The online hacktivist group Anonymous has engaged in a high-profile war of words with the KKK, which eventually led to the revelation of the identities of 1,000 KKK members last week. However, Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), says there are several other hate groups which are even more dangerous than the Klan.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Potok said the KKK is a waning power.
“Today the Klan members are almost universally rural, working class or below. They tend to be very uneducated, and often the groups are made up of a man, his family, and his neighbors,” Potok said.
The SPLC monitors about 1,600 extremist groups based in America. They also provide a link on their website that allows users to see how many hate groups are in their area. Potok said there are several newer hate groups which are just as violent as the KKK.
Here are some of the groups:
- Christian identity. This is a belief that puts a racist spin on Christianity. Its members believe Black people have no souls and Jews are the spawn of Satan. According to the SPLC, it has 50,000 members nationally. Al Jazeera stated Christian identity adherents were linked to several domestic terrorist attacks in the 1990s. In 1995, Willie Ray Lampley, a Christian identity leader, planned to carry a series of terrorist attacks after the Oklahoma City bombing.
- Neo-nazi groups. These groups are driven by a love for Adolf Hitler and his Nazi philosophy. Their hatred is mainly directed at Jews, but they also harbor animosity towards Black people and the LGBT community. Al Jazeera said the largest domestic neo-Nazi group is the National Socialist Movement, which is famous for wearing Nazi uniforms and staging theatrical protests. Another prominent neo-Nazi group is the National Alliance. The SPLC says its numbers have been in decline since the death of leader William Turner, author of The Turner Diaries, a book about a future race war. The book was supposed have served as the inspiration for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
- White nationalist groups. Some groups have opted to take a more stealthy approach to racism. They avoid Nazi uniforms and Klan robes, and portray themselves as “conservatives,” concerned about the decline of Western European culture. One of these groups is the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC.) This is the latest incarnation of the White Citizens Council, a group that opposed desegregation. Although the CCC denies it has a racist agenda, it’s mission statement says it opposes “all efforts to mix the races of mankind.” According to The Guardian, CCC leader Earl Holt III donated $65,000 to Republicans such as Sen. Rand Paul, former Sen. Rick Santorum and Sen. Ted Cruz. Dylann Roof, the domestic who killed nine Black church goers this summer, claims to have been radicalized by reading information from the CCC’s website. Another white nationalist group is the Pioneer Fund, which funds research to try and prove Blacks and other races are less intelligent than white people. In 2013, the group changed its name to the American Freedom Party, to try to achieve a broader appeal, but was still discredited as racist in the 2014 elections, according to Al Jazeera.
- Racist skinhead groups. The SPLC lists Volksfront as one of the nation’s more prominent skinhead groups. The group, founded in prison by Randal Krager, claimed to have more than a dozen chapters across the country. However, Krager shut down all operations in 2012, after a police crackdown following neo-Nazi Wade Page’s mass murder of worshippers at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. Page mistakenly thought the Sikhs, who wear turbans, were Muslims.