‘Still a threat to society’: KKK remain active in 33 states – report
The ADL study found that despite internal disorder and splintered membership, the number of active KKK groups has increased slightly in the last year. More than half of current Klans formed within the last three years.
“The Ku Klux Klan movement is small and fractured, but still poses a threat to society,” said ADL CEO, Jonathan A. Greenblatt.
Across the US, there are still some 3,000 Klan members in more than 40 groups as well as a number of unaffiliated individuals who identify with Klan ideology, according to the report.
The Klan’s instability is rooted in infighting and competition for membership from other white supremacist groups while rampant rumormill among KKK members is also said to undermine the organization. The report cites high turnover of members and the creation of new branches as evidence of this.
“These hardened racists and bigots are looking to spread fear, and if they grow dissatisfied with the Klan, they move on to other groups on the extreme far-right. There’s lots of instability and unpredictability in the Klan movement,” said Greenblatt.
The report found the 42 Klan groups are active in 33 states, most of which are concentrated in the southern and eastern states – particularly Alabama and Mississippi. The largest have no more than 50 to 100 active members, while most of the groups have fewer than 25.
Distribution of racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic and Islamophobic fliers “remain most consistent activity”, says the report, with an average of 79 incidents per year in which Klan fliers are left at people’s homes.
Some groups have formed alliances with other white supremacist groups, the report found, and continue to carry out criminal and violent activities.
“For a number of years, the Klan has tried to regain its standing among the hodgepodge of hate groups but have largely failed to maintain the notorious status they once had,” said Director of ADL’s Center on Extremism.
“Despite the decline, we are still seeing the same extremist ideology manifesting itself into violence from some of its purported membership. The somewhat new collaboration with some of the most vehement white supremacists out there is a concerning trend we will continue to monitor and expose,” he added.