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Following the brutality of Charleston church massacre, the continued presence of the Confederate battle flag over the South Carolina Statehouse ignited a national discussion about racism. Now, a North Carolina Ku Klux Klan faction has inserted itself into the already volatile mix.

“If you’re white and proud, join the crowd,” declared the hotline of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, announcing the Confederate flag rally. The Pelham, North Carolina-based Klan faction, which calls itself the “largest Klan in America,” filed a permit noting they expect between 100 and 200 people to attend a July 18 rally on the north side of the building, near the Confederate soldier memorial where the Confederate battle flag is currently flown.

In addition to “standing up for our Confederate history,” the Loyal White Knights have also been standing up for Dylann Roof, the white nationalist accused of the Charleston murders. According to the group’s hotline, Roof was a “young warrior.” Loyal White Knights Grand Dragon, Robert Jones, told the Post and Courier the Roof was “heading in the right direction; wrong target.”

While supporting the murders generally, Jones disagreed with the targets and the church location. According Jones, Roof “should have actually aimed at the African-American gang-bangers, the ones who are selling the drugs to white youth, the ones who are robbing and raping every chance they get.”

Just days after the Charleston shooting, the Loyal White Knights littered lawns in Alabama, California, Goergia, Kansas, and Mississippi with plastic baggies filled with pieces of candy and Klan contact information. The effort is a slight twist on the “newspaper nightriding” that the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan popularized during the 1990s, where they would tuck Klan propaganda inside free newspapers and throw them on lawns in the middle of the night.

The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan formed back in 2012 out of the collapse of the Rebel Brigade Knights of Ku Klux Klan. The Loyal White Knights burst onto the scene with a March 2013 Memphis rally protesting the city’s decision to rename three parks, including one named for Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate General and first national leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

Devin Burghart

Author Devin Burghart

is vice president of IREHR. He coordinates our Seattle office, directs our research efforts, and manages our online communications. He has researched, written, and organized on virtually all facets of contemporary white nationalism since 1992, and is internationally recognized for this effort. Devin is frequently quoted as an expert by print, broadcast, and online media outlets. In 2007, he was awarded a Petra Foundation fellowship. more...

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