Ku Klux Klan members approach the Walls Unit in Huntsville, Texas..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The organized Ku Klux Klan movement remains active in 33 states, according to a report released on Thursday by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, which tallied 42 affiliated groups across the United States.
This is a slight increase from early last year, when according to ADL, there were 37 groups.
Titled “Despite Internal Turmoil, Klan Groups Persist,” the report examines trends within the movement, recent activity across the country and current tactics. It found that the movement’s most consistent activities continue to be the distribution of racist, antisemitic, homophobic and Islamophobic fliers.
The report describes groups affiliated with the movement as ephemeral – their stability challenged by infighting, the perception among adherents that they are not authentic and competition from other rising white-supremacist movements, such as the alt-right and white-supremacist prison gangs.
“The Ku Klux Klan movement is small and fractured but still poses a threat to society,” ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said. “These hardened racists and bigots are looking to spread fear, and if they grow dissatisfied with the Klan, they move on to other groups on the extreme far-right. There’s lots of instability and unpredictability in the Klan movement.”
Oren Segal, director of ADL’s Center on Extremism, said: “For a number of years, the Klan has tried to regain its standing among the hodgepodge of hate groups but have largely failed to maintain the notorious status they once had.
“Despite the decline, we are still seeing the same extremist ideology manifesting itself into violence from some of its purported membership. The somewhat new collaboration with some of the most vehement white supremacists out there is a concerning trend we will continue to monitor and expose.”