April 20, 2014 3:26 pm -

A KKK Grand Wizard says the Klan is kinder and gentler than people think. And that’s enough for CNN to do a feature on rebranding.

The Klan could change its name, get a smooth-talking spokesperson, replace the robes with suits and take off those ridiculous hats, but underneath, people would recognize its message is the same.

“They stand for hatred; they always have,” said Atlanta-based brand consultant Laura Ries. “Maybe they don’t believe in shooting up a center for Jewish people, but they still support beliefs that are beyond the scope of understanding for most people and certainly the freedom and equality our country believes in.”

Other experts raised the question: If the Klan isn’t violent, what’s the point?

“What would you be left with? Benign racism?” asked Jelani Cobb, director of the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut.

The victims of the shooting rampage, Cobb noted, were not Jewish. One was Catholic and two were Methodist.

“In the most basic sense, the fact that the people who were killed were not Jews drives home Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s point that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” he said. “It’s the most horrible metaphor for the fact that we are all impacted by the legacy of hate, even when it’s not specifically directed at the group to which we belong.”

Even if the modern KKK at large distances itself from this supposedly “rogue” element, Cobb said, that doesn’t make up for the group’s past.

Good think we have experts to tell us these things.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.