While the Republican Party is closing its ranks and entrenching itself in their ideology, the White Power movement wants you to ‘come see the lighter side‘ of racism and is hoisting its own “Big Tent”. It looks like the Grand Ol’ Party isn’t the only one playing with rebranding.
First, President Obama got the jump on the republicans by making a big show of courting their votes and then, after almost every single one of them voted against his stimulus and just about everything else the democrats put up, he successfully tarred them with being the Party of No. Since then they have retreated into their “base”, the core of their ideologically rigid fans, and lost a senator in the process.
On the other hand, the Christian Revival Center and the Knights Party – the term KKK is so passe these days – are looking to remake themselves as communities of love and celebration rather than hate and discrimination. They don’t do “cross burnings” anymore. It’s called “lightings” now, thank you very much. Oh, and they don’t have “Grand Wizards” anymore. Thomas Robb, the head of the Knights prefers to be called the “national director” and bristles at the insinuation that they are hate-mongers. “Why is it that when a black man wants to preserve his culture and heritage it’s a good thing, and when a white person wants the same thing, we’re called haters?” he says.
Even the notorious stormfront.org has a new policy for its site to “have no swastikas and Third Reich symbols to turn off first-time visitors.” And the host of a white-supremacist radio show says that “The emphasis is different now. We don’t talk as much about what blacks have done to us; we’re more focused on ourselves and our own culture.”
It is amazing that these two conservative groups are taking such different approaches in the Age of Obama. And it looks like they are having different results. The number of hate groups have gone up 5% since 2007 and up 48% since 2000 according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In contrast, the number of Americans who identify themselves as Republican has tanked from the beginning of the year to 20%, and just 30% have a favorable view of the Republican Party, the lowest in 25 years.
Will the GOP start to take marketing lessons from the KKK?
Linking those hate groups with conservatives is wrong, just as it would be to link Communists and Nazis with progressives.
I wasn’t equating the two. But they do have a similar problem, and very different approaches: How do you effectively counteract a popular black/progressive president and a country which is leaning more to the left and more accepting to diversity. One group put on a new face to seem more inclusive. The other group closed ranks and became more exclusive.
The photo makes me homesick. Almost. I saw the first Klan rally that I remember when I was five or six.
The white people there still vote Republican and the pigment-rich people vote Democratic. It’s so stark that the percentages coming out of my home county were exactly, almost to the tenth of a point, a black/white split in the last election.
It’s nice to know that there are places where things don’t change a bit. Or is it?
I’d go sightseeing in Colonial Williamsburg, but I wouldn’t want to live there.
strongly suggest you read some of David Niewert’s work – he factually connects the two and the symbiotic nature of their relationship. Responsible Repubicans should have demanded an end to this long ago .
as the Party tumbles further and further, the hateful nature of those now in control of the Party, and their roots will become more obvious to the voting public
The Library of Indiana university has an excellent research section on the KKK and Indiana GOP Politics from the latter 1800’s to the early-mid 1900’s. Anyone who remembers the “Dixiecrats” of the 1960’s cannot deny the link nor the comon philosophy.