he managed to develop a number of linked sites, thus creating the impression of a mushrooming cyber-movement. A gifted public speaker, Robb was also an adherent and pastor of Christian Identitytheology who wooed his listeners with speeches embracing a more subtle form of hate cloaked behind white “pride” and Christian compassion. But these promising efforts could not stop a series of schisms similar to those that plagued the KKKK under Duke.

Like Duke, Robb also had a sharp interest in financial matters. He “formalized” KKKK recruitment, abandoning initiation rites in favor of a simple mail-in fee, in return for which members received booklets and tests allowing them to pay for their “promotion” to the next level. Complaints arose that this practice made Klan membership virtually meaningless. The salesmanship exhibited by Robb has sparked other controversies about money management, as well. In 1994, a number of high-ranking members split with Robb amidst accusations that he had made off with telephone hotline funds and a $20,000 donation to the group. These peoples were also highly critical of Robb’s “kinder, gentler” approach and went on to found more confrontational Klan factions. One of the splinters that emerged was a Michigan-based group that promptly hosted a more “traditional” Klan rally, hoods and all, in Lafayette, Ind. Ed Novak, an ex-lieutenant of Robb’s, founded the Chicago-based Federation of Klans and took with him roughly one third of Robb’s membership.

Although weakened since the 1994 split, the KKKK has continued to stage rallies and other events, garnering the most media attention for its involvement in several “free speech” lawsuits. The group was represented by the ACLU in a 1999 Missouri case in which a local KKKK chapter was initially barred from participating in the state’s “Adopt-a-Highway” cleanup program (the Adopt-a-Highway technique had been advocated by David Duke himself). And, that same year, it engaged in a failed attempt to underwrite St. Louis, Mo., broadcasts of the National Public Radio new program “All Things Considered.” Most recently, the Knights were sued by the conservative tabloid Rhinoceros Times in North Carolina for allegedly inserting Klan leaflets into papers that were then distributed to local residences.

Today, Robb’s website continues to bill the Knights, somewhat disingenuously, as “the most active white rights organization in America” (it clearly is not) and still offers Klan membership (and promotion!) for a price. Robb recently began calling his organization “The Knights Party” in an attempt to emphasize what he sees as the need for a softer, more political approach along the lines of David Duke’s tactics. In order, apparently, to finance political activity, the Knights website offers numerous wares for sale, such as handcrafted, glazed-ceramic statues of Klansmen.

Excerpt from:

Knights of the Ku Klux Klan | Southern Poverty Law Center

Fair Usage Law

June 24, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

Ku Klux Klan | hate organization, United States | Britannica.com

Alternate Titles: KKK

Ku Klux Klan, either of two distinct U.S. hate organizations that have employed terror in pursuit of their white supremacist agenda. One group was founded immediately after the Civil War and lasted until the 1870s; the other began in 1915 and has continued to the present.

The 19th-century Klan was originally organized as a social club by Confederate veterans in Pulaski, Tenn., in 1866. They apparently derived the name from the Greek word kyklos, from which comes the English circle; Klan was added for the sake of alliteration and Ku Klux Klan emerged. The organization quickly became a vehicle for Southern white underground resistance to Radical Reconstruction. Klan members sought the restoration of white supremacy through intimidation and violence aimed at the newly enfranchised black freedmen. A similar organization, the Knights of the White Camelia, began in Louisiana in 1867.

In the summer of 1867, the Klan was structured into the Invisible Empire of the South at a convention in Nashville, Tenn., attended by delegates from former Confederate states. The group was presided over by a grand wizard (Confederate cavalry general Nathan Bedford Forrest is believed to have been the first grand wizard) and a descending hierarchy of grand dragons, grand titans, and grand cyclopses. Dressed in robes and sheets designed to frighten superstitious blacks and to prevent identification by the occupying federal troops, Klansmen whipped and killed freedmen and their white supporters in nighttime raids.

The 19th-century Klan reached its peak between 1868 and 1870. A potent force, it was largely responsible for the restoration of white rule in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. But Forrest ordered it disbanded in 1869, largely as a result of the groups excessive violence. Local branches remained active for a time, however, prompting Congress to pass the Force Act in 1870 and the Ku Klux Act in 1871.

These bills authorized the president to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, suppress disturbances by force, and impose heavy penalties upon terrorist organizations. President Grant was lax in utilizing this authority, although he did send federal troops to some areas, suspend habeas corpus in nine South Carolina counties, and appoint commissioners who arrested hundreds of Southerners for conspiracy. In United States v. Harris in 1882, the Supreme Court declared the Ku Klux Act unconstitutional, but by that time the Klan had practically disappeared.

It disappeared because its original objectivethe restoration of white supremacy throughout the Southhad been largely achieved during the 1870s. The need for a secret antiblack organization diminished accordingly.

The 20th-century Klan had its roots more directly in the American nativist tradition. It was organized in 1915 near Atlanta, Ga., by Colonel William J. Simmons, a preacher and promoter of fraternal orders who had been inspired by Thomas Dixons book The Clansman (1905) and D.W. Griffiths film The Birth of a Nation (1915). The new organization remained small until Edward Y. Clarke and Mrs. Elizabeth Tyler brought to it their talents as publicity agents and fund raisers. The revived Klan was fueled partly by patriotism and partly by a romantic nostalgia for the old South, but, more importantly, it expressed the defensive reaction of white Protestants in small-town America who felt threatened by the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and by the large-scale immigration of the previous decades that had changed the ethnic character of American society.

This second Klan peaked in the 1920s, when its membership exceeded 4,000,000 nationally, and profits rolled in from the sale of its memberships, regalia, costumes, publications, and rituals. A burning cross became the symbol of the new organization, and white-robed Klansmen participated in marches, parades, and nighttime cross burnings all over the country. To the old Klans hostility toward blacks the new Klanwhich was strong in the Midwest as well as in the Southadded bias against Roman Catholics, Jews, foreigners, and organized labour. The Klan enjoyed a last spurt of growth in 1928, when Alfred E. Smith, a Catholic, received the Democratic presidential nomination.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s the Klans membership dropped drastically, and the last remnants of the organization temporarily disbanded in 1944. For the next 20 years the Klan was quiescent, but it had a resurgence in some Southern states during the 1960s as civil-rights workers attempted to force Southern communities compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There were numerous instances of bombings, whippings, and shootings in Southern communities, carried out in secret but apparently the work of Klansmen. President Lyndon B. Johnson publicly denounced the organization in a nationwide television address announcing the arrest of four Klansmen in connection with the slaying of a civil-rights worker, a white woman, in Alabama.

The Klan was unable to stem the growth of a new racial tolerance in the South in the years that followed. Though the organization continued some of its surreptitious activities into the late 20th century, cases of Klan violence became more isolated, and its membership had declined to a few thousand. The Klan became a chronically fragmented mlange made up of several separate and competing groups, some of which occasionally entered into alliances with neo-Nazi and other right-wing extremist groups.

The rest is here:

Ku Klux Klan | hate organization, United States | Britannica.com

Fair Usage Law

June 24, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

Ku Klux Klan – The New York Times

Latest Articles

The Anti-Defamation League on Thursday called on Donald J. Trump to explicitly reject comments from David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, about Jewish extremists who opposed Mr. Trumps candidacy.

By MAGGIE HABERMAN

News and updates from around the country.

A historian writes that contrary to a claim, the president did not admire the Ku Klux Klan.

Heres what Donald Trump said on Monday at the Old Post Office in Washington, D.C.

By ELIZABETH WILLIAMSON

The Republican front-runner promised to name five to 10 judges whom he would appoint to fill openings on the Supreme Court if he is elected president.

By MAGGIE HABERMAN

There were fistfights and major influence by the Ku Klux Klan during the partys convention at Madison Square Garden, an existential battle over the meaning of America.

By JIM DWYER

Kerry Kennedy takes issue with remarks by the conservative commentator Jeffrey Lord on CNN about the Ku Klux Klan.

In a single composition, Vincent Valdez has captured a selfie for 21st-century America.

By LAWRENCE DOWNES

David Duke is a bad person, who I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years, Donald J. Trump said in an interview on MSNBC. On the possibility of an independent run, if Mr. Trump ever decided to bolt from the Republicans, he said his supporters are all coming with me.

By MAGGIE HABERMAN

A nativist, sexist, arguably fascist and racist liar is the front-runner for the Republican Partys presidential nomination.

By CHARLES M. BLOW

The leading Republican candidate is taking advantage of a backlash to racial progress, echoing events of the late 19th century.

By BRENT STAPLES

Back during The Apprentice and now when being introduced by a new sidekick, the gold-plated candidate has had no first name.

By GAIL COLLINS

Jeffrey Lord, a former Reagan staffer, and Van Jones, a former Obama staffer, butt heads live over Donald Trumps handling of the K.K.K.

By JAMES PONIEWOZIK

Mr. Trumps xenophobia and racism are right at home in the Republican party.

By ANDREW ROSENTHAL

The Republicans seem to be reeling from the fact that a shady, bombastic liar is hardening the image of their party as a symbol of intolerance.

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, reacted to the presidential candidate Donald J. Trumps muted response to David Duke by saying Senate Republicans condemn white supremacists.

By REUTERS

Hillary Clinton, at a stop for coffee, tried to drum up support from Minnesotans preparing for their states presidential caucuses Tuesday evening and criticized Republicans insult-filled campaigning.

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

They criticized the candidate for not distancing himself from David Duke, but Mr. Ryan said he would still back Mr. Trump as the Republican presidential nominee, while Mr. McConnell stopping short of saying he would not pull the lever for him.

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER

Intentionally or not, Mr. Trumps campaign is mobilizing white supremacists, so much so that he has their support despite awkward attempts to publicly disavow it.

By JONATHAN MAHLER

Marco Rubio denounced his fellow Republican candidate Donald J. Trump for not disavowing the support of the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Anti-Defamation League on Thursday called on Donald J. Trump to explicitly reject comments from David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, about Jewish extremists who opposed Mr. Trumps candidacy.

By MAGGIE HABERMAN

News and updates from around the country.

A historian writes that contrary to a claim, the president did not admire the Ku Klux Klan.

Heres what Donald Trump said on Monday at the Old Post Office in Washington, D.C.

By ELIZABETH WILLIAMSON

The Republican front-runner promised to name five to 10 judges whom he would appoint to fill openings on the Supreme Court if he is elected president.

By MAGGIE HABERMAN

There were fistfights and major influence by the Ku Klux Klan during the partys convention at Madison Square Garden, an existential battle over the meaning of America.

By JIM DWYER

Kerry Kennedy takes issue with remarks by the conservative commentator Jeffrey Lord on CNN about the Ku Klux Klan.

In a single composition, Vincent Valdez has captured a selfie for 21st-century America.

By LAWRENCE DOWNES

David Duke is a bad person, who I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years, Donald J. Trump said in an interview on MSNBC. On the possibility of an independent run, if Mr. Trump ever decided to bolt from the Republicans, he said his supporters are all coming with me.

By MAGGIE HABERMAN

A nativist, sexist, arguably fascist and racist liar is the front-runner for the Republican Partys presidential nomination.

By CHARLES M. BLOW

The leading Republican candidate is taking advantage of a backlash to racial progress, echoing events of the late 19th century.

By BRENT STAPLES

Back during The Apprentice and now when being introduced by a new sidekick, the gold-plated candidate has had no first name.

By GAIL COLLINS

Jeffrey Lord, a former Reagan staffer, and Van Jones, a former Obama staffer, butt heads live over Donald Trumps handling of the K.K.K.

By JAMES PONIEWOZIK

Mr. Trumps xenophobia and racism are right at home in the Republican party.

By ANDREW ROSENTHAL

The Republicans seem to be reeling from the fact that a shady, bombastic liar is hardening the image of their party as a symbol of intolerance.

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, reacted to the presidential candidate Donald J. Trumps muted response to David Duke by saying Senate Republicans condemn white supremacists.

By REUTERS

Hillary Clinton, at a stop for coffee, tried to drum up support from Minnesotans preparing for their states presidential caucuses Tuesday evening and criticized Republicans insult-filled campaigning.

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

They criticized the candidate for not distancing himself from David Duke, but Mr. Ryan said he would still back Mr. Trump as the Republican presidential nominee, while Mr. McConnell stopping short of saying he would not pull the lever for him.

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER

Intentionally or not, Mr. Trumps campaign is mobilizing white supremacists, so much so that he has their support despite awkward attempts to publicly disavow it.

By JONATHAN MAHLER

Marco Rubio denounced his fellow Republican candidate Donald J. Trump for not disavowing the support of the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Continue reading here:

Ku Klux Klan – The New York Times

Fair Usage Law

June 18, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

Georgia’s high court rules in favor of Ku Klux Klan in …

ATLANTA Dismissing an appeal on a technicality, Georgia’s highest court granted a victory to a Ku Klux Klan group that has been seeking for years to participate in a highway cleanup program. The Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the state’s appeal of a lower court decision that the state had violated the KKK group’s free speech rights. The Department of Transportation filed its appeal incorrectly, leaving the high court without authority to consider its merits, the opinion said. The state attorney general’s office, which represents the department, is reviewing the decision and considering its options, spokesman Nicholas Genesi said in an email. The north Georgia KKK group applied to join the state’s Adopt-A-Highway program in May 2012, hoping to pick up litter along part of Route 515 in the Appalachian Mountains. The program was started in 1989 to get volunteers to clean up sections of roads in the state. In exchange, the Department of Transportation posts a sponsorship sign along the road with the program logo and the volunteer group’s name. The state Department of Transportation, which runs the program, denied the KKK group’s application, saying its program was aimed at “civic-minded organizations in good standing” and citing what it called the KKK’s “long-rooted history of civil disturbance” and the “potential for social unrest.” The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation sued on behalf of the KKK group in September 2012, arguing that the state violated the group’s right to free speech. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Shawn Ellen LaGrua agreed and ruled in the group’s favor in November 2014, saying the KKK’s group’s application was treated differently than others and that “viewpoint-based discrimination” is not allowed under the Georgia Constitution. The state appealed, arguing that the KKK group’s arguments were barred by the principle of sovereign immunity, which shields the state and its agencies from being sued in their official capacity unless the General Assembly waives that protection. The Department of Transportation didn’t have an automatic right to appeal in this case and failed to file a necessary application to appeal, leaving the high court without jurisdiction and with no choice but to dismiss the appeal, the opinion says. Alan Begner, an attorney for the KKK group, said they are considering the ruling a victory, though he and his clients would have liked the Supreme Court to weigh in on the underlying issue of sovereign immunity in cases of constitutional challenges to government actions. It’s not entirely clear what happens next. The Department of Transportation adopted a moratorium on allowing any new participants in the highway cleanup program shortly after it denied the KKK group’s request. In her original ruling, LaGrua had dismissed the KKK group’s request to order the state to allow it to participate in the program. Begner said he needs to talk to the ACLU and his clients about possible next steps.

Fair Usage Law

July 7, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

Ku Klux Klan dream of a U.S comeback as group marks 150 years …

Despite plummeting from millions of racist members in the 1920s to thousands today, the Ku Klux Klan is attempting to restore itself to the force it once was. As it marks 150 years, the fascist group is looking to raise its hooded head once more and with the development in online communications, spreading the word has never been easier. Prospective white supremacy members can fill in forms online to join and can get their hands on the infamous white robes for $145, or upgrade from cotton to satin for $165 – under one condition – they are white and Christian. Klan leaflets are appearing in suburban neighborhoods all the way from the Deep South to the Northwest, there are still thousands of members actively involved and with immigration a hot topic in the U.S. presidency race, the Klan believe it is their time to shine once more. As recently as April, the KKK met in Georgia, chanting, ‘Death to the ungodly!’, ‘Death to our enemies!’ and ‘White power!’ as they burned crosses and carried out the rituals their murdering forefathers carried out decades ago. Scroll down for video Klan members still gather by the dozens under starry Southern skies to set fire to crosses in the dead of night, and KKK leaflets have shown up in suburban neighborhoods from the Deep South to the Northeast in recent months Today’s members of the KKK dream of restoring the fascist movement to what it once was – an invisible empire spreading its tentacles throughout society Masked and hooded: New members can purchase the infamous cotton white robes online for $145 or a satin version costs $165 Born in the ashes of the smoldering South after the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan died and was reborn before losing the fight against civil rights in the 1960s. Membership dwindled, a unified group fractured, and members went to prison for a string of murderous attacks against black people. But today, the KKK is still alive and dreams of restoring itself to an invisible empire spreading its tentacles throughout society. As it marks 150 years of existence, the Klan is trying to reshape itself for a new era. Klan members still gather by the dozens under starry Southern skies to set fire to crosses in the dead of night, and KKK leaflets have shown up in suburban neighborhoods from the Deep South to the Northeast in recent months. Perhaps most unwelcome to opponents, some independent Klan organizations say they are merging with larger groups to build strength. ‘We will work on a unified Klan and/or alliance this summer,’ said Brent Waller, imperial wizard of the United Dixie White Knights in Mississippi. In a series of interviews, Klan leaders said they feel that U.S. politics are going their way, as a nationalist, us-against-them mentality deepens across the nation. Stopping or limiting immigration – a desire of the Klan dating back to the 1920s – is more of a cause than ever. And leaders say membership has gone up at the twilight of President Barack Obama’s second term in office, though few would provide numbers. Joining the Klan is as easy as filling out an online form – provided you’re white and Christian. Members can visit an online store to buy one of the Klan’s trademark white cotton robes for $145, though many splurge on the $165 satin version. While the Klan has terrorized minorities during much of the last century, its leaders now present a public front that is more virulent than violent. Leaders from several different Klan groups all said they have rules against violence aside from self-defense, and even opponents agree the KKK has toned itself down after a string of members went to prison for deadly arson attacks, beatings, bombings and shootings. ‘While today’s Klan has still been involved in atrocities, there is no way it is as violent as the Klan of the `60s,’ said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group that tracks activity by groups it considers extremist. ‘That does not mean it is some benign group that does not engage in political violence,’ he added. Leaders from several different Klan groups all said they have rules against violence aside from self-defense, and even opponents agree the KKK has toned itself down after a string of members went to prison for deadly arson attacks, beatings, bombings and shootings Historian David Cunningham, author of ‘Klansville, U.S.A.: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan,’ notes that while the Klan generally doesn’t openly advocate violence, ‘I do think we have the sort of “other” model of violence, which is creating a culture that supports the commission of violence in the name of these ideas.’ Klan leaders admitted most of today’s groups remain small and operate independently, kept apart by disagreements over such issues as whether to associate with neo-Nazis, hold public rallies or wear the KKK’s robes in colors other than white. So-called ‘traditional’ Klan groups avoid public displays and practice rituals dating back a century while others post web videos dedicated to preaching against racial diversity and warning of a coming ‘white genocide’. Women are voting members in some groups, but not in others. Some leaders will not speak openly with the media but others do, articulating ambitious plans that include quietly building political strength. Some groups hold annual conventions, just like civic clubs, where members gather in meeting rooms to discuss strategies that include electing Klan members to local political offices and recruiting new blood through the internet. It’s impossible to say how many members the Klan counts today since groups don’t reveal that information, but leaders claim adherents in the thousands among scores of local groups called Klaverns. Waller said his group is growing, as did Chris Barker, imperial wizard of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Eden, North Carolina. ‘Most Klan groups I talk to could hold a meeting in the bathroom in McDonald’s,’ Barker said. As for his Klavern, he said, ‘Right now, I’m close to 3,800 members in my group alone.’ The Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish protection group that monitors Klan activity, describes Barker’s Loyal White Knights as the most active Klan group today, but estimates it has no more than 200 members total. The ADL puts total Klan membership nationwide at around 3,000. The Alabama-based SPLC says there’s no evidence the Klan is returning to the strength of its heyday. It estimates the Klan has about 190 chapters nationally with no more than 6,000 members total, which would be a mere shadow of its estimated 2 million to 5 million members in the 1920s. It is estimated the Klan has about 190 chapters nationally with no more than 6,000 members total, which would be a mere shadow of its estimated two to five million members in the 1920s ‘The idea of unifying the Klan like it was in the 20s is a persistent dream of the Klan, but it’s not happening,’ Potok said. Formed just months after the end of the Civil War by six former Confederate officers in Pulaski, Tennessee, the Klan originally seemed more like a college fraternity with ceremonial robes and odd titles for its officers. But soon, freed blacks were being terrorized, and the Klan was blamed. Hundreds of people were assaulted or killed within the span of a few years as whites tried to regain control of the defeated Confederacy. Congress effectively outlawed the Klan in 1871, leading to martial law in some places and thousands of arrests, and the group died. The Klan seemed relegated to history until World War I, when it was resurrected. It grew as waves of immigrants arrived aboard ships from Europe and elsewhere, and grew more as the NAACP challenged Jim Crow laws in the South in the 1920s. Millions joined, including community leaders like bankers and lawyers. The KKK grew as waves of immigrants arrived aboard ships from Europe and elsewhere encouraged millions to join, including community leaders like bankers and lawyers. A hooded man (left) displays a hangman’s noose dangling from an automobile as a warning for black people to stay away from voting places in the municipal primary election at Miami but in spite of the threats, 616 voted; Pictured right two young boys raise their arms as a white power T-shirt is held in front of them during a Klan rally held near Benson, N.C in 1980 Members of the Ku Klux Klan, wearing traditional white hoods and robes, stand back and watch with their arms crossed after burning a 15-foot cross at Tampa, Fla, in 1939 That momentum declined, and best estimates place Klan membership at about 40,000 by the mid-’60s, the height of the civil rights movement. Klan members were convicted of using murder as a weapon against equality in states including Mississippi and Alabama, where one Klansman remains imprisoned for planting the bomb that killed four black girls in a Birmingham church in 1963. Cunningham, the historian, said the Klan dwindled to nearly nothing during the 1970s and `80s, when the SPLC sued the Alabama-based United Klans of America over the 1981 murder of Michael Donald, a black man whose beaten, slashed body was hanged from a tree. In an odd twist, Donald’s mother wound up with the title to the Klan’s headquarters near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, because the group didn’t have the money to pay the $7 million judgment awarded in the SPLC suit. KKK leader Brent Waller was raised in Laurel, Mississippi, in the shadow of the civil rights-era Klan. He has boyhood memories of flaming crosses and of Sam Bowers, a Klan boss who served six years in prison for his role directing the murders of three civil rights workers in 1964, and who later was convicted of killing a civil rights leader in 1966. Rather than a white robe, Waller, 47, wears a snow-white suit and orange tie when in public on Klan business and insists on donning sunglasses in photos to protect his identity. The new breed: A member of the Ku Klux Klan uses a mobile device during cross burnings after a ‘white pride’ rally in rural Paulding County near Cedar Town (left) whileBrent Waller, Mississippi grand dragon and spokesman for the Tennessee-based imperial wizard of the United Dixie White Knights in Mississippi poses for a photograph A man with a Nazi swastika tattooed across his shoulderblade walks during a protest at Stone Mountain Park, in Stone Mountain, Ga Stopping immigration, not blocking minority rights, is the Klan’s number one issue today, Waller said. His group operates by the KKK rulebook called the ‘Kloran,’ which was first published in 1915. Various versions of the book are now online, and an edition posted by the University of Wisconsin library states in part: ‘We shall ever be true in the faithful maintenance of White Supremacy and will strenuously oppose any compromise thereof in any and all things.’ The current hot-button issue for Klan members – fighting immigration and closing U.S. borders – is one of the most talked-about topics in the presidential election. Klan leaders say Donald Trump’s immigration position and his ascendancy in the GOP are signs things are going their way. ‘You know, we began 40 years ago saying we need to build a wall,’ Arkansas-based Klan leader Thomas Robb said. Years ago, the group Robb heads near Harrison, Arkansas, changed its name from the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to the Knights Party USA, mainly to get away from the stigma associated with the Klan name. It now presents itself as more of a political or Christian entity. ‘There is a lot of baggage with the name,’ said Rachel Pendergraft, Robb’s daughter, who leads the group with him. ‘You say the name “KKK” and a lot of people have a narrative in their minds of what it is about, what it does. The name resonates with people, whether it is good or whether it is bad.’ Despite trying to rebrand itself in many ways, 150 years later, the Klan has not stepped away from burning crosses, though it rarely does so in public. Instead, the ‘lightings,’ as members call them, are held on private property away from law enforcement and demonstrators. In April, Klan members and other white supremacists held two rallies on the same warm Saturday in Georgia. As the sun set, about 60 robed Klan members and others holding flaming torches gathered in a huge circle in a field in northwest Georgia to set a cross and Nazi swastika afire. ‘White power!’ they chanted in unison. ‘Death to the ungodly! Death to our enemies!’

Fair Usage Law

July 1, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

At 150, KKK sees opportunities in US political trends

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Born in the ashes of the smoldering South after the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan died and was reborn before losing the fight against civil rights in the 1960s. Membership dwindled, a unified group fractured, and one-time members went to prison for a string of murderous attacks against blacks. Many assumed the group was dead, a white-robed ghost of hate and violence. Yet today, the KKK is still alive and dreams of restoring itself to what it once was: an invisible white supremacist empire spreading its tentacles throughout society. As it marks 150 years of existence, the Klan is trying to reshape itself for a new era Klan members still gather by the dozens under starry Southern skies to set fire to crosses in the dead of night, and KKK leaflets have shown up in suburban neighborhoods from the Deep South to the Northeast in recent months. Perhaps most unwelcome to opponents, some independent Klan organizations say they are merging with larger groups to build strength. “We will work on a unified Klan and/or alliance this summer,” said Brent Waller, imperial wizard of the United Dixie White Knights in Mississippi. In a series of interviews with The Associated Press, Klan leaders said they feel that U.S. politics are going their way, as a nationalist, us-against-them mentality deepens across the nation. Stopping or limiting immigration a desire of the Klan dating back to the 1920s is more of a cause than ever. And leaders say membership has gone up at the twilight of President Barack Obama’s second term in office, though few would provide numbers. Joining the Klan is as easy as filling out an online form provided you’re white and Christian. Members can visit an online store to buy one of the Klan’s trademark white cotton robes for $145, though many splurge on the $165 satin version. While the Klan has terrorized minorities during much of the last century, its leaders now present a public front that is more virulent than violent. Leaders from several different Klan groups all said they have rules against violence aside from self-defense, and even opponents agree the KKK has toned itself down after a string of members went to prison years after the fact for deadly arson attacks, beatings, bombings and shootings. “While today’s Klan has still been involved in atrocities, there is no way it is as violent as the Klan of the ’60s,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group that tracks activity by groups it considers extremist. “That does not mean it is some benign group that does not engage in political violence,” he added. Historian David Cunningham, author of “Klansville, U.S.A.: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan,” notes that while the Klan generally doesn’t openly advocate violence, “I do think we have the sort of ‘other’ model of violence, which is creating a culture that supports the commission of violence in the name of these ideas.” Klan leaders told the AP that most of today’s groups remain small and operate independently, kept apart by disagreements over such issues as whether to associate with neo-Nazis, hold public rallies or wear the KKK’s trademark robes in colors other than white. So-called “traditional” Klan groups avoid public displays and practice rituals dating back a century; others post web videos dedicated to preaching against racial diversity and warning of a coming “white genocide.” Women are voting members in some groups, but not in others. Some leaders will not speak openly with the media but others do, articulating ambitious plans that include quietly building political strength. Some groups hold annual conventions, just like civic clubs. Members gather in meeting rooms to discuss strategies that include electing Klan members to local political offices and recruiting new blood through the internet. It’s impossible to say how many members the Klan counts today since groups don’t reveal that information, but leaders claim adherents in the thousands among scores of local groups called Klaverns. Waller said his group is growing, as did Chris Barker, imperial wizard of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Eden, North Carolina. “Most Klan groups I talk to could hold a meeting in the bathroom in McDonald’s,” Barker said. As for his Klavern, he said, “Right now, I’m close to 3,800 members in my group alone.” The Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish protection group that monitors Klan activity, describes Barker’s Loyal White Knights as the most active Klan group today, but estimates it has no more than 200 members total. The ADL puts total Klan membership nationwide at around 3,000. The Alabama-based SPLC says there’s no evidence the Klan is returning to the strength of its heyday. It estimates the Klan has about 190 chapters nationally with no more than 6,000 members total, which would be a mere shadow of its estimated 2 million to 5 million members in the 1920s. “The idea of unifying the Klan like it was in the ’20s is a persistent dream of the Klan, but it’s not happening,” Potok said. Formed just months after the end of the Civil War by six former Confederate officers in Pulaski, Tennessee, the Klan originally seemed more like a college fraternity with ceremonial robes and odd titles for its officers. But soon, freed blacks were being terrorized, and the Klan was blamed. Hundreds of people were assaulted or killed within the span of a few years as whites tried to regain control of the defeated Confederacy. Congress effectively outlawed the Klan in 1871, leading to martial law in some places and thousands of arrests, and the group died. The Klan seemed relegated to history until World War I, when it was resurrected. It grew as waves of immigrants arrived aboard ships from Europe and elsewhere, and grew more as the NAACP challenged Jim Crow laws in the South in the 1920s. Millions joined, including community leaders like bankers and lawyers. That momentum declined, and best estimates place Klan membership at about 40,000 by the mid-’60s, the height of the civil rights movement. Klan members were convicted of using murder as a weapon against equality in states including Mississippi and Alabama, where one Klansman remains imprisoned for planting the bomb that killed four black girls in a Birmingham church in 1963. Cunningham, the historian, said the Klan dwindled to nearly nothing during the 1970s and ’80s, when the SPLC sued the Alabama-based United Klans of America over the 1981 murder of Michael Donald, a black man whose beaten, slashed body was hanged from a tree. In an odd twist, Donald’s mother wound up with the title to the Klan’s headquarters near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, because the group didn’t have the money to pay the $7 million judgment awarded in the SPLC suit. KKK leader Brent Waller was raised in Laurel, Mississippi, in the shadow of the civil rights-era Klan. He has boyhood memories of flaming crosses and of Sam Bowers, a Klan boss who served six years in prison for his role directing the murders of three civil rights workers in 1964, and who later was convicted of killing a civil rights leader in 1966. Rather than a white robe, Waller, 47, wears a snow-white suit and orange tie when in public on Klan business and insists on donning sunglasses in photos to protect his identity. Stopping immigration, not blocking minority rights, is the Klan’s No. 1 issue today, Waller said. His group operates by the KKK rulebook called the “Kloran,” which was first published in 1915. Various versions of the book are now online, and an edition posted by the University of Wisconsin library states in part: “We shall ever be true in the faithful maintenance of White Supremacy and will strenuously oppose any compromise thereof in any and all things.” The current hot-button issue for Klan members fighting immigration and closing U.S. borders is one of the most talked-about topics in the presidential election. Klan leaders say Donald Trump’s immigration position and his ascendancy in the GOP are signs things are going their way. “You know, we began 40 years ago saying we need to build a wall,” Arkansas-based Klan leader Thomas Robb said. Years ago, the group Robb heads near Harrison, Arkansas, changed its name from the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to the Knights Party USA, mainly to get away from the stigma associated with the Klan name. It now presents itself as more of a political or Christian entity. “There is a lot of baggage with the name,” said Rachel Pendergraft, Robb’s daughter, who leads the group with him. “You say the name ‘KKK’ and a lot of people have a narrative in their minds of what it is about, what it does. The name resonates with people, whether it is good or whether it is bad.” Despite trying to rebrand itself in many ways, 150 years later, the Klan has not stepped away from burning crosses, though it rarely does so in public. Instead, the “lightings,” as members call them, are held on private property away from law enforcement and demonstrators. In April, Klan members and other white supremacists held two rallies on the same warm Saturday in Georgia. As the sun set, about 60 robed Klan members and others holding flaming torches gathered in a huge circle in a field in northwest Georgia to set a cross and Nazi swastika afire. “White power!” they chanted in unison. “Death to the ungodly! Death to our enemies!” ___ Associated Press writer Ryan Phillips in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and AP photographer Mike Stewart in Rome, Georgia, contributed to this report.

Fair Usage Law

July 1, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

Ku Klux Klan dreams of rising again 150 years after founding

The Associated Press In this Saturday, April 23, 2016 photo, members of the Ku Klux Klan participate in cross burnings after a “white pride” rally in rural Paulding County near Cedar Town, Ga. Born in the ashes of the smoldering South after the Civil War, the KKK died and was reborn before losing the fight against civil rights in the 1960s. Membership dwindled, a unified group fractured, and one-time members went to prison for a string of murderous attacks against blacks. Many assumed the group was dead, a white-robed ghost of hate and violence. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Born in the ashes of the smoldering South after the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan died and was reborn before losing the fight against civil rights in the 1960s. Membership dwindled, a unified group fractured, and one-time members went to prison for a string of murderous attacks against blacks. Many assumed the group was dead, a white-robed ghost of hate and violence. Yet today, the KKK is still alive and dreams of restoring itself to what it once was: an invisible empire spreading its tentacles throughout society. As it marks 150 years of existence, the Klan is trying to reshape itself for a new era. Klan members still gather by the dozens under starry Southern skies to set fire to crosses in the dead of night, and KKK leaflets have shown up in suburban neighborhoods from the Deep South to the Northeast in recent months. Perhaps most unwelcome to opponents, some independent Klan organizations say they are merging with larger groups to build strength. In a series of interviews with The Associated Press, Klan leaders said they feel that U.S. politics are going their way, as a nationalist, us-against-them mentality deepens across the nation. Stopping or limiting immigration a desire of the Klan dating back to the 1920s is more of a cause than ever. And leaders say membership has gone up at the twilight of President Barack Obama’s second term in office. Joining the Klan is as easy as filling out an online form provided you’re white and Christian. Members can visit an online store to buy one of the Klan’s trademark white cotton robes for $145, though many splurge on the $165 satin version. While the Klan has terrorized minorities during much of the last century, its leaders now present a public front that is more virulent than violent. Leaders from several different Klan groups all said they have rules against violence aside from self-defense, and even opponents agree the KKK has toned itself down after a string of members went to prison years after the fact for deadly arson attacks, beatings, bombings and shootings. “While today’s Klan has still been involved in atrocities, there is no way it is as violent as the Klan of the ’60s,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group that tracks activity by groups it considers extremist. “That does not mean it is some benign group that does not engage in political violence,” he added. Klan leaders told the AP that most of today’s groups remain small and operate independently, kept apart by disagreements over such issues as whether to associate with neo-Nazis, hold public rallies or wear the KKK’s trademark robes in colors other than white. It’s impossible to say how many members the Klan counts today since groups don’t reveal that information, but leaders claim adherents in the thousands among scores of local groups called Klaverns. “Most Klan groups I talk to could hold a meeting in the bathroom in McDonald’s,” said Chris Barker, imperial wizard of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Eden, North Carolina. As for his Klavern, he said, “Right now, I’m close to 3,800 members in my group alone.” The Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish protection group that monitors Klan activity, describes Barker’s Loyal White Knights as the most active group today, but estimates it has no more than 200 members. The ADL puts total Klan membership nationwide at around 3,000. The Alabama-based SPLC estimates the Klan has about 190 chapters nationally with no more than 6,000 members total, which would be a mere shadow of its estimated 2 million to 5 million members in the 1920s. “The idea of unifying the Klan like it was in the ’20s is a persistent dream of the Klan, but it’s not happening,” Potok said. Formed just months after the end of the Civil War by six former Confederate officers, the Klan originally seemed more like a college fraternity with ceremonial robes and odd titles for its officers. But soon, freed blacks were being terrorized, and the Klan was blamed. Hundreds of people were assaulted or killed as whites tried to regain control of the defeated Confederacy. Congress effectively outlawed the Klan in 1871, and the group died. The Klan seemed relegated to history until World War I, but it was resurrected as waves of immigrants arrived from Europe and elsewhere, and grew more as the NAACP challenged the South’s Jim Crow laws in the 1920s. Millions joined, including community leaders like bankers and lawyers. That momentum declined, and best estimates place membership at about 40,000 by the mid-’60s, the height of the civil rights movement. Klan members were convicted of using murder as a weapon against equality in states including Mississippi and Alabama, where one Klansman remains imprisoned for planting the bomb that killed four black girls in a Birmingham church in 1963. KKK leader Brent Waller, imperial wizard of the United Dixie White Knights in Mississippi, said stopping immigration not blocking minority rights is the Klan’s No. 1 issue today. And other Klan leaders say Donald Trump’s ascendancy in the GOP is a sign things are going their way. “You know, we began 40 years ago saying we need to build a wall,” Arkansas-based Klan leader Thomas Robb said. Despite trying to rebrand itself, the Klan has not stepped away from burning crosses. As the sun set on a warm Saturday in April, Klan members gathered in a huge circle in a northwest Georgia field to set a cross and Nazi swastika afire. “White power!” they chanted in unison. “Death to the ungodly! Death to our enemies!” ___ Associated Press writer Ryan Phillips in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and AP photographer Mike Stewart in Rome, Georgia, contributed to this report.

Fair Usage Law

July 1, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

The Ku Klux Klan is slowly rising again | New York Post

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Born in the ashes of the smoldering South after the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan died and was reborn before losing the fight against civil rights in the 1960s. Membership dwindled, a unified group fractured, and one-time members went to prison for a string of murderous attacks against blacks. Many assumed the group was dead, a white-robed ghost of hate and violence. Yet today, the KKK is still alive and dreams of restoring itself to what it once was: an invisible empire spreading its tentacles throughout society. As it marks 150 years of existence, the Klan is trying to reshape itself for a new era. Klan members still gather by the dozens under starry Southern skies to set fire to crosses in the dead of night, and KKK leaflets have shown up in suburban neighborhoods from the Deep South to the Northeast in recent months. Perhaps most unwelcome to opponents, some independent Klan organizations say they are merging with larger groups to build strength. We will work on a unified Klan and/or alliance this summer, said Brent Waller, imperial wizard of the United Dixie White Knights in Mississippi. In a series of interviews with the Associated Press, Klan leaders said they feel that US politics are going their way, as a nationalist, us-against-them mentality deepens across the nation. Stopping or limiting immigration a desire of the Klan dating back to the 1920s is more of a cause than ever. And leaders say membership has gone up at the twilight of President Barack Obamas second term in office, though few would provide numbers. Joining the Klan is as easy as filling out an online form provided youre white and Christian. Members can visit an online store to buy one of the Klans trademark white cotton robes for $145, though many splurge on the $165 satin version. While the Klan has terrorized minorities during much of the last century, its leaders now present a public front that is more virulent than violent. Leaders from several different Klan groups all said they have rules against violence aside from self-defense, and even opponents agree the KKK has toned itself down after a string of members went to prison years after the fact for deadly arson attacks, beatings, bombings and shootings. While todays Klan has still been involved in atrocities, there is no way it is as violent as the Klan of the 60s, said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group that tracks activity by groups it considers extremist. That does not mean it is some benign group that does not engage in political violence, he added. Historian David Cunningham, author of Klansville, U.S.A.: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan, notes that while the Klan generally doesnt openly advocate violence, I do think we have the sort of other model of violence, which is creating a culture that supports the commission of violence in the name of these ideas. Klan leaders told the AP that most of todays groups remain small and operate independently, kept apart by disagreements over such issues as whether to associate with neo-Nazis, hold public rallies or wear the KKKs trademark robes in colors other than white. So-called traditional Klan groups avoid public displays and practice rituals dating back a century; others post web videos dedicated to preaching against racial diversity and warning of a coming white genocide. Women are voting members in some groups, but not in others. Some leaders will not speak openly with the media but others do, articulating ambitious plans that include quietly building political strength. Some groups hold annual conventions, just like civic clubs. Members gather in meeting rooms to discuss strategies that include electing Klan members to local political offices and recruiting new blood through the internet. Its impossible to say how many members the Klan counts today since groups dont reveal that information, but leaders claim adherents in the thousands among scores of local groups called Klaverns. Waller said his group is growing, as did Chris Barker, imperial wizard of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Eden, North Carolina. Most Klan groups I talk to could hold a meeting in the bathroom in McDonalds, Barker said. As for his Klavern, he said, Right now, Im close to 3,800 members in my group alone. The Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish protection group that monitors Klan activity, describes Barkers Loyal White Knights as the most active Klan group today, but estimates it has no more than 200 members total. The ADL puts total Klan membership nationwide at around 3,000. The Alabama-based SPLC says theres no evidence the Klan is returning to the strength of its heyday. It estimates the Klan has about 190 chapters nationally with no more than 6,000 members total, which would be a mere shadow of its estimated 2 million to 5 million members in the 1920s. The idea of unifying the Klan like it was in the 20s is a persistent dream of the Klan, but its not happening, Potok said. Formed just months after the end of the Civil War by six former Confederate officers in Pulaski, Tennessee, the Klan originally seemed more like a college fraternity with ceremonial robes and odd titles for its officers. But soon, freed blacks were being terrorized, and the Klan was blamed. Hundreds of people were assaulted or killed within the span of a few years as whites tried to regain control of the defeated Confederacy. Congress effectively outlawed the Klan in 1871, leading to martial law in some places and thousands of arrests, and the group died. The Klan seemed relegated to history until World War I, when it was resurrected. It grew as waves of immigrants arrived aboard ships from Europe and elsewhere, and grew more as the NAACP challenged Jim Crow laws in the South in the 1920s. Millions joined, including community leaders like bankers and lawyers. That momentum declined, and best estimates place Klan membership at about 40,000 by the mid-60s, the height of the civil rights movement. Klan members were convicted of using murder as a weapon against equality in states including Mississippi and Alabama, where one Klansman remains imprisoned for planting the bomb that killed four black girls in a Birmingham church in 1963. Cunningham, the historian, said the Klan dwindled to nearly nothing during the 1970s and 80s, when the SPLC sued the Alabama-based United Klans of America over the 1981 murder of Michael Donald, a black man whose beaten, slashed body was hanged from a tree. In an odd twist, Donalds mother wound up with the title to the Klans headquarters near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, because the group didnt have the money to pay the $7 million judgment awarded in the SPLC suit. KKK leader Brent Waller was raised in Laurel, Mississippi, in the shadow of the civil rights-era Klan. He has boyhood memories of flaming crosses and of Sam Bowers, a Klan boss who served six years in prison for his role directing the murders of three civil rights workers in 1964, and who later was convicted of killing a civil rights leader in 1966. Rather than a white robe, Waller, 47, wears a snow-white suit and orange tie when in public on Klan business and insists on donning sunglasses in photos to protect his identity. Stopping immigration, not blocking minority rights, is the Klans No. 1 issue today, Waller said. His group operates by the KKK rulebook called the Kloran, which was first published in 1915. Various versions of the book are now online, and an edition posted by the University of Wisconsin library states in part: We shall ever be true in the faithful maintenance of White Supremacy and will strenuously oppose any compromise thereof in any and all things. The current hot-button issue for Klan members fighting immigration and closing US borders is one of the most talked-about topics in the presidential election. Klan leaders say Donald Trumps immigration position and his ascendancy in the GOP are signs that things are going their way. You know, we began 40 years ago saying we need to build a wall, Arkansas-based Klan leader Thomas Robb said. Years ago, the group Robb heads near Harrison, Arkansas, changed its name from the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to the Knights Party USA, mainly to get away from the stigma associated with the Klan name. It now presents itself as more of a political or Christian entity. There is a lot of baggage with the name, said Rachel Pendergraft, Robbs daughter, who leads the group with him. You say the name KKK and a lot of people have a narrative in their minds of what it is about, what it does. The name resonates with people, whether it is good or whether it is bad. Despite trying to rebrand itself in many ways, 150 years later, the Klan has not stepped away from burning crosses, though it rarely does so in public. Instead, the lightings, as members call them, are held on private property away from law enforcement and demonstrators. In April, Klan members and other white supremacists held two rallies on the same warm Saturday in Georgia. As the sun set, about 60 robed Klan members and others holding flaming torches gathered in a huge circle in a field in northwest Georgia to set a cross and Nazi swastika afire. White power! they chanted in unison. Death to the ungodly! Death to our enemies!

Fair Usage Law

July 1, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

Ku Klux Klan at 150: Trying to reshape itself for a new era …

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Born in the ashes of the smoldering South after the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan died and was reborn before losing the fight against civil rights in the 1960s. Membership dwindled, a unified group fractured, and one-time members went to prison for a string of murderous attacks against blacks. Many assumed the group was dead, a white-robed ghost of hate and violence. Yet today, the KKK is still alive and members dreams of restoring the group to what it once was: an invisible white supremacist empire spreading its tentacles throughout society. As it marks 150 years of existence, the Klan is trying to reshape itself for a new era. Klan members still gather by the dozens under starry Southern skies to set fire to crosses in the dead of night, and KKK leaflets have shown up in suburban neighborhoods from the Deep South to the Northeast in recent months. Perhaps most unwelcome to opponents, some independent Klan organizations say they are merging with larger groups to build strength. “We will work on a unified Klan and/or alliance this summer,” said Brent Waller, imperial wizard of the United Dixie White Knights in Mississippi. In a series of interviews with The Associated Press, Klan leaders said they feel that U.S. politics are going their way, as a nationalist, us-against-them mentality deepens across the nation. Stopping or limiting immigration a desire of the Klan dating back to the 1920s is more of a cause than ever. And leaders say membership has gone up at the twilight of President Barack Obama’s second term in office, though few would provide numbers. Joining the Klan is as easy as filling out an online form provided you’re white and Christian. Members can visit an online store to buy one of the Klan’s trademark white cotton robes for $145, though many splurge on the $165 satin version. While the Klan has terrorized minorities during much of the last century, its leaders now present a public front that is more virulent than violent. Leaders from several different Klan groups all said they have rules against violence aside from self-defense, and even opponents agree the KKK has toned itself down after a string of members went to prison years after the fact for deadly arson attacks, beatings, bombings and shootings. “While today’s Klan has still been involved in atrocities, there is no way it is as violent as the Klan of the ’60s,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group that tracks activity by groups it considers extremist. “That does not mean it is some benign group that does not engage in political violence,” he added. Historian David Cunningham, author of “Klansville, U.S.A.: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan,” notes that while the Klan generally doesn’t openly advocate violence, “I do think we have the sort of ‘other’ model of violence, which is creating a culture that supports the commission of violence in the name of these ideas.” Klan leaders told the AP that most of today’s groups remain small and operate independently, kept apart by disagreements over such issues as whether to associate with neo-Nazis, hold public rallies or wear the KKK’s trademark robes in colors other than white. So-called “traditional” Klan groups avoid public displays and practice rituals dating back a century; others post web videos dedicated to preaching against racial diversity and warning of a coming “white genocide.” Women are voting members in some groups, but not in others. Some leaders will not speak openly with the media but others do, articulating ambitious plans that include quietly building political strength. Some groups hold annual conventions, just like civic clubs. Members gather in meeting rooms to discuss strategies that include electing Klan members to local political offices and recruiting new blood through the internet. It’s impossible to say how many members the Klan counts today since groups don’t reveal that information, but leaders claim adherents in the thousands among scores of local groups called Klaverns. Waller said his group is growing, as did Chris Barker, imperial wizard of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Eden, North Carolina. “Most Klan groups I talk to could hold a meeting in the bathroom in McDonald’s,” Barker said. As for his Klavern, he said, “Right now, I’m close to 3,800 members in my group alone.” The Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish protection group that monitors Klan activity, describes Barker’s Loyal White Knights as the most active Klan group today, but estimates it has no more than 200 members total. The ADL puts total Klan membership nationwide at around 3,000. The Alabama-based SPLC says there’s no evidence the Klan is returning to the strength of its heyday. It estimates the Klan has about 190 chapters nationally with no more than 6,000 members total, which would be a mere shadow of its estimated 2 million to 5 million members in the 1920s. “The idea of unifying the Klan like it was in the ’20s is a persistent dream of the Klan, but it’s not happening,” Potok said. Formed just months after the end of the Civil War by six former Confederate officers in Pulaski, Tennessee, the Klan originally seemed more like a college fraternity with ceremonial robes and odd titles for its officers. But soon, freed blacks were being terrorized, and the Klan was blamed. Hundreds of people were assaulted or killed within the span of a few years as whites tried to regain control of the defeated Confederacy. Congress effectively outlawed the Klan in 1871, leading to martial law in some places and thousands of arrests, and the group died. The Klan seemed relegated to history until World War I, when it was resurrected. It grew as waves of immigrants arrived aboard ships from Europe and elsewhere, and grew more as the NAACP challenged Jim Crow laws in the South in the 1920s. Millions joined, including community leaders like bankers and lawyers. That momentum declined, and best estimates place Klan membership at about 40,000 by the mid-’60s, the height of the civil rights movement. Klan members were convicted of using murder as a weapon against equality in states including Mississippi and Alabama, where one Klansman remains imprisoned for planting the bomb that killed four black girls in a Birmingham church in 1963. Cunningham, the historian, said the Klan dwindled to nearly nothing during the 1970s and ’80s, when the SPLC sued the Alabama-based United Klans of America over the 1981 murder of Michael Donald, a black man whose beaten, slashed body was hanged from a tree. In an odd twist, Donald’s mother wound up with the title to the Klan’s headquarters near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, because the group didn’t have the money to pay the $7 million judgment awarded in the SPLC suit. KKK leader Brent Waller was raised in Laurel, Mississippi, in the shadow of the civil rights-era Klan. He has boyhood memories of flaming crosses and of Sam Bowers, a Klan boss who served six years in prison for his role directing the murders of three civil rights workers in 1964, and who later was convicted of killing a civil rights leader in 1966. Rather than a white robe, Waller, 47, wears a snow-white suit and orange tie when in public on Klan business and insists on donning sunglasses in photos to protect his identity. Stopping immigration, not blocking minority rights, is the Klan’s No. 1 issue today, Waller said. His group operates by the KKK rulebook called the “Kloran,” which was first published in 1915. Various versions of the book are now online, and an edition posted by the University of Wisconsin library states in part: “We shall ever be true in the faithful maintenance of White Supremacy and will strenuously oppose any compromise thereof in any and all things.” The current hot-button issue for Klan members fighting immigration and closing U.S. borders is one of the most talked-about topics in the presidential election. Klan leaders say Donald Trump’s immigration position and his ascendancy in the GOP are signs things are going their way. “You know, we began 40 years ago saying we need to build a wall,” Arkansas-based Klan leader Thomas Robb said. Years ago, the group Robb heads near Harrison, Arkansas, changed its name from the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to the Knights Party USA, mainly to get away from the stigma associated with the Klan name. It now presents itself as more of a political or Christian entity. “There is a lot of baggage with the name,” said Rachel Pendergraft, Robb’s daughter, who leads the group with him. “You say the name ‘KKK’ and a lot of people have a narrative in their minds of what it is about, what it does. The name resonates with people, whether it is good or whether it is bad.” Despite trying to rebrand itself in many ways, 150 years later, the Klan has not stepped away from burning crosses, though it rarely does so in public. Instead, the “lightings,” as members call them, are held on private property away from law enforcement and demonstrators. In April, Klan members and other white supremacists held two rallies on the same warm Saturday in Georgia. As the sun set, about 60 robed Klan members and others holding flaming torches gathered in a huge circle in a field in northwest Georgia to set a cross and Nazi swastika afire. “White power!” they chanted in unison. “Death to the ungodly! Death to our enemies!” ___ Associated Press writer Jay Reeves wrote this article. Ryan Phillips in Stone Mountain, Ga.; and AP photographer Mike Stewart in Rome, Ga., contributed to this report.

Fair Usage Law

July 1, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

Knights of the Ku Klux Klan | Southern Poverty Law Center

The group’s leaders, from Duke to current chief Thomas Robb, have been plagued by their own racist views, which inevitably shine through the smokescreen, and by the attacks of other Klan members who view their interest in mainstream media and politics as hypocritical and counterproductive. In Its Own Words “Non-whites who reside in America should be expected to conduct themselves according to Christian principles and must recognize that race mixing is definitely wrong and out of the question. It will be a privilege to live under the authority of a compassionate White Christian government.” The Knights Party website “[T]here are politicians in Washington D.C. working around the clock chipping away at our liberty, but thanks to the foresight of our founding fathers America has held out the longest against the global, race mixing, homosexual, anti-Christ forces working to wipe out White Christianity the way we have always known it.” The Knights Party website “The Mexican birthrate in this country is five times that of white people. The black birthrate is four times larger. America will become a Third World nation if these trends continue. Unless we slow down and cut off immigration by beefing up border control and encourage welfare recipients to have fewer kids, the white population in America will be swamped.” David Duke in the run-up to the KKKK’s 1977 “Border Patrol” operation “Dats when A’hs does what A’hs want. Dat’s also when A’hs kin have da white girls, and da free food stamps.” KKKK leader Thomas Robb, The White Patriot “Fear of the Klan will never win our people over but rekindling the love for their heritage will and love of heritage is what we want. Love of Race, Love of Nation, Love of Faith. This is our Goal This is our Hope!” The Crusader, 2005 Background In true David Duke style, the foundation of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKKK) is shrouded in political myth. Duke’s claim that the Knights were founded in 1956 by Ed White (a pseudonym for Jim Lindsay) has, however, been largely discredited as a propagandistic attempt by the budding Klan leader to fend off depictions of his group as an inconsequential upstart. The group seems to have first appeared briefly in New Orleans in 1973, with Duke billing himself grand dragon and Jim Lindsay grand wizard. But records show that the KKKK was not formally incorporated in Louisiana until 1975, following Lindsay’s murder, when Duke listed himself as founder and national director and his then-wife, Chloe, as secretary. Duke’s attempts to win over the old guard of Klan leaders, both by re-imagining the origins of his group and by reaching out early on to fellow “Klan brothers,” belied his revolutionary plans. Famously calling on fellow Klansmen to “get out of the cow pasture and into hotel meeting rooms,” Duke saw himself as the leader of a slick, new Klan which would captivate the public through political discourse, eschewing the violent methods of the past. Duke thus brought the art of media manipulation to the Klan, wooing mainstream media personalities such as NBC host Tom Snyder and attracting dozens of reporters to write excited stories about the Knights’ 1977 “Border Patrol” publicity stunt, a supposed effort to close the U.S.-Mexico border to undocumented entrants that lasted just a few days. Under Duke’s management, the Knights opened its doors to women and Catholics (while never giving up entirely on the view that women are, above all else, best utilized for producing white babies). This all served to reinforce the public image of a more modern, educated Klan, an image that Duke reinforced by shunning Klan robes for suits and ties. Duke also revamped the Klan’s particular brand of bigotry. No longer a mere horde of cross-burning minority-haters, the Knights, like many other American hate groups, became “Nazified” focused on Jews rather than blacks as the primary enemy with Duke spinning elaborate theories about everything from Jewish control of the Federal Reserve to a Jewish conspiracy behind the civil rights movement. Likewise, the leadership of state KKKK chapters boasted a pantheon of budding neo-Nazi figures, including notorious anti-Semite Don Blackin Alabama, White Aryan Resistance founder Tom Metzger in California, and David Lane, a future leader of the terrorist group The Order, in Colorado. For a while, the Knights prospered, hosting in 1975 one of the largest Klan gatherings in decades in Walker, La. By 1979, Duke had built membership in the KKKK to an estimated 1,500, with another 10,000 non-member supporters. Duke and his tactics were arguably the catalyst for the Knights’ growth, but the egocentric leader also posed a constant threat to his group. Even one of the Knights’ greatest successes, the Walker rally in 1975, contained the seeds of trouble. In the rally’s wake, its organizer, Knights member Bill Wilkinson, quit in disgust over Duke’s management of the proceeds. This kind of criticism soon became common, with aides to Duke, also including Metzger and others, eventually alienated by what they portrayed as his corruption, his womanizing and his self-serving desire for personal political glory. A series of schisms rocked the Knights, and by 1980, the breakaway group that Wilkinson had formed following his departure the Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan boasted more members than Duke’s KKKK. Thus, by the time that David Duke left in disgrace, after being caught on camera trying to sell the Knights’ membership list, the KKKK was already weakened. That, plus the prosecution of several group leaders including Duke for allegedly inciting a riot at a New Orleans meeting, decimated the Knights. Many of those KKKK members who remained followed Duke to his new, non-Klan group, the National Association for the Advancement of White People, and the KKKK almost entirely collapsed several years later with Don Black’s 1981 arrest for conspiring to invade the Caribbean nation of Dominica. Leadership of the weakened KKKK passed to Stanley McCollum and the 1980s saw a decline in Klan activity, with the Knights claiming only a few hundred members when Thom Robb took over in 1989. Robb, who eschewed the Klannish “Imperial Wizard” title in favor of the more businesslike “National Director,” led the group to something of a revival in the early 1990s, even attempting at one point to start a family-oriented Klan camp near the KKKK’s new headquarters at his home in Harrison, Ark. Claiming, like Duke, to represent a “kinder, gentler” Klan, Robb followed in Duke’s media-exploiting footsteps with the added boon of expanded Internet communications. Robb’s was the first Klan site on the Web and he managed to develop a number of linked sites, thus creating the impression of a mushrooming cyber-movement. A gifted public speaker, Robb was also an adherent and pastor of Christian Identitytheology who wooed his listeners with speeches embracing a more subtle form of hate cloaked behind white “pride” and Christian compassion. But these promising efforts could not stop a series of schisms similar to those that plagued the KKKK under Duke. Like Duke, Robb also had a sharp interest in financial matters. He “formalized” KKKK recruitment, abandoning initiation rites in favor of a simple mail-in fee, in return for which members received booklets and tests allowing them to pay for their “promotion” to the next level. Complaints arose that this practice made Klan membership virtually meaningless. The salesmanship exhibited by Robb has sparked other controversies about money management, as well. In 1994, a number of high-ranking members split with Robb amidst accusations that he had made off with telephone hotline funds and a $20,000 donation to the group. These peoples were also highly critical of Robb’s “kinder, gentler” approach and went on to found more confrontational Klan factions. One of the splinters that emerged was a Michigan-based group that promptly hosted a more “traditional” Klan rally, hoods and all, in Lafayette, Ind. Ed Novak, an ex-lieutenant of Robb’s, founded the Chicago-based Federation of Klans and took with him roughly one third of Robb’s membership. Although weakened since the 1994 split, the KKKK has continued to stage rallies and other events, garnering the most media attention for its involvement in several “free speech” lawsuits. The group was represented by the ACLU in a 1999 Missouri case in which a local KKKK chapter was initially barred from participating in the state’s “Adopt-a-Highway” cleanup program (the Adopt-a-Highway technique had been advocated by David Duke himself). And, that same year, it engaged in a failed attempt to underwrite St. Louis, Mo., broadcasts of the National Public Radio new program “All Things Considered.” Most recently, the Knights were sued by the conservative tabloid Rhinoceros Times in North Carolina for allegedly inserting Klan leaflets into papers that were then distributed to local residences. Today, Robb’s website continues to bill the Knights, somewhat disingenuously, as “the most active white rights organization in America” (it clearly is not) and still offers Klan membership (and promotion!) for a price. Robb recently began calling his organization “The Knights Party” in an attempt to emphasize what he sees as the need for a softer, more political approach along the lines of David Duke’s tactics. In order, apparently, to finance political activity, the Knights website offers numerous wares for sale, such as handcrafted, glazed-ceramic statues of Klansmen.

Fair Usage Law

June 24, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

Ku Klux Klan | hate organization, United States | Britannica.com

Alternate Titles: KKK Ku Klux Klan, either of two distinct U.S. hate organizations that have employed terror in pursuit of their white supremacist agenda. One group was founded immediately after the Civil War and lasted until the 1870s; the other began in 1915 and has continued to the present. The 19th-century Klan was originally organized as a social club by Confederate veterans in Pulaski, Tenn., in 1866. They apparently derived the name from the Greek word kyklos, from which comes the English circle; Klan was added for the sake of alliteration and Ku Klux Klan emerged. The organization quickly became a vehicle for Southern white underground resistance to Radical Reconstruction. Klan members sought the restoration of white supremacy through intimidation and violence aimed at the newly enfranchised black freedmen. A similar organization, the Knights of the White Camelia, began in Louisiana in 1867. In the summer of 1867, the Klan was structured into the Invisible Empire of the South at a convention in Nashville, Tenn., attended by delegates from former Confederate states. The group was presided over by a grand wizard (Confederate cavalry general Nathan Bedford Forrest is believed to have been the first grand wizard) and a descending hierarchy of grand dragons, grand titans, and grand cyclopses. Dressed in robes and sheets designed to frighten superstitious blacks and to prevent identification by the occupying federal troops, Klansmen whipped and killed freedmen and their white supporters in nighttime raids. The 19th-century Klan reached its peak between 1868 and 1870. A potent force, it was largely responsible for the restoration of white rule in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. But Forrest ordered it disbanded in 1869, largely as a result of the groups excessive violence. Local branches remained active for a time, however, prompting Congress to pass the Force Act in 1870 and the Ku Klux Act in 1871. These bills authorized the president to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, suppress disturbances by force, and impose heavy penalties upon terrorist organizations. President Grant was lax in utilizing this authority, although he did send federal troops to some areas, suspend habeas corpus in nine South Carolina counties, and appoint commissioners who arrested hundreds of Southerners for conspiracy. In United States v. Harris in 1882, the Supreme Court declared the Ku Klux Act unconstitutional, but by that time the Klan had practically disappeared. It disappeared because its original objectivethe restoration of white supremacy throughout the Southhad been largely achieved during the 1870s. The need for a secret antiblack organization diminished accordingly. The 20th-century Klan had its roots more directly in the American nativist tradition. It was organized in 1915 near Atlanta, Ga., by Colonel William J. Simmons, a preacher and promoter of fraternal orders who had been inspired by Thomas Dixons book The Clansman (1905) and D.W. Griffiths film The Birth of a Nation (1915). The new organization remained small until Edward Y. Clarke and Mrs. Elizabeth Tyler brought to it their talents as publicity agents and fund raisers. The revived Klan was fueled partly by patriotism and partly by a romantic nostalgia for the old South, but, more importantly, it expressed the defensive reaction of white Protestants in small-town America who felt threatened by the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and by the large-scale immigration of the previous decades that had changed the ethnic character of American society. This second Klan peaked in the 1920s, when its membership exceeded 4,000,000 nationally, and profits rolled in from the sale of its memberships, regalia, costumes, publications, and rituals. A burning cross became the symbol of the new organization, and white-robed Klansmen participated in marches, parades, and nighttime cross burnings all over the country. To the old Klans hostility toward blacks the new Klanwhich was strong in the Midwest as well as in the Southadded bias against Roman Catholics, Jews, foreigners, and organized labour. The Klan enjoyed a last spurt of growth in 1928, when Alfred E. Smith, a Catholic, received the Democratic presidential nomination. During the Great Depression of the 1930s the Klans membership dropped drastically, and the last remnants of the organization temporarily disbanded in 1944. For the next 20 years the Klan was quiescent, but it had a resurgence in some Southern states during the 1960s as civil-rights workers attempted to force Southern communities compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There were numerous instances of bombings, whippings, and shootings in Southern communities, carried out in secret but apparently the work of Klansmen. President Lyndon B. Johnson publicly denounced the organization in a nationwide television address announcing the arrest of four Klansmen in connection with the slaying of a civil-rights worker, a white woman, in Alabama. The Klan was unable to stem the growth of a new racial tolerance in the South in the years that followed. Though the organization continued some of its surreptitious activities into the late 20th century, cases of Klan violence became more isolated, and its membership had declined to a few thousand. The Klan became a chronically fragmented mlange made up of several separate and competing groups, some of which occasionally entered into alliances with neo-Nazi and other right-wing extremist groups.

Fair Usage Law

June 24, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

Ku Klux Klan – The New York Times

Latest Articles The Anti-Defamation League on Thursday called on Donald J. Trump to explicitly reject comments from David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, about Jewish extremists who opposed Mr. Trumps candidacy. By MAGGIE HABERMAN News and updates from around the country. A historian writes that contrary to a claim, the president did not admire the Ku Klux Klan. Heres what Donald Trump said on Monday at the Old Post Office in Washington, D.C. By ELIZABETH WILLIAMSON The Republican front-runner promised to name five to 10 judges whom he would appoint to fill openings on the Supreme Court if he is elected president. By MAGGIE HABERMAN There were fistfights and major influence by the Ku Klux Klan during the partys convention at Madison Square Garden, an existential battle over the meaning of America. By JIM DWYER Kerry Kennedy takes issue with remarks by the conservative commentator Jeffrey Lord on CNN about the Ku Klux Klan. In a single composition, Vincent Valdez has captured a selfie for 21st-century America. By LAWRENCE DOWNES David Duke is a bad person, who I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years, Donald J. Trump said in an interview on MSNBC. On the possibility of an independent run, if Mr. Trump ever decided to bolt from the Republicans, he said his supporters are all coming with me. By MAGGIE HABERMAN A nativist, sexist, arguably fascist and racist liar is the front-runner for the Republican Partys presidential nomination. By CHARLES M. BLOW The leading Republican candidate is taking advantage of a backlash to racial progress, echoing events of the late 19th century. By BRENT STAPLES Back during The Apprentice and now when being introduced by a new sidekick, the gold-plated candidate has had no first name. By GAIL COLLINS Jeffrey Lord, a former Reagan staffer, and Van Jones, a former Obama staffer, butt heads live over Donald Trumps handling of the K.K.K. By JAMES PONIEWOZIK Mr. Trumps xenophobia and racism are right at home in the Republican party. By ANDREW ROSENTHAL The Republicans seem to be reeling from the fact that a shady, bombastic liar is hardening the image of their party as a symbol of intolerance. By THE EDITORIAL BOARD Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, reacted to the presidential candidate Donald J. Trumps muted response to David Duke by saying Senate Republicans condemn white supremacists. By REUTERS Hillary Clinton, at a stop for coffee, tried to drum up support from Minnesotans preparing for their states presidential caucuses Tuesday evening and criticized Republicans insult-filled campaigning. By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS They criticized the candidate for not distancing himself from David Duke, but Mr. Ryan said he would still back Mr. Trump as the Republican presidential nominee, while Mr. McConnell stopping short of saying he would not pull the lever for him. By JENNIFER STEINHAUER Intentionally or not, Mr. Trumps campaign is mobilizing white supremacists, so much so that he has their support despite awkward attempts to publicly disavow it. By JONATHAN MAHLER Marco Rubio denounced his fellow Republican candidate Donald J. Trump for not disavowing the support of the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS The Anti-Defamation League on Thursday called on Donald J. Trump to explicitly reject comments from David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, about Jewish extremists who opposed Mr. Trumps candidacy. By MAGGIE HABERMAN News and updates from around the country. A historian writes that contrary to a claim, the president did not admire the Ku Klux Klan. Heres what Donald Trump said on Monday at the Old Post Office in Washington, D.C. By ELIZABETH WILLIAMSON The Republican front-runner promised to name five to 10 judges whom he would appoint to fill openings on the Supreme Court if he is elected president. By MAGGIE HABERMAN There were fistfights and major influence by the Ku Klux Klan during the partys convention at Madison Square Garden, an existential battle over the meaning of America. By JIM DWYER Kerry Kennedy takes issue with remarks by the conservative commentator Jeffrey Lord on CNN about the Ku Klux Klan. In a single composition, Vincent Valdez has captured a selfie for 21st-century America. By LAWRENCE DOWNES David Duke is a bad person, who I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years, Donald J. Trump said in an interview on MSNBC. On the possibility of an independent run, if Mr. Trump ever decided to bolt from the Republicans, he said his supporters are all coming with me. By MAGGIE HABERMAN A nativist, sexist, arguably fascist and racist liar is the front-runner for the Republican Partys presidential nomination. By CHARLES M. BLOW The leading Republican candidate is taking advantage of a backlash to racial progress, echoing events of the late 19th century. By BRENT STAPLES Back during The Apprentice and now when being introduced by a new sidekick, the gold-plated candidate has had no first name. By GAIL COLLINS Jeffrey Lord, a former Reagan staffer, and Van Jones, a former Obama staffer, butt heads live over Donald Trumps handling of the K.K.K. By JAMES PONIEWOZIK Mr. Trumps xenophobia and racism are right at home in the Republican party. By ANDREW ROSENTHAL The Republicans seem to be reeling from the fact that a shady, bombastic liar is hardening the image of their party as a symbol of intolerance. By THE EDITORIAL BOARD Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, reacted to the presidential candidate Donald J. Trumps muted response to David Duke by saying Senate Republicans condemn white supremacists. By REUTERS Hillary Clinton, at a stop for coffee, tried to drum up support from Minnesotans preparing for their states presidential caucuses Tuesday evening and criticized Republicans insult-filled campaigning. By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS They criticized the candidate for not distancing himself from David Duke, but Mr. Ryan said he would still back Mr. Trump as the Republican presidential nominee, while Mr. McConnell stopping short of saying he would not pull the lever for him. By JENNIFER STEINHAUER Intentionally or not, Mr. Trumps campaign is mobilizing white supremacists, so much so that he has their support despite awkward attempts to publicly disavow it. By JONATHAN MAHLER Marco Rubio denounced his fellow Republican candidate Donald J. Trump for not disavowing the support of the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Fair Usage Law

June 18, 2016   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed


Fair Use Disclaimer

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Under the 'fair use' rule of copyright law, an author may make limited use of another author's work without asking permission. Fair use is based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism. The fair use privilege is perhaps the most significant limitation on a copyright owner's exclusive rights.

Fair use as described at 17 U.S.C. Section 107:

"Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phono-records or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  • (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for or nonprofit educational purposes,
  • (2) the nature of the copyrighted work,
  • (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and
  • (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."