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El Weekender

No 80

I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost

By Denise Jimenez

When you imagine, a frightening character running around covered in a white hood, possibly screaming frightening demands, you may assume it’s your run of the mill angry ghost. But, in this case you won’t find a disfigured ghoul under that hood, you will find a White Supremacist. While comparable to a ghoul, a White Supremacist presents real problems and sometimes they can be deadly. One of the most popular White Supremacy groups is the Ku Klux Klan.

Popularly referred to as the KKK, this is a hate group whose roots began when the Civil War ended. Klansman, would go on nightly runs to harass the black community, in efforts to regain “White power” in the south. They would often rape, murder and beat unsuspecting black citizens. However, after the new Jim Crow laws were implemented, the Klan felt as if they won back the South and the number of active groups declined.

It wasn’t long before they started back up, as more Jewish and Catholic immigrants came into the United States. And, of course groups skyrocketed when the Civil Rights Movement began. Then from 2010 to 2014 there was a steep drop from active Klan groups, however the situation drastically changed in 2015 when Klan groups nearly tripled in the United States.

The Ku Klux Klan even has a group in Fort Worth, and according to the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan’s disturbing website, they had a successful Klan’s rally in North Texas and they claimed to have had a good turnout. These people are congregating in our very own backyard, but I wouldn’t be nervous. Like I mentioned in the title, “I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost”. These Klansman are nothing to worry about. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, it is the “Lone Wolf” domestic terrorists that carry the most danger.

“Terror from the Right, Conspiracies and racist rampages since Oklahoma City”, is a detailed pamphlet created by the Intelligence Project for Southern Poverty Law Center, a group created in the 70’s made up of civil rights lawyers to ensure equality for all. This organization wanted to inform the public of the growing danger of solo or sometimes duo domestic terrorists.

According to the Intelligence Project’s information on domestic terrorism, there has been an increase of White Supremacists or antigovernment individuals who are veering away from popular groups like the Ku Klux Klan and moving more towards “internet activism”, these are generally racist message boards and racist websites.

These Lone Wolf terrorists also have very common backgrounds, and according to the study of 100 racist driven murders by racist extremists, they all had 10 common characteristics. These angry guys and gals were unemployed, engaged in public activism or leafletting, incidents occurred at home, posted on a racist forum or blog, sustained online activity, antagonistic online, changed their posting patterns, sees violence as a solution, discussed weapons, and identified an enemy. The danger of getting immersed in this radical idealism on the internet can turn your regular White Supremacist into a murderer. A recent SPLC report has stated that 74% of the domestic terrorist incidents in the last Six years were carried out or attempted by these Lone Wolves.

Dylan Roof is always the first to come to mind when imagining these solitary domestic terrorists. Dylan, showed every warning sign but nobody ever spoke up or took him seriously. Friends that he had re- connected with him a few weeks before the shootings, described him as more violent and agitated. One friend even took Roof’s gun from his possession, fearing he would do something irrational. The amount of time he spent on racist forums and websites only fueled his rage and pushed him towards violent extremism. Tragically, not one person who witnessed his odd behavior reported him to authorities. Dylan Roof would eventually enter the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, sit in for at least an hour before getting up and gunning nine black parishioners down in a racist, maleficent rampage. Dylan Roof was just the beginning. August 12, 2017, armed with automatic weapons and Tiki torches, white supremacists flooded the streets of Charlottesville Virginia. In an effort to “unite the right” Klan members, Neo Nazis and White supremacists came together unmasked to show their solidarity against removing confederate statues. Some Americans are shocked by the images of Nazi and confederate flags being flown threw the streets of Charlottesville. However, Americans like myself were not surprised at all, as discrimination and racism towards any person of color has become more and more brazen since 45 began his campaign for Presidency. It wasn’t long before anti-hate protesters showed up to defend their community, but sadly it would end in tragedy. During the demonstration, 20-year-old Alex Fields Jr. plowed into a group of innocent protesters, injuring at least 19 and killing Heather Heyer. She was only 32 years old. 

While the threat of entire hate groups like the KKK seem to be trivial, the hate speech and rhetoric they have perpetrated throughout this country has certainly done severe damage. They have long since solidified the anger of White Supremacist towards people of color, Jews, and Catholics. People like Timothy McVeigh, Alex Fields Jr., and Dylan Roof were clearly influenced by the core beliefs of the Ku Klux Klan, and while these three separate terrorist attacks didn’t have the Klan’s involvement, there is still blood on their hands.

During these trying times when it seems all is lost within the moral fabric of our communities, it is important to remember our values as a country. When you have a friend or family member headed down a questionable road, you must speak up. Sometimes all someone needs is a voice of reason, and sometimes they need to be turned in to authorities. It is time to take a stand against hate, and to keep moving forward against this new tide of extremism, racism and prejiduce.

Southern Poverty Law
May,17 2017 / May 17, 2017

Southern Poverty law/intelligence project


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