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Ku Klux Klan - Recent Developments
Geographical Expansion
The Great Plains
The Klan has been expanding into regions of the country outside the South and eastern Midwest. Klan recruiting efforts have occurred in 2006 in the Great Plains, the Mid-Atlantic states and even on the West Coast.

In the Plains states, the Klan has been active in areas where it has not traditionally been strong for many years. In Iowa, for example, the Klan has exhibited a renewed energy, with recruitment efforts by the Brotherhood of Klans (BOK) in Denison, Storm Lake, and other Iowa towns that have experienced a considerable influx of immigrants from Laos, Mexico, and other countries in the early 2000s. The BOK established an Iowa chapter in the town of Nevada.

In addition to the BOK, former Florida Klansman Douglas Sadler has also tried to invigorate Klan activity in Iowa. Sadler was once a member of the Florida White Knights, but moved to Iowa in the mid-2000s. There he formed the Fraternal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, based in Charles City and Cerro Gordo, which protested against gay marriage in Des Moines in January 2006.

In Nebraska, the Klan has also attracted publicity after a state investigation revealed that a Nebraska State Patrol trooper was allegedly a member of Thom Robb’s Arkansas-based Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The Patrol fired the trooper in March 2006 for conduct unbecoming an officer, and in September 2006, he was also fired from the Nebraska Safety Council, where he had taught traffic diversion classes. However, the ex-trooper and the state troopers union appealed his dismissal from the Patrol, but a judge upheld it. The BOK also has a presence in Nebraska, based in Omaha.

The Mid-Atlantic
The Klan has expanded into the Mid-Atlantic states, from Maryland up through New York. Here, relatively new Klan groups have stepped to the forefront in recruiting, organizing, and holding racist events. The World Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, based in Sharpsburg, Maryland, was originally a tiny Klan group, but has exhibited growth in the 2000s, expanding to a number of nearby states, including West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Some 30 members of the group showed up at a rally in September 2006, held in pouring rain on the Gettysburg Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania. Considering the poor weather conditions, it was a surprisingly high turnout for the Klan group. World Knights leader Gordon Young used the event to denounce multiracial marriage and immigration.

In August 2006, 20 members of the World Knights and other white supremacist groups held a protest at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, against a commemoration event there for the Niagara Movement (the forerunner to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). Following the event, one attendee was arrested for allegedly carrying a concealed handgun. Earlier in June 2006, the World Knights held a rally at another Civil War battlefield, the Antietam National Battlefield.

Klan expansion in the Mid-Atlantic states received a setback, however, with the unexpected disbanding of the World Knights in late November 2006. Members of competing factions left the World Knights to join other groups. The World Knights’ leader Gordon Young took his followers into the National Socialist Movement (NSM) and became that group’s Maryland state leader, while some dissident World Knights joined an NSM splinter group, the American National Socialist Workers Party. In January 2007, Young was arrested on seven criminal counts, including two counts each of second-degree assault and sex abuse of a minor, and the NSM disassociated itself from him.

The World Knights were not the only Klan group active in the Mid-Atlantic region. Also active in 2006 was the Millville, New Jersey-based Confederate Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, while in late 2006 the United Northern and Southern Knights, which already had a Virginia chapter, established a New Jersey chapter based in Merchantville.

Themes such as immigration and “black crime” have been common at Mid-Atlantic area Klan events. When Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Pennsylvania leader Mike Busch announced in 2006 that his Pennsylvania members wanted to hold a rally, at Keystone State Park, he told a reporter that “our messages are about immigration, same-sex marriages, and many major other topics that are killing our society today.”

Untitled Document
The Ku Klux Klan Rebounds
About the Ku Klux Klan
Recent Developments:
Changes in Longstanding Groups
New Klan Groups Emerging
Geographic Expansion
New Tactics
Criminal Activity
and Violence
Active Groups by State
Slide Show
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