The Ku Klux Klan is growing again
As of June 2017, there were 42 active Ku Klux Klan groups with activity in 33 states, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League.
That’s around 10 more active Klans than existed the last time the ADL published a report on the white nationalist movement in 2016. Most of the groups have less than 25 members. By the foundation’s count, there are 3,000 active members and unaffiliated individuals who identify with KKK ideology.
The Klan’s activity these days mostly consists of flyering. The ADL tracked 274 incidents since January 2014 of KKK members distributing racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic and Islamophobic leaftlets on driveways and doorsteps in neighborhoods around the country. Nearly half of the flyering efforts were conducted by the Loyal White Knights, a North Carolina-based Klan with activity in 24 states.
KKK groups also continue to host public rallies, although few people show up. The ADL counted three rallies in 2017: one at Fireman’s Park in Madison, Indiana attended by 15 people; one in front of the Patrick County Court House in Stuart, Virginia attended by 12 people; and one attended by 10 people protesting an LGBTQ pride march in Florence, Alabama.
According to the report, the Klan is rife with infighting, ranging from rumors and innuendo casting doubt on group leaders all the way to felony assault on fellow members and first-degree murder. KKK members are also still being tracked and prosecuted by the FBI for terrorist plots, including one North Carolina Klansman who was sentenced to 30 years in December for “planning to use a radiation dispersal device to kill Muslims and Barack Obama,” and one South Carolina member of an Alabama-based Klan who was arrested in February after purchasing a firearm from an undercover agent with the intent of committing a “Dylann Roof-style” attack.
It’s unclear what impact a KKK apologist leading the Justice Department has had on the FBI’s pursuit of white supremacist terrorism.
You can read the full ADL report here.
[photo via Anti-Defamation League]