The KKK, literally a domestic terrorist organization, has a message for the “terrorists masquerading as ‘peaceful protestors'”: If Darren Wilson isn’t indicted, and you riot, we’ll kill you.
Vice reports the Missouri chapter of the Ku Klux Klan has been distributing the following flier in St. Louis and on the internet:
The Ferguson protests have actually sparked a wave of recruitment for the KKK, as racists get angry enough to want to do something about their prejudices. Frank Ancona, the leader of the Missouri chapter, told the Riverfront Times that Ferguson has been the best thing for recruitment “since Obama.”
‘Missouri is definitely on fire right now,’ says Frank Ancona, the imperial wizard of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. In the past the group made headlines by passing out fliers for a KKK neighborhood watch program, but Ancona tells Daily RFT the Ferguson protests are attracting a new wave hopeful hood-wearers. He says he’s inducted 50 new members to the group’s Missouri chapter this month, and numbers are up in Ohio and Alabama as well.
‘These Ferguson protesters are the best recruiters since Obama,’ he says. ‘Normally we might hear from ten people a week in Missouri, and now we’re hearing from more like fifty people a week. Sometimes, depending on these news stories, we get 100, 200 calls in a day.’
It’s unlikely he’s telling the whole truth. Since 2010, Klan chapters and memberships have been on the decline, and hate groups are known to lie about membership to try to boost recruitment. The Riverfront Times also reports that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has issued a response to the flier the Klan is passing around:
‘It’s sickening but not surprising that Klansmen would throw fuel onto an already volatile situation by threatening violence against protesters in Ferguson. After all, the Klan is America’s oldest racist hate group and has been responsible for some of the heinous acts of domestic terrorism this country has seen, all in the name of white supremacy,’ says Lecia Brooks, SPLC outreach director, in a statement. ‘This group’s threat of using “lethal force” is nothing but vigilantism and has no place in America. Local law enforcement should take note.’
Conservative media sources have been quick to accuse Ferguson protesters and their supporters of “race-baiting.” Take, for example, the following excerpt from MadWorldNews, a conservative blog site:
As more details have emerged surrounding the shooting, evidence appears to corroborate Officer Wilson’s version of events but the protesters don’t seem to want to believe it. Unfortunately, the people of Ferguson are blinded by rage and the flames of hatred are being fanned by race-baiters, the media, and those looking to profit off others’ misfortune, so it’s unlikely they’ll ever believe anything that’s told to them.
If people want to see something one way, no amount of reason or logic will convince them to see it another, and that’s exactly why these demonstrations have been going on for so long.
Actually, the protests have been going on this long because they’re not just about Mike Brown and Darren Wilson — at least, not outside of Ferguson. The protests have captured the attention of the nation for different reasons than one police officer and one shooting. They’re happening because people are tired of systemic racism in our policing and justice systems. They’re mad because there isn’t representation on the police force.
They’re mad because racial profiling in America is very real and unjustified. They’re mad because black people are stopped more often and probably shot more often (the fact is that nobody keeps complete track of how many people the police kill, so there aren’t any hard numbers, just anecdotal reports and incomplete statistics). Ferguson is a community throwing up its hands and saying, “I’ve had enough.”
I wasn’t there, and I didn’t see what happened the day Darren Wilson fired those shots. Yet in my opinion, there is very little excuse for an officer to ever kill an unarmed civilian. Officers are trained to employ a number of nonlethal options when using force for that reason. Police should protect the community, which means civilians get the benefit of the doubt — not shot because they’re black and you’re scared.
And while we’re on the subject of “race-baiting,” it seems that printing a KKK flier in a positive light, as done by Sean Brown of MadWorldNews and linked above, would be the very definition. Race-baiting is defined as “the unfair use of statements about race to try to influence the actions or attitudes of a particular group of people” by Webster.
The KKK is the oldest racist hate organization in the United States, responsible for many instances of domestic terror attacks, and is calling protesters “terrorists” in turn. That sounds to me like “an unfair use of statements about race” to influence the actions of a group of people. They’re aiming at white people, and trying to get them to sympathize with their racist views.
Sadly, it seems to be working among conservatives. Here’s a depressing screenshot of the top responses below the aforementioned article:
Am I the only one that remembers how excited conservatives were when Cliven Bundy’s supporters pointed rifles at federal officers? Where was the KKK’s peacekeeping effort then?