Yesterday, Anonymous released the Official OpKKK HoodsOff 2015 Data Release. The list has only been vetted by members of Anonymous – however, a few names on the list have been known, active members of various hate groups (like the leader of Stormfront) for some time. There is also commentary associated with some of the names, like indicating people who are retired law enforcement with ties to the Klan or people who have been banished from their chapter due to criminal history.
In their collective statement, Anonymous is clear to stress that the believe in the right of the Ku Klux Klan to exist and hold their views, however abhorrent. But to commit acts of domestic terrorism under the cloak of anonymity is not acceptable to members of the collective, hence the mass outing. The statement begins:
Where to Start? The basics. The Ku Klux Klan has approximately 150 active cells, operating in 41 states, with membership concentrated in both the South and the Midwest. The KKK is not what it once was but it does continue to survive in various locations throughout the United States. At its peak, membership was in the millions. Now, membership is likely less than 5,000. It is very important to understand – the KKK does not have a central unified leadership. Instead, they are split off into local cells or groups.
These groups generally oppose interracial relationships, homosexuality and illegal immigration and historically express this ideology through acts of terror. We want to remind you: This operation is not about the ideas of members of the Ku Klux Klan. This is about the behaviors of members of KKK splinter cells that bear the hallmarks of terrorism. When members of the KKK like Frazier Glenn Miller, (founder of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party) murdered three innocent individuals at a Jewish retirement home during Passover – the word “terrorism” was seldom found in mainstream media’s coverage of the attack. Why? What sort of violence does it take to call *some* factions of Ku Klux Klan what *some* of these cells really are?
We defend free thought and free speech. The anons responsible for this operation will not support *acts* of terrorism and *acts* of hate inflicted upon the public. The KKK is part of an important cultural landscape and history in the United States.
We need to make room for important, blunt, honest, public, productive conversation. Violent bigotry IS a problem in the United States. This is not a colorblind society. It deeply divided on racial lines.