Pogs are back (maybe) and intense worry about dying in a nuclear holocaust is back, but if that's not enough of a time warp for you, how about some good old fashioned Jazz Age racism? The Klu Klux Klan, previously seen drawing thousands to Long Island rallies in the Roaring 20s, is allegedly coming out to confront a Black Lives Matter rally in Westhampton Beach on Sunday, according to Patch.
The KKK's threat to stage their own rally this Sunday comes after residents of Westhampton reported finding KKK recruiting flyers that claimed Black Lives Matter and the Black Panthers were "telling followers to kill white people and police officers in the name of justice for the killing of negro's [sic]."
"Exalted Cyclops" Gary Monker didn't tell Patch any of the Klan's plans beyond promising an appearance at Sunday's BLM rally, but did accuse Black Lives Matter protests of leading to violence.
"They always say they have peaceful protests but nothing is ever peaceful. They rape, pilfer, loot," Monker told the website, echoing comments he made about the group causing "destruction and chaos" to a reporter from FIOS1 in last week.
Monker also disputed that the Klan, which has been famous for racial terrorism since the Reconstruction era, was a hate group. Instead he claimed that the Klan is "not a hate group" but rather the "only organization standing up for whites" and fighting corruption. So long as you ignore all that stuff on their website about "not mixing" with the "darker races" and the big picture of the burning swastika, Monker's statement seems to check out.
In both the Patch and FIOS1 interviews, Monker claimed that the Klan has 2,500 members on Long Island, a claim that's hard to verify. It would also mean that Long island would have one-quarter to one-half of the 5,000 to 8,000 members of the Klan estimated to exist by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Black Lives Matter organizer Vanessa Vascez-Corleone told Patch that she doubts the threatened Klan action will even happen, but that she "would like to invite them to the rally...I hope they come out of hiding." While Vascez-Corleone vowed things would remain peaceful, the last high-profile white supremacist rally that happened in America ended in the Nazis getting routed and plenty of stabbings.
[UPDATE]: Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center told us that Monker's claim that the Loyal White Knights of the KKK had 2,500 members on Long Island is "total B.S."
"These guys always love to talk a big game and over-inflate their membership," she told us, but did say she wouldn't be surprised at the group having "a handful" of members on the island.
Monker's promise that the KKK would be at this weekend's Black Lives Matter rally fits into the Loyal White Knight's usual behavior, according to Beirich. "They're very good at harnessing current events to get publicity, she said, noting that the South Carolina branch of the LWK made headlines for demonstrating against the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse last year after Dylan Roof murdered nine black parishioners in Charleston.