A member of Virginia’s Ku Klux Klan told Richmond’s WTVR that President Obama’s first term has been excellent for recruitment and his second term promises even greater growth.
“Since Obama’s first term our numbers have doubled and now that we’re headed to a second term it’s going to triple, this is going to be the biggest resurgence of the Klan since 1915,” said one of two Klansmen interviewed.
The station contacted the Klan members after fliers recruiting for the organization appeared for the second time at the homes of Richmond residents. The two men who appeared for the interview seemed to eager to present the kinder, gentler side of a group known for its white-supremacist rhetoric and cross burnings.
“We’re not trying to target anybody or scare anybody with hate, we’re just using our freedom of speech to drop fliers,” said one. “Everyone thinks that we’re a hate group, we’re not a hate group, we don’t hate anyone, and we want to see good things come to our race.”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the KKK is a hate group with a membership estimated between 5,000 to 8,000.
If you assume the math of the two Klansmen interviewed is correct and the group doubled in size, then tripled, that would put Klan membership still at less than half of the number of votes by which President Obama won the state of Virginia — about 150,000.
In 1925, when the Klan marched on Washington D.C., there were an estimated four million members nationwide.
Director of the Richmond-area NAACP, King Salim Khalfani, said he was aware of the group’s uptick of activity since November’s election. He also disputes their assertion that they aren’t promoting hate.
“Be honest, I respect people who are honest, but it’s harder to recruit when you say it like it is,” he said.
The president of the United States is usually the most-threatened person in the country. One report says President Obama is the most-threatened president ever.
Gun sales have also skyrocketed during the Obama presidency.
The FBI received more than 14.8 million inquries from people running background checks on gun buyers through October 2012, compared to 16.4 million in 2011, 14.4 million in 2010, 14 milion in 2009, and 12.7 million in 2008, according to Anna Tinsley of the Star-Telegram.
And that was before the president promised reforms as response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook school.