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Ku Klux Klan re-emerging

By Lisa Brody
News Editor
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The ADL asserts that the Klan has embraced the Internet as a way to spread anti-Semitism and racism, and that it is a convenient publicity tool for them, allowing them to reach a wide cadre of disaffected individuals.

Internet postings by alleged Klansmen are not hard to find, and they exist in Michigan. For example, on the Michigan Rollcall website, a Klan-affiliated website, recent writings include, from January 2014: "I live in oakland county (sic). Warren, Roseville, Troy, Rochester. Area. I DAILY see beautiful whites on dates with negros. Especially at bars they leave 2 a.m to go have sex with them. In europe the RACE TRAITORS are publicly SHAMED! In America its normal & the TRAITORS are treated nice. WE men! need to UNITE and treat them as there (sic) true form. WHITE TRASH! As alone were not a FORCE! IN GROUPS in public we could shame TRAITORS. IF they have a problem. DEAL WITH OUR GROUP."

What drives someone to post a hate-filled rant, seeking and receiving responses? Similar to those in other radical right wing movements, whether political or social movements, "There's a lot of resentment in America right now now about the way America is changing, and all of the cultural changes," Potok said.

The ADL concurs. "The Ku Klux Klan has experienced a surprising and troubling resurgence due to the successful exploitation of hot button issues including immigration, gay marriage and urban crime. Klan groups have witnessed a surprising and troubling resurgence by exploiting fears of an immigration explosion, and the debate over immigration has in turn helped to fuel an increase in Klan activity, with new groups sprouting in parts of the country that have not seen much activities. They hold anti-immigration rallies and recruitment drives and distribute racist literature, with a new emphasis on the immigration issue, and Hispanics."

"The biggest reason (for the hatred) is that the American population is changing demographically," Potok noted. "Whites will be the minority for the first time in 2043. There are changes in very real and concrete ways. There is very real anger and hostility, and it's driving people to the radical right, whether it's the Tea Party or other movements.

"The Klan is a little different," Potok continued. "To some it's a bit romantic. After Reconstruction, it was portrayed as the great white savior, the white woman's savior from southern black Negroes. But to other sectors of the radical right, like the Neo-Nazis, they're ignorant country bumpkins who live in trailers. They're not far wrong. Klansmen are all very rural. There are no urban Klan members today. They're all working class or below, working in agricultural jobs or minimum wage jobs. Many members of the Klan are made up of Klan members family and friends."

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