The Ku Klux Klan, which just a few years ago seemed static or even moribund compared to other white supremacist movements such as neo-Nazis, has experienced a surprising and troubling resurgence due to the successful exploitation of hot-button issues including immigration, gay marriage and urban crime. Klan groups have witnessed a surprising and troubling resurgence by exploiting fears of an immigration explosion, and the debate over immigration has in turned helped to fuel an increase in Klan activity, with new groups sprouting in parts of the country that have not seen much activity.
In this report, ADL documents a noticeable spike in activity by Klan chapters across the country:
- Longstanding groups have increased their activity and experienced a rapid expansion in size.
- New groups have appeared, causing racial tensions in communities previously untroubled by racial issues. They hold anti-immigration rallies and recruitment drives and distribute racist literature with a new emphasis on the immigration issue, and Hispanics.
- Klan groups have become more active in parts of the country that had not seen much activity in recent years, including the Great Plains States such as Iowa and Nebraska, and Mid-Atlantic states such as Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The report includes a state-by-state listing of active Klan groups.
- Klan groups increasingly are cooperating with neo-Nazi groups.
- The Klan has adopted new publicity tricks and has embraced the Internet as a means to spread anti-Semitism and racism.
ADL has identified the following states as being notable for active or growing Klan chapters:
The basic ideology of the Ku Klux Klan today is not very different from that of many other hard-core white supremacist groups, such as neo-Nazis.
Although some Klansmen may still hold cross-burnings dressed in robes and hoods, today’s young Klansmen are more likely to look virtually indistinguishable from racist skinheads or neo-Nazis. Today’s Klansmen may be as likely to gather at white power music concerts or socialize at so-called ‘unity rallies’ with other white supremacists, as to participate in ritualistic cross burnings in the rural wilderness. Klan groups have become increasingly “nazified,” with members embracing and immersing themselves in neo-Nazi and racist skinhead subcultures, adopting the music, dress, tattoos and imagery of neo-Nazis.