Also Known As:
The Ku Klux Klan (“KKK” or “the Klan”), dedicated to white supremacy, is America’s best-known hate group.“Rise of the Ku Klux Klan,” Public Broadcasting Service, accessed September 4, 2015, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/grant-kkk/. However, the Klan’s power and standing has declined dramatically in the decades since its peak years of millions-strong membership. In fact, the KKK is no longer a single, cohesive organization, having splintered into at least four main offshoots and dozens of smaller factions, all of which identify as members of “the Klan” and incorporate “Klan” in their group names. However, the Klan’s influence remains significant, especially among U.S. hate groups. The KKK has also attracted “vast numbers of sympathizers”“Ku Klux Klan: a History of Racism and Violence,” Southern Poverty Law Center, 2011, https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/Ku-Klux-Klan-A-History-of-Racism.pdf. due to its geographical diffusion across 41 states and historical notoriety, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.“Ku Klux Klan,” Southern Poverty Law Center, https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/ideology/ku-klux-klan. It is the oldest hate group in the United States.G. Pearson Cross, “White Supremacist Groups,” in Encyclopedia of Social Deviance, ed. Craig J. Forsyth and Heith Copes (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications: 2014), 778; J. Keith Akins, “The Ku Klux Klan: America’s Forgotten Terrorists,” Law Enforcement Executive Forum 5, no. 7 (2006), http://www.uhv.edu/asa/articles/KKKAmericasForgottenTerrorists.pdf.
The KKK is the oldest and most notorious hate group in the United States.
The KKK has gone through three phases of growth, followed each time by drastic decline. The original Klan was founded by a group of six Confederate army veterans in Tennessee in 1865. Fearing increasing political control by Reconstructionist politicians buoyed by the potential electoral power of newly freed male black slaves, the KKK responded by terrorizing black people through physical and psychological intimidation during the Reconstruction era following the Civil War. The KKK adopted costumes evoking the spirits of dead Confederate soldiers, exploiting fear and superstition among the black population. It existed until 1871, when the federal government passed the Ku Klux Klan Act, allowing the prosecution of KKK members as part of a terrorist organization.“Rise of the Ku Klux Klan,” Public Broadcasting Service, accessed September 4, 2015, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/grant-kkk/. The KKK re-emerged in 1915 in Atlanta, Georgia. At the height of the group’s power in the mid-1920s, it claimed around 4–5 million members. Numbers collapsed, however, and the organization effectively disbanded before the advent of World War II. In response to the burgeoning civil rights movement, the KKK was formed again during the 1960s and continues to function in limited ways. Today, there are at least four main KKK branches among the 72 active groups operating under the Klan name: the Brotherhood of Klans, the National Knights, the Imperial Klans of America and the Knights Party.“Hate Map: National Numbers,” Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed November 9, 2015, https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map.
The KKK has returned to the national public consciousness in the last two years. In 2014, Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. (a.k.a. Miller), the founder of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was arrested for the murder of three people at Jewish community centers in Kansas and Missouri.Max Abrahms, “The KKK is a Terrorist Organization,” Politico, April 15, 2014, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/04/the-kkk-is-a-terrorist-organization-105717. On September 8, 2015, a Kansas jury recommended Cross be sentenced to death,Diana Reese, “Jury Recommends Death Penalty for White Supremacist Glenn Miller,” Washington Post, September 8, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/09/08/white-supremacist-frazier-glenn-miller-sentenced-to-die/. and he was convicted of murder on November 11, 2015. When he was sentenced to death by a Kansas court, Cross responded, “Heil Hitler.”“Frazier Glenn Miller: US White Supremacist Sentenced to Death,” BBC News, November 11, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34783848.
In 2015, after white supremacist Dylann Roof shot and killed nine African-Americans at a well-known black church in Charleston, South Carolina, the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan distributed Klan propaganda with bags of candy to front lawns in Alabama, California, Georgia, Kansas, and Mississippi.Kate Briquelet, “The Klan’s Vile Post-Charleston Recruitment Spree,” Daily Beast, June 24, 2015, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/24/the-klan-s-vile-post-charleston-recruiting-spree.html. On fliers, readers were encouraged to ring a hotline that saluted Roof, which said, “We in the Loyal White Knights would like to say hail victory to … Dylann S. Roof who decided to do what the bible told him… ”Kate Briquelet, “The Klan’s Vile Post-Charleston Recruitment Spree,” Daily Beast, June 24, 2015, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/24/the-klan-s-vile-post-charleston-recruiting-spree.html. A spokesperson for the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (a.k.a. the Knights Party) took a different approach, trying to distance the KKK from Roof’s actions by denouncing him. She urged the media to be “courageous” and highlight the denunciation, claiming that the murders would “be used to promote white guilt.”“We Denounce Shootings in South Carolina!” Knights Party, June 23, 2015, http://kkk.bz/?p=6520.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “the Klan’s message of hatred endures, supported by a record of violence and terror unmatched in the history of American extremist groups.”“Ku Klux Klan: a History of Racism and Violence,” Southern Poverty Law Center, 2011, https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/Ku-Klux-Klan-A-History-of-Racism.pdf.
The KKK believes in white supremacy, white solidarity, and preservation of the white race.
The KKK’s overriding doctrine is white supremacy, white solidarity, and preservation of the white race. The group describes itself as “promoters of White Christian civilization.”Rachel Prendergraft, “Our Vision – the 6th era – and why you should support Pastor Robb and The Knights Party,” Knights Party, accessed July 20, 2015, http://www.kkk.bz/vision.htm.
In 1975, David Duke, a KKK member and future candidate for president and other high offices, launched the Knights Party, explicitly seeking to soften the Klan’s image. According to the Knights Party, the KKK seeks to “secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” and advocates for white self-determination in the U.S.Rachel Prendergraft, “”Does the Klan Hate Negroes,” Knights Party, accessed July 29, 2015, http://www.kkk.bz/doesthe.htm. The Knights Party thus describes its ethos as “racialist” rather than “racist”Rachel Prendergraft, “Frequently Asked Questions,” Knights Party, accessed September 2, 2015, http://www.kkk.bz/faq.htm.and explicitly rejects charges of racism, claiming, “How disappointed they must be when they find out the Klan does not hate Negroes!”Rachel Prendergraft, “”Does the Klan Hate Negroes,” Knights Party, accessed July 29, 2015, http://www.kkk.bz/doesthe.htm. The term racialism as used by the Knights Party describes a simple preference for one race over another, rather than racism, which entails negative discrimination against other races. Other academics also claim differences between racism and racialism, including a Yale Law School professor who states, “[r]acialism is rational, morally neutral, and inevitable in a society with our history of slavery, discrimination, and white-black social differences in so many areas.”Peter H. Schuck, “Racism and Racialism Are Different,” Huffington Post, February 21, 2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-schuck/racism-and-racialism-are-_b_6368010.html. According to the Oxford English Dictionary and most dictionaries, however, it is synonymous with racism.“Are racism and racialism the same?” BBC News, March 13, 2007, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6442853.stm.
Similar to the Knights Party’s claim, the Imperial Wizard (leader) of the Traditional American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Frank Ancona has stated, “We don’t hate people because of their race…We want to keep our race the White race…We want to stay White. It’s not a hateful thing to want to maintain White Supremacy.”Chris Thomas, “KKK leader: We don’t hate people because of their race,” NBC 12, March 21, 2014, http://www.nbc12.com/story/25034656/kkk-leader-we-dont-hate-people-because-of-their-race.
The Knights Party also downplays its violent associations—referring to its “alleged ‘violent’ past”“Why the Klan?,” Knights Party, accessed July 29, 2015, http://www.kkk.bz/why2.html.—and explicitly rejects the label of “hate group.” According to the KKK itself, it “is not a hate group, but we are a LOVE group…because we LOVE America and we LOVE our people.” A KKK Chapter called the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klux (TAK) similarly states, “We are a non-violent organization that believes in the preservation of the White race and the United States Constitution as it was originally written…”“Who We Are,” Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, accessed July 30, 2015, http://traditionalistamericanknights.com/Who_We_Are.html.
Notwithstanding these attempts to disassociate the KKK from its racist foundations, the “same bigoted rhetoric…lurks beneath the veneer,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.“Knights of the Ku Klux Klan,” Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed September 2, 2015, https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/knights-ku-klux-klan. The KKK “target[s] blacks more often than any other group.” Biracial couples are also “frequent targets of Klan violence,” while anti-Semitism and “rabidly homophobic” literature since the 1970s also form key pillars of the KKK’s ideology. In 1999, homophobic Klan rhetoric reportedly inspired Steven Eric Mullins and Charles Monroe Butler to beat a gay man to death before burning the corpse.J. Keith Akins, “The Ku Klux Klan: America’s Forgotten Terrorists,” Law Enforcement Executive Forum 5, no. 7 (2006), http://www.uhv.edu/asa/articles/KKKAmericasForgottenTerrorists.pdf. In April 2014, the founder and former leader of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Glenn Frazier Cross shot and killed a boy and his grandfather at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, one day before the Jewish holiday of Passover.Saeed Ahmed, Ashley Fantz, and Catherine E. Shoichet, “Jewish center shooter ‘knocked family to its knees,’ relative says,” CNN, April 15, 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/14/us/kansas-jewish-center-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_t1.
There are at least four main KKK splinter groups operating today.
The KKK is no longer a single entity run by a sole leader and with central headquarters. The SPLC mentions at least four larger Klan organizations: the Brotherhood of Klans (BOK); the Church of the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (National Knights); Imperial Klans of America (IKA); and the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKKK, a.k.a. The Knights Party), which is the largest group. These four main groups are supplemented by dozens of smaller factions, all of which use the “Klan” name.“Extremist Files: Groups,” Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed July 31, 2015, http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups; Tom Leonard, “Ku Klux Klan: A Violent History,” Telegraph (London), October 23, 2009, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6419739/Ku-Klux-Klan-a-violent-history.html.
The Brotherhood of Klans (BOK)
The Brotherhood of Klans (BOK) was founded in 1996 by Dale Fox. It is a “traditional” Klan and therefore highly secretive. It is nonetheless geographically widespread, and distinguishes itself from other factions as the only Klan to establish a presence outside the United States, “with a sizeable presence in Canada.” “Brotherhood of Klans,” Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed October 15, 2015, https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/brotherhood-klans. Its headquarters are believed to be in Henderson, Tennessee.David J. Garrow, “The Klan Is Not Rising Again,” Los Angeles Times, February 27, 2007, http://articles.latimes.com/2007/feb/27/opinion/oe-garrow27.
The Church of the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (National Knights)
Formed in 1960 and now operating out of South Bend, Indiana, the National Knights is one of the most active Klans. The SPLC has pointed to the group’s organizational incompetence, saying it “gained a kind of “Keystone Kops” reputation on the white supremacist scene for its bumbling ways.”“Church of the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan,” Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed October 15, 2015, https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/church-national-knights-ku-klux-klan.
Imperial Klans of America (IKA)
Like the BOK, the Imperial Klans of America (IKA) is a “traditional” Klan. It was founded by Ron Edwards in Dawson Springs, Kentucky in 1996. It is believed to be the second-largest Klan group after the BOK.Associated Press, “No. 2 Klan Group on Trial in Ky. Teen’s Beating,” NBC News, November 11, 2008, http://www.nbcnews.com/id/27665247/#.ViAHd36rSM8.
The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKKK, a.k.a. the Knights Party)
The Knights Party was founded by David Duke in 1975 and purports to represent the modern Klan with a “kindler, gentler” face seeking “white civil rights.” Its head office is in Harrison, Arkansas.“Knights of the Ku Klux Klan,” Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed October 15, 2015, https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/knights-ku-klux-klan.
The KKK’s fragmentation and lack of organization has stemmed in large part from internal disputes over ideology, as well as petty squabbling.Ashley Fantz, “Can This KKK Leader Rebrand?” CNN, April 19, 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/19/us/jewish-center-shootings-kkk-rebranding/. Generally, cosmetic differences in competence, public relations ability, group size, and structure mark one group as different from another.“Extremist Files: Groups,” Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed July 31, 2015, http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups. Renee Lewis, “Focus on KKK Ignores More Powerful Hate Groups,” Al Jazeera America, November 6, 2015, http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/11/6/focus-on-kkk-ignores-otherl-white-hate-groups.html. Ideological distinctions between these Klan groups are marginal, however, as all are devoted to white supremacy.
The KKK consists of around 160 chapters across 41 states.
The KKK consists of around 160 known active chapters across 41 states, including both national organizations like the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and local chapters such as the Alabama White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.“Alabama White Knights,” The United Klans of America Alabama White Knights, accessed September 4, 2015, http://theuka.us/ALABAMA_WHITE_KNIGHTS.html. The London-based Telegraph estimates total KKK membership at “no more than 8,000,”Tom Leonard, “Ku Klux Klan: A Violent History,” Telegraph (London), October 23, 2009, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6419739/Ku-Klux-Klan-a-violent-history.html. further “split among dozens of different—and often warring—organizations that use the Klan name.”“Ku Klux Klan,” Southern Poverty Law Center, https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/ideology/ku-klux-klan. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the KKK has more chapters than any other U.S. right-wing group.“About the Ku Klux Klan,” Anti-Defamation League, accessed July 20, 2015, http://archive.adl.org/learn/ext_us/kkk/default.html. Two-thirds of chapters are located in the South.Tom Leonard, “Ku Klux Klan: A Violent History,” Telegraph (London), October 23, 2009, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6419739/Ku-Klux-Klan-a-violent-history.html.
Traditional KKK groups such as the TAK employ a well-developed hierarchical structure characterized by a distinctive Klan lexicon. TAK leader Frank Ancona, for instance, is known as the “Grand Wizard” of the organization. The United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (UNSKKKK) also retains the distinctive names of rank such as Klaliff, Kleagle, Kladd, Klexter, Klokard and Klokan.“UNSK Imperial Board,” United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, accessed September 8, 2015, http://www.unskkkk.com/. The comparatively more “modern” Knights Party, by contrast, dispenses with the traditional Klan lexicon. In general, KKK members retain anonymity, apart from higher echelons and some officers.
Funding for the KKK is believed to be minimal and primarily secured from membership fees and sales of KKK paraphernalia and merchandise. “About the Ku Klux Klan,” Anti-Defamation League, accessed July 20, 2015, http://archive.adl.org/learn/ext_us/kkk/default.html. The TAK also encourages prospective supporters disinclined to full membership to sign up as “Ghoul Squad” members, thereby “contributing to our unseen, invisible army of supporters” for a fee of $25 or $100.“Klan Supporters,” Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, accessed July 31, 2015, http://traditionalistamericanknights.com/Klan_Supporters.html.
Historically, a Klan group’s “Kleagle” is responsible for recruiting new members, known as “Ghouls.” According to the SPLC the Kleagle – in Klan groups that still adopt the traditional names – “gets a percentage of the initiation fees.”“Extremist Files: Groups,” Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed July 31, 2015, http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups. During the 1940s, membership cost $10, “plus annual fees of $6.80” and functioned as a pyramid scheme in which the “national, state, and provincial headquarters each got about a 20 percent slice of the action.”Brian Palmer, “What Does an Exalted Cyclops Do?” Slate, June 30, 2010, http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2010/06/what_does_an_exalted_cyclops_do.html.
The KKK has exploited major attacks, including the June 2015 South Carolina massacre, as an opportunity for recruitment. Through the summer of 2015, the KKK distributed fliers along with bags of candy on residential front yards across Alabama, California, Georgia, Kansas, and Mississippi. The fliers included the website and telephone number of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. According to “Grand Dragon” Robert Jones, “We’re doing this from the East Coast to the West Coast, just to let people know the Klan’s in their community.”Kate Briquelet, “The Klan’s Vile Post-Charleston Recruiting Spree,” Daily Beast, June 24, 2015, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/24/the-klan-s-vile-post-charleston-recruiting-spree.html. According to the Anti-Defamation League, sections of the KKK’s members are drawn from a “criminal milieu.”“Ku Klux Klan: Criminal Activity and Violence,” Anti-Defamation League, accessed September 2, 2015, http://archive.adl.org/learn/ext_us/kkk/crime.html?LEARN_Cat=Extremism.
The KKK also recruits through web-based media. Pastor Thomas Robb—a well-known current KKK leader, successor to David Duke, and current head of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan—hosts a show called This Is The Klan on his website. On the same site, younger members and prospective recruits are directed to watch White Youth Focus, hosted by Billy Graham, “for racially aware young people to get their news.”“WhitePrideTV.com,” ThomasRobb.com, accessed September 8, 2015, http://www.thomasrobb.com/. Thomas Robb formerly hosted a YouTube show called The Andrew Show using the channel name ShowForWhiteKids.Jon Levine, “7 Facts About How the KKK Is Operating in the United States Today,” News.Mic, July 1, 2015, http://mic.com/articles/121628/7-facts-about-the-kkk-operating-in-america-today. “White women” are catered to in a show called White Women’s Perspective, hosted by Rachel Prendergraft and promoted on Pastor Robb’s website. “WhitePrideTV.com,” accessed September 8, 2015, http://www.thomasrobb.com/. After taking control of the KKKK, Robb dispensed with the traditional initiation rites “in favor of a simple mail-in fee that earned applicants booklets and tests, allowing them to move through the ranks by paying for promotions.”“Thomas Robb,” Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed September 8, 2015, https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/individual/thomas-robb.
The KKK has used violence as a tool of fear and intimidation from its earliest days in the late 19th century. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “[l]ynchings, tar-and-featherings, rapes and other violent attacks on those challenging white supremacy became a hallmark of the Klan” during the Reconstruction era.“Ku Klux Klan,” Southern Poverty Law Center, https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/ideology/ku-klux-klan.
The KKK is most associated with the practice of lynching (especially by hanging), in which a mob takes the law into its own hands and commits murder.Robert L. Zangrando, “The NAACP Crusade Against Lynching, 1909-1950,” National Black Journal 7, no. 3 (1982), http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1m71j2dk#page-1. KKK lynchings of black men and women witnessed a resurgence during the 1920s. By 1930, the Klan was responsible for a significant proportion of the 4,000 blacks killed via lynching since the start of the 20th century.<“The Legacy of Harry T. Moore: Lynchings,” Public Broadcasting Service, accessed November 12, 2015, http://www.pbs.org/harrymoore/terror/lynching.html. This practice continues to be most associated with the KKK in the public imagination. In its third, current phase, the KKK has resorted to other forms of violence, including attempted bombings. Some Klan offshoots, notably the Knights Party and the Traditional American Knights (TAK), now officially eschew violence in order to “rebrand” with a softer image. According to TAK leader Frank Ancona, “I believe in racial separation but it doesn't have to be violent.”Ashley Fantz, “Can this KKK leader rebrand?” CNN, April 19, 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/19/us/jewish-center-shootings-kkk-rebranding/.
- June 21, 1964: In coordination with Deputy Sherriff Cecil Price in Philadelphia, Mississippi police, Klan members follow, beat then shoot to death three civil rights workers.“Mississippi Burning Trial: A Chronology,” University of Missouri – Kansas City, accessed September 10.2015, http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/price&bowers/miss_chrono.html.
- November 3, 1979: Five protesters at a “Death to the Klan” march in Greensboro, North Carolina, are shot and killed by KKK and American Nazi Party members.Michael Wright, Caroline Rand Hermon, and Richard Levine, “THE NATION; Civil Convictions in Greensboro,” New York Times, June 9, 1985, http://www.nytimes.com/1985/06/09/weekinreview/the-nation-civil-convictions-in-greensboro.html.
- March 1981: Two Klansmen from the United Klans of America lynch teenager Michael Donald in Mobile, Alabama. One of the perpetrators, Henry Hayes, is executed for the crime in 1997.“Buelah Mae Donald; Sued Klan, Won,” Los Angeles Times, September 20, 1988, http://articles.latimes.com/1988-09-20/news/mn-2179_1_beulah-mae-donald.
- April 1997: Four Klan members are arrested for plotting terrorist attacks in North Texas, including the targeting of a gas processing plant. They are later found guilty of a variety of charges.“Ku Klux Klan: Criminal Activity and Violence,” Anti-Defamation League, accessed September 2, 2015, http://archive.adl.org/learn/ext_us/kkk/crime.html?LEARN_Cat=Extremism.
- August 2005: Daniel James Schertz of the North Georgia White Knights pleads guilty to building pipe bombs designed to blow up buses transporting Haitian and Mexican workers from Tennessee to Florida.“Ku Klux Klan: Criminal Activity and Violence,” Anti-Defamation League, accessed September 2, 2015, http://archive.adl.org/learn/ext_us/kkk/crime.html?LEARN_Cat=Extremism.
- May 6, 2010: KKK chapter leader Raymond Foster is sentenced to life imprisonment for shooting to death Cynthia Lynch, a new recruit who wanted to leave the group one day after her initiation in St. Tammany Parish near New Orleans in November 2008.“Ku Klux Klan leader murdered new recruit,” Telegraph (London), May 6, 2010, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/7684947/Ku-Klux-Klan-leader-murdered-new-recruit.html.
- April 13, 2014: Former KKK senior leader Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr. murders three people at two Jewish community centers near Kansas City, Missouri.Carey Gillam, “White supremacist charged with murder in Kansas shootings,” Reuters, April 15, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/15/us-usa-kansas-shooting-idUSBREA3C0MX20140415.
- May 15, 2014: Former Exalted Cyclops of the International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Steven Dinkle is sentenced to two years in prison. He is convicted for hate crimes and obstruction of justice in relation to a 2009 cross burning.“Former Alabama KKK Leader Sentenced to Prison for Cross Burning and Obstruction of Justice,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, May 15, 2014, https://www.fbi.gov/mobile/press-releases/2014/former-alabama-kkk-leader-sentenced-to-prison-for-cross-burning-and-obstruction-of-justice.
- November 14, 2014: The Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK claims it will use “lethal force” against protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, in a flier that reads: “There will be consequences for your actions against the peaceful, law abiding citizens of Missouri.”Lily Workneh, “KKK Threatens ‘Lethal Force’ Against Ferguson Protesters And Appears on TV to Explain Why,” Huffington Post, November 14, 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/14/kkk-threatens-lethal-force-protesters-ferguson_n_6155570.html.
- June 2015: After white supremacist Dylann Roof murders black churchgoers in South Carolina, the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan distribute Klan propaganda with bags of candy onto front lawns in Alabama, California, Georgia, Kansas, and Mississippi.Kate Briquelet, “The Klan’s Vile Post-Charleston Recruitment Spree,” Daily Beast, June 24, 2015, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/24/the-klan-s-vile-post-charleston-recruiting-spree.html.
- November 11, 2015: Former Klan leader and anti-Semite Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr. is found guilty of one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted murder committed in April 2014. He is sentenced to death, to which he responds “Heil Hitler.”“Frazier Glenn Miller: US white supremacist sentenced to death,” BBC News, November 11, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34783848.
- August 12, 2017: Richard W. Preston, the self-identified imperial wizard of the northern Maryland-based Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, fires a pistol toward a counter-protestor at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Preston was not immediately arrested as state troopers did not hear or see the incident, but the American Civil Liberties Union later releases a video of Preston, which leads to his arrest on August 26. Preston is charged with discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school and is held at Baltimore County jail. Preston pleads no contest to his charges on May 8, 2018. On August 21, 2018, a Charlottesville Circuit Court sentences Preston to four years in prison.Tom Jackman, “Three men charged in Charlottesville attacks on counterprotesters,” Washington Post, August 27, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/three-men-charged-in-charlottesville-attacks-on-counterprotesters/2017/08/27/f08930a4-8b5a-11e7-84c0-02cc069f2c37_story.html; “Maryland Ku Klux Klan leader gets 4 years in prison for gunshot at Charlottesville rally,” Baltimore Sun, August 21, 2018, https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/bs-md-preston-sentencing-20180820-story.html; Ian Shapira, “Ku Klux Klan leader found guilty for firing gun at Charlottesville rally,” Washington Post, May 8, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/ku-klux-klan-leader-found-guilty-for-firing-gun-at-charlottesville-rally/2018/05/08/d4229ec6-522b-11e8-9c91-7dab596e8252_story.html.
- June 6, 2020: Police arrest Harry Rogers, a self-described Ku Klux Klan leader outside Richmond, Virginia, after he drives his car into a group of Black Lives Matter protestors. One person is injured in the attack. On August 11, Rogers is convicted of six misdemeanors including assault, destruction of property and hit-and-run charges and is sentenced to six years in prison.“KKK 'leader' charged for attack on Black Lives Matter protesters,” BBC News, June 9, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52973398; Allyson Waller, “Virginia Man, Said to Be a Klan Leader, Gets 6 Years in Prison After Driving Into a Protest,” New York Times, August 11, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/11/us/kkk-harry-rogers-guilty.html.
Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC):
The Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center both state that KKK members have ties to the CCC and other white supremacist groups.Michael Janofsky, “David Duke Heads North to Raise Money for House Race,” New York Times, January 3, 1999, http://www.nytimes.com/1999/01/03/us/david-duke-heads-north-to-raise-money-for-house-race.html. CCC members have previously supported the political activities of former KKKK leader David Duke.Michael Janofsky, “David Duke Heads North to Raise Money for House Race,” New York Times, January 3, 1999, http://www.nytimes.com/1999/01/03/us/david-duke-heads-north-to-raise-money-for-house-race.html. On January 2, 1999, Duke held a fundraiser in Arlington, Virginia for his campaign for a Louisiana seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Event organizer Mark Cotterill had recently resigned as chair of the CCC’s national capital region. Cotterill insisted the CCC did not sponsor the event, but the audience of about 100 included many CCC members.Michael Janofsky, “David Duke Heads North to Raise Money for House Race,” New York Times, January 3, 1999, http://www.nytimes.com/1999/01/03/us/david-duke-heads-north-to-raise-money-for-house-race.html. Duke had also previously shown up at a CCC national convention, to the ire of former CCC CEO Gordon Baum, who thought Duke’s presence would hurt the CCC’s political legitimacy.“Racist Council of Conservative Citizens Finds Home in Mainstream Politics,” Southern Poverty Law Center, Winter 1998, http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/1999/winter/sharks-in-the-mainstream. Baum reportedly threatened a local newspaper with a lawsuit if it reported Duke’s presence.“Racist Council of Conservative Citizens Finds Home in Mainstream Politics,” Southern Poverty Law Center, Winter 1998, http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/1999/winter/sharks-in-the-mainstream..