Here’s one of the more surreal stories you’ll read today. Jimmy Simmons of the NAACP in Casper, Wyoming actually had a meeting with a local KKK leader, who promptly tried to convince him that he’s totally not racist and a recent rash of violence toward black men seen with white women was the fault of a “splinter group.”
The KKK’s Abarr arrived in a dark suit and carrying a brown briefcase, wrote Fugleberg, and was quick to assert his non-racist bonafides to Simmons and the other NAACP members. The modern Klan, he told them, is a non-violent Christian group that advocates for conservative political causes. Abarr assured them that he was a paying — and card-carrying — member of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Current Klan imperial wizard Bradley Jenkins gave the meeting his blessing, Abarr said, in hopes that the groups could come to an understanding.
“He lives in Alabama, and he told me he would love to sit down with the NAACP in Alabama and talk,” Abarr told the group. He argued to them that a certain amount of segregation is good for the races, and that whites and African-Americans shouldn’t mingle.
“We want white babies,” he said. But the beatings in Casper, he insisted, were the work of a splinter group. He called them a hate crime and said they shouldn’t be condoned by anyone.
His group, based in Great Falls, serves as a neighborhood watch group, handing out fliers and pamphlets.
“I like it because you wear robes, and get out and light crosses, and have secret handshakes,” he told his listeners of being in the KKK. “I like being in the Klan — I sort of like it that people think I’m some sort of outlaw.”
Oh yeah, of course. It’s like you’re the Fonz or James Dean. And you’re totally not a racist, which is why you chose to join a group with a 150 year history of lynching black people. And it’s totally coincidental that black men are getting beaten up in the area for being with white women and your group preaches about the evils of miscegenation. Totally a coincidence. I think my eyes just rolled to Hong Kong and back again.