Church of the American Knights of the KKK

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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 South.

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 residents.

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."
    (from the 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."
    (from 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 them."
    (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."
    (Defiance Crescent 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 Jasper rally)

  • KKK rally on the steps of the Jefferson County Courthouse , Birmingham, AL. Jan 16, 1999(2 days before the Martin Luther King Holiday):
    "Niggers are taking all of our jobs."
    (An ADL observer. January 16,

  • 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)

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