KKK Leader Says Hate Group Is Looking to Expand in Ohio

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Since the November election of President Donald J. Trump, a lot of scary vibes have been set loose on the Republic, none more so than the heightened profile of hate groups cheering the 45th President on from the sidelines.

One usual suspect experiencing a shot of energy from the Trump Presidency is the Klu Klux Klan—-and they're planning a big membership push right here in Ohio.

That's the upshot of a pretty startling Columbus Dispatch piece that ran last week. Kicking off with an interview with Amanda Lee, a North Carolina woman who acts as the national imperial commander for a Klan faction known as the Loyal White Knights, the piece predicts an uptick in hate group affiliation in the coming year.

"We have people all over Ohio already. There is a large membership of Loyal White Knights there," the Klan leader told the paper. "When things start going wrong, it's time for us to start retaliating. It's time for us to get active."

Lee didn't offer up specifics about the group's membership in the Buckeye State, but the Southern Poverty Law Center backs up the claim, noting the Klan has "a significant Ohio presence," the paper reports.

Ohio does, it seem, have a higher rate of race-related incidents. The paper reports Ohio notched 416 reported hate-crime incidents in 2015, "which put the state's rate of 4.3 incidents per 100,000 population higher than the national average." In the last year, Cleveland has seen its own instances of race related violence, including some right after the election.

Of course, it's irresponsible to assume every Trump voter is a racist. But, as an activist quoted in this recent Atlantic piece notes, "Every racist that I know—and I know a lot of racists—every racist that I know voted for Donald Trump."


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