June 20, 1996
Hate Groups and Black Church Arsons - State by State
An epidemic of arsons has struck predominantly African-American
churches in 10 southern and southwestern states. The Anti-Defamation League
(ADL) has been closely monitoring these vicious crimes. History has shown
that the propaganda and activities of hate groups can contribute to a climate
of bigotry and violence.
The pastor of one victimized church has said that racist skinhead literature
was found on the scene, and suspects in three other arsons are reportedly
associated with the Ku Klux Klan. In an effort to expose those who promote
hatred, ADL has prepared the following list of racist organizations active
in the states where the arsons have occurred.
- The America's Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, led by Ricky
Draper, are active in the state.
- The White Imperial Knights of the Ku Klux Klan have members in several
- Neo-Nazi skinhead groups have been active in several areas of the state.
In 1991 and 1992, skinheads were responsible for two separate killings
of homeless Black men in Birmingham.
- The JWS Militant Knights (named for the late Georgia Klansman James W.
Spivey) and the North Georgia Knights, both Ku Klux Klan groups, have held
rallies recently in Georgia and Alabama.
- Neo-Nazi skinheads have participated in Klan rallies in Georgia.
- The National Association for the Advancement of White People (NAAWP),
a white supremacist group, has been active in Louisiana. Approximately
200 people attended an NAAWP rally in Baton Rouge in February.
- The Bayou Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is headquartered in Choudrant, and
led by Roger Harris. The group has held rallies in St. Amant and Mandeville.
- The Invisible Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, led by Darrell Flinn in Lafayette,
promotes its racist views on a public access cable television program.
- Aryan Nations, an Idaho-based neo-Nazi organization, is present in Minden,
- The Christian Defense League, a racist and anti-Semitic propaganda mill,
is based in Metairie. Its leader, James K. Warner, has hosted right-wing
- The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, led by Thom Robb of Arkansas, have conducted
activities in northern Mississippi.
- Several other Klan groups, including US Klans, the Confederate Knights,
and the Knights of the Flaming Sword, are active in Mississippi.
- Racist skinheads have been active in Mississippi. Four were sentenced
in late 1995 for firebombing an interracial couple's home in Richland.
- The Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, based in Mount Holly, are led
by Virgil Griffin, a longtime Klan activist.
- Other Klan groups include: the Confederate Knights of America, an especially
militant faction based in Huntersville; and the Aryan Christian Knights,
based in Browns Summit.
- The National Association for the Advancement of White People has been
active in Yadkinville.
- Neo-Nazi skinhead groups active in North Carolina include: a Confederate
Hammer skins unit, based in Asheville; Western Front, also from Asheville;
and SS of America, whose followers have participated in marches of the Confederate
Knights of America.
- Aaron Moser, a racist skinhead and leader of the National Socialist Front,
is serving a life sentence for the 1993 murder of a white youth who was
walking with two Black friends.
- The National Alliance, a West Virginia-based neo-Nazi organization, has
actively recruited in the state. The group has boasted, in particular,
of its recruitment efforts near the Fort Bragg army base.
- Soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg have been charged with the racially motivated
murder of a Black couple in Fayetteville. The soldiers were active in the
neo-Nazi skinhead scene.
- The Arkansas-based Knights of the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in Tulsa in
- Elohim City is an armed encampment on the Oklahoma-Arkansas border. Its
leader preaches a racist and anti-Semitic pseudo-theology known as Christian
- A neo-Nazi skinhead rock band, Berserkr (sic), is based in Tulsa.
- A suspect in two arsons in South Carolina in June 1995 carried a card
identifying himself as a member of the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux
Klan. The group's South Carolina Grand Dragon is Horace King.
- A shop in Laurens sells Klan memorabilia and promotes its racist ideology.
- Pulaski has been the site of numerous Klan gatherings including an annual
"homecoming" held by Thom Robb's Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
- Michael Lowe, head of the Texas realm of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan,
recently staged a rally of his group in New Braunfels.
- Lowe's Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and another Texas Klan Group, Charles
Lee's Knights of the White Camellia, have been linked to racial intimidation
in Vidor, according to the Texas Commission on Human Rights, which has brought
a civil suit against Lowe, Lee, and several of their groups' members.
- Neo-Nazi skinheads have been held responsible for five murders in Texas
since 1990. Racist skinheads in San Antonio are suspects in a 1995 beating
of an African-American man. Two other San Antonio skinheads were recently
arrested for possessing bomb-making material. Skins have attended Klan
rallies in the state.
- The North Carolina-based Confederate Knights of America operate in Virginia.
- The Associated Klans of America, based in Stephens City, have distributed
fliers in Amelia County and in Richmond.
- Aryan Christian Knights, a Klan group, held a rally in 1995 in Woolwine.
- The neo-Nazi National Alliance has been active in Virginia, handing out
leaflets and attempting to recruit.
- The Northside Boot Boys, a racist skinhead group, have been active in
- The neo-Nazi Aryan Nations has distributed leaflets in Richmond.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.