Nicole Zelniker, World and Nation Editor
November 20, 2015
The unidentified hacker collective called Anonymous released a list of over 1,000 KKK members in October.
Many of those listed were already known KKK members or sympathizers of the KKK. Many of the names were also disproved. Regardless, the fact that the KKK could still be so prevalent in politics in 2015 is ridiculous.
The fact that we live in a society so racist that we believe something like this is terrifying.
“It’s a pretty big deal, and it’s just kind of getting pushed under the rug (in the media),” said Chairman of the 8th District Democratic Party Dylan Frick in a phone interview with the Guilfordian.
In the past, Anonymous has exposed government, religious and corporate organizations. The idea behind Anonymous’ list was to expose members of the U.S. government.
In releasing the list before many of the names were confirmed, Anonymous lost a lot of credibility.
Regardless, many North Carolinians worry that Anonymous called out Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina as one of the politicians. Tillis’ representatives denied the claim on Nov. 3.
Whether it turns out Tillis is a KKK member or just a regular racist, this will likely have little effect on the Republican Party.
“I don’t think people will talk about it,” said Frick. “The Republican Party in North Carolina has boiled down to under-interest.”
Apart from Anonymous, more groups released their own verified lists of KKK members this summer.
The most important thing about the Anonymous list and lists released by other organizations turned out not to be the names, but the reminder that racism still drives a large part of our politics.
Just look at who we have running for president in 2016. Donald Trump is the frontrunner of the Republican Party, the same man who called Mexicans “drug dealers and rapists” as well as “killers.” Ben Carson is close behind, and he said, according to an article in Salon, “I would not ever advocate putting a Muslim in charge of this nation.”
The terrorist attacks on Nov. 13 are another example. France, a nation of primarily white civilians, gets large amounts of support from the U.S. Lebanon, which was also attacked the day before, got virtually none.
“We have racism in our government,” said Campus Ministry Associate and Friends Center Intern Greg Woods. “(Many)politicians have racist bias. We need to talk more about it.”
Another important piece is to get out and vote. Whether or not Tillis is a member of the KKK, many of his policies and statements are blatantly racist, such as when he referred to white voters as “traditional voters.”
Just because someone isn’t part of the KKK doesn’t mean they can’t cause harm.
“The KKK doesn’t hold the power it used to,” said Woods. “There are lots of scarier hate groups out there that we need to be aware of.”
Regardless of who is a member of the KKK and who is just a regular racist, we need to work to get both groups out of politics, away from a position where they can do harm.