It’s not a typo — the Klu Klux Klan has active chapters in more than a third of U.S. states, a report published by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) revealed Thursday, detailing the Klan’s recent recent activities and their robust membership status across the United States. The report was published purposely just after the anniversary of the deaths of civil rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, who were murdered by Klansmen in Mississippi.
Mississippi has the highest number of active KKK groups, followed by Alabama, data from the report showed. The report also demonstrated a slight increase in the total number of KKK and KKK-affiliated groups across the United States up to 42 in 2017, compared to 37 in 2016.“The Ku Klux Klan movement is small and fractured, but it still poses a threat to society,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “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.”The report found that flyering, namely “the distribution of racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, and Islamophobic fliers,” was the “most consistent” Klan activity and that the Klan “focused on their perceived threats to the white race,” which included transgender restrooms and the Black Lives Matter movement.However, the report also noted that the Klan had become increasingly fractured, not because of more stringent law enforcement but because of competition from other white supremacist groups. The fracturing was also partly due to infighting among members, which meant some of its activities had “dwindled” and instability and inconsistency plagued group formation.“Rumors routinely surface about one Klan leader, then another, causing alliances and groups to lose members and splinter,” the report stated.More than half of the current Klans were formed in the last three years and 11 states had a new group in the last 18 months, proving a lack of continuity, the report stated.The largest Klan gathering in 2016 was at a neo-Nazi rally last April in Georgia, where 40 people were in attendance. There are still about 3,000 Klan members and unaffiliated members nationwide, according to the ADL.