|October 22, 1999
The Church of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, led
by Jeff Berry of Butler, Indiana, is the most active Klan organization in
America. While other KKK groups across the country are weakening and becoming
less visible, the American Knights are flooding neighborhoods across the country
with their propaganda and holding rallies in cities from the Midwest to the
Berry established the American Knights of the KKK in 1995, at
a time when other KKK leaders were trying to improve their images by reinventing
the Klan as a civic organization for white people. In contrast, Berry’s
organization has consistently followed the traditional Klan model, with its
crudely racist literature, its use of vile epithets at public rallies and its
combative stance. In the spring of this year, Berry changed the name of his
organization to Church of the American Knights of the KKK.
During the last several years, Berry has stormed the
country with his hate message, appearing at numerous events from Wisconsin to
Texas. At an October 1998 rally in Jasper, Texas, Berry told the crowd, "We
hate Jews, We hate niggers…. I’m a Yankee and I have never heard the word
thank you in the nigger vocabulary…. We don’t like you niggers… Tell me
one thing your race has accomplished."
Berry has also sought innovative ways to spread the Klan’s
message. Across Indiana and in Santa Rosa, California, Dallas, Texas and
Sarasota, Florida, Berry and his cohorts have stuffed American Knights fliers
inside free local newspapers and delivered them to the doorsteps of unsuspecting
American Knights Activity in New York City:
Not the First Time
In January of this year, an American Knights of the KKK flyer
was circulated in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn. But this was not the
first time the American Knights attempted to recruit in the New York area. In
July, 1997, Frank DeStefano, of the Long Island town of Mt. Sinai, NY, the
self-described Grand Dragon of the American Knights in New York, notified police
that his group would be holding a membership drive at the Smith Haven Mall on
Long Island. While the rally was ultimately cancelled, members of the Klan
instead held a cross burning ceremony on private property in eastern Long
Island. Currently, the Grand Dragon for the New York – New Jersey area is
James Sheely of Walden, N.Y.
American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan:
In Their Own Words:
- "Enemies from within are destroying the United States
of America. An unholy coalition of anti-White, anti-Christian liberals,
socialists, feminists, homosexuals, jews [sic] and militant blacks have
managed to seize control of our government and mass media. This gang of
criminals and degenerates has declared war on the hard working, tax
paying, White citizens … The American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan plan
to change things for the better. We shall liberate our nation from these
savage criminals and restore law and order to America."
American Knights’ Platform)
- "All three of our television networks are controlled
by jews [sic]. Most of our daily newspapers, magazines and book publishing
companies are owned by jew tycoons. The Klan will smash this jewish
monopoly of our mass media … America’s public schools, colleges and
universities have been turned into political indoctrination centers run by
deprived liberals, communists and jews in our public … Jewish bankers
and shylocks control the American economy with an iron hand."
the American Knights’ Platform)
- "The Klan is strongly opposed to the insane policies
that discriminate against White people in favor of unqualified and lazy
niggers. We shall abolish affirmative action and minority quota systems.
All unqualified blacks will be removed from positions of power and
influence in our government. The Klan will launch a massive campaign to
liberate our cities from the black gangs that presently terrorize
(from the American Knights’ Platform)
- (Several days after Berry was involved in a racially
motivated barroom brawl in Hicksville, IN, he threatened to hold a protest
against the bar):
"We’re not going to bring up racial overtones. We’re here to
protest this bar and niggers being in this town."
News, March 15, 1994)
- October, 1998 rally in Jasper, TX:
"We hate Jews. We hate niggers….I'm a Yankee and I have never heard
the word thank you in the nigger vocabulary…we don't like you niggers….tell
me one thing your race has accomplished."
(ADL audio tape of
- KKK rally on the steps of the Jefferson County Courthouse ,
Birmingham, AL. Jan 16, 1999(2 days before the Martin Luther King
"Niggers are taking all of our jobs."
(An ADL observer. January 16, 1999)
- KKK rally, county Courthouse, Erie, PA, November 22, 1998:
"You black bastards are destroying your own race; we have a nice
rope for you treasonous people."
"….Kick the Jews out."
(An ADL observer. November 22, 1998)