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Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy,alt.politics.white-power
Subject: Paranoia as Patriotism:  Thom Robb and the KKK

Archive/File: pub/orgs/american/adl/paranoia-as-patriotism/thom-robb-kkk
Last-Modified: 1995/08/26

      Thom Robb and the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan

The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, led by Thom Robb of Harrison,
Arkansas, is the largest KKK faction operating today. Over the
last serveral years, Robb has toned down the Klan's extremist
rhetoric in a deceptive effort to make it more palatable to
the public. He has urged his followers to avoid harsh racist
language and emphasize instead their "love of the white
race." Recent literature from the Knights states that "the
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan does not preach against Negroes.
We believe that everyone has a right to love their heritage
and race. ... We believe that white people have a right to be
proud of our history and culture just as much as black people
have a right to be proud of theirs."

Robb has held a series of rallies at highly visible public
places, in an attempt to recruit new members. The Knights have
engaged in cynical campaigns to exploit several civic-minded
themes, taking positions against drugs, drunken driving and
dropping out of school. They also have attempted to join
"adopt-a-highway" cleanup programs in several states. To
appear more mainstream, Robb frequently ordered that his
members dress in white shits and black trousers rahter than
Klan robes for public appearances.

Robb's public relations campaign has been modeled on the image
makeover attempted by David Duke, who founded the Knights and
led them until 1980. After professing a goal of creating "a
thousand" David Dukes, Robb attempted to run for the Arkansas
legislature in 1992 as a Republican, but was rebuffed by the
state Republican organization.

Yet the new face Robb wears thinkly masks his own racism and
anti-Semitism. Robb is a "pastor" in the so-called "Identity"
movement, which holds that northern Europeans are the true
descentdants of the Biblical Israelites and that the Jews are
descended from Satan. Robb has stated: "I hate Jews. I hate
race-mizing Jews. We've let Antichrist Jews into our country
and we've been cursed with abortion, inflation, homosexuality,
and the threat of war."

Robb's racism is also a matter of record. In an April 1990
editorial in his hate sheet _The Torch_, Robb wrote: "When the
Negro was under the natural discipline of white authority,
white people were safe from the abuse and violence of the
Negro, but the Negro was also safe from himself."

Friction over Robb's tactic of presenting a more moderate
image, however, has been a significant factor in two recent
major defections. In April 1994, a split from the Knights was
led by Chicagoan Ed Novak (true name: Ed Melhonian), who had
been Robb's Illinois state leader, national chief of security,
and a member of the natotional council. Novak, once a neo-Nazi
group member and known in the Klan as an advocate of secrecy
and of being well-armed, brought sizable portions of Robb's
membership into the new group, called the Federation of Klans,
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

More recently, in August, Klan leaders from Michigan, Indiana
and Illinois led a second walkout from Robb's organization,
claimed the Knights' name for themselves, and pronounced Robb
deposed as national director. (Robb responded by tossing them
out of his Knights.) The man tapped to lead the mutinous
outfit, David Neumann, 40, of Michigan, has reportedly said:
"Thom Robb is a poor example of a Klansman. He comes off as a
young Republican, not as a racialist."

As yet, the splintering of the Knights of the KKK has not led
to violence. But the strong resistance to attempts to paper
over the Klan's historic reputation for militant white
supremacy suggests that the Klan movement continues to warrant
the scrutiny of law enforcement, civil rights groups and
members of the public. (Anti-Defamation League, 36-37)

                       Work Cited

Anti-Defamation League. [Special Report] Paranoia as Patriotism:
Far-Right Influences on the Militia Movement. 1995.



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