“He is a hero”: Why the KKK is raising money for Ferguson police officer who shot Michael Brown

Desperate for publicity and any opportunity to spread hate, the KKK said more white cops should follow suit

Topics: Southern Poverty Law Center, michael brown, KKK, Ku Klux Klan, Mike Brown, Ferguson, Police brutality,

"He is a hero": Why the KKK is raising money for Ferguson police officer who shot Michael Brown (Credit: Reuters)
This article was originally published by The Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Southern Poverty Law Center The one thing the racially charged and besieged city of Ferguson, Mo. does not need or want to add to the combustible mix of rubber bullets, snarling police dogs and clouds of tear gas that have filled its streets for three days is the Ku Klux Klan.

But the Klan –– desperate for publicity and any opportunity to spread hate and terror –– is climbing atop the powder keg that Ferguson has become following the police killing of an unarmed college-bound black teenager last Saturday.

The South Carolina-based New Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan says its Missouri chapter is raising money for the still unidentified white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, 18, who was scheduled to begin college classes this week.

“We are setting up a reward/fund for the police officer who shot this thug,” the Klan group said in an email. “He is a hero! We need more white cops who are anti-Zog and willing to put Jewish controlled black thugs in their place. Most cops are cowards and do nothing while 90% of interracial crime is black (and non-white) on white.”

In a Tuesday editorial about the case headlined “The Death of Michael Brown: Racial History Behind the Ferguson Protests,” The New York Times expressed hope that the FBI will be able “to answer the many questions surrounding the death” of the teenager” while focusing on St. Louis’ history of racial problems.

“[I]t doesn’t take a federal investigation to understand the history of racial segregation, economic inequality and overbearing law enforcement that produced so much of the tension now evident on the streets,” the editorial said. “St. Louis has long been one of the nation’s most segregated metropolitan areas, and there remains a high wall between black residents – who overwhelmingly have lower incomes – and the white power structure that dominates City Councils and police departments like the ones in Ferguson.”



Brown –– dressed in shorts and flip flops –– was reportedly shot multiple times in broad daylight after he and a friend were confronted by the officer for walking in the middle of the street in Ferguson, a predominately African American suburb of St. Louis. Police officials say Brown assaulted the officer and tried to wrestle away his gun before fleeing and being shot. At least one shot was fired in the police cruiser during the struggle, police say.

Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson, 22, told a radically different version of events. He told reporters that he and Brown were close to their destination when confronted by the officer, who angrily told them to get out of the street. Suddenly, the friend said, the officer grabbed Brown by the neck and tried to pull him into the police car. Brown broke free and both young men began running away when Brown was struck by a bullet. He turned and raised his hands in surrender only to be shot several more times, dying where he fell.

Brown’s body lay in the street for several hours as police gathered evidence and the neighborhood’s shock turned to rage. Three days of protests, some of it violent, followed. A gas station/convenience store was burned. There was some looting. Police in riot gear fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a crowd of mostly angry African Americans. But there were whites marching in some of the protests as well, holding up their hands in surrender as Brown had reportedly done, chanting, “Don’t shoot.”

The one thing everyone seems to agree on is that Brown was unarmed, a fact that prompted President Obama to call Brown’s death “heartbreaking” while urging calm. The Justice Department has begun an investigation into the killing.

The social turmoil that has erupted around Brown’s death has proven too appealing for the Klan, which in recent weeks has been quick to capitalize on a series of racially charged news events. Last week, for example, a Klan chapter in Arizona called for “corpses” in response to a feared influx of children seeking asylum as violence in Latin America forced their families to send them northward. But about St. Louis, their rhetoric has turned vile and predictable.

“We know that Michael Brown was nothing more than a punk. The media and others are painting him out to be a ‘good son’ and ‘great kid.’ The blacks of Missouri are showing their love of him by rioting, attacking and shooting people. Nothing new,” the chapter wrote on its blog.

Email requests to Imperial Wizard Chuck Murray on Wednesday were not answered.

Activists in St. Louis, however, have been focusing on calming tensions. There were two separate rallies for peace and justice held in the area Tuesday night, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch. At one, attended by about 400 people, including a large number of local ministers, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon told the standing-room only crowd, “Justice must not simply be pursued, but in fact achieved.”

The other rally was held by Rev. Sharpton, who told Hatewatch there were about 1,500 people in attendance at the Greater St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church just east of Ferguson. At one point, Sharpton asked for 100 young men to volunteer and join what he’s calling the Disciples of Justice –– the DJs –– “to do our own unarmed patrols.” At least 170 men signed up.

Sharpton told Hatewatch today that he has found, especially among the young black students in Ferguson, “a lot of outrage, a lot of it could have been me, a lot of, this was an execution.”

Sharpton said he was returning to New York City today to prepare for a march in the borough of Staten Island to protest the death there of Eric Garner, 43, a black father of six, who died after a white police officer applied a banned chokehold even as Garner pleaded 11 times, “I can’t breathe.”

“You cannot have racial profiling as a police strategy and not end up with this as a result in Ferguson and Staten Island,” Sharpton told Hatewatch.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët
    Kerascoët's lovely, delicate pen-and-watercolor art -- all intricate botanicals, big eyes and flowing hair -- gives this fairy story a deceptively pretty finish. You find out quickly, however, that these are the heartless and heedless fairies of folk legend, not the sentimental sprites beloved by the Victorians and Disney fans. A host of tiny hominid creatures must learn to survive in the forest after fleeing their former home -- a little girl who lies dead in the woods. The main character, Aurora, tries to organize the group into a community, but most of her cohort is too capricious, lazy and selfish to participate for long. There's no real moral to this story, which is refreshing in itself, beyond the perpetual lessons that life is hard and you have to be careful whom you trust. Never has ugly truth been given a prettier face.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Climate Changed: A Personal Journey Through the Science by Philippe Squarzoni
    Squarzoni is a French cartoonist who makes nonfiction graphic novels about contemporary issues and politics. While finishing up a book about France under Jacques Chirac, he realized that when it came to environmental policy, he didn't know what he was talking about. "Climate Changed" is the result of his efforts to understand what has been happening to the planet, a striking combination of memoir and data that ruminates on a notoriously elusive, difficult and even imponderable subject. Panels of talking heads dispensing information (or Squarzoni discussing the issues with his partner) are juxtaposed with detailed and meticulous yet lyrical scenes from the author's childhood, the countryside where he takes a holiday and a visit to New York. He uses his own unreachable past as a way to grasp the imminent transformation of the Earth. The result is both enlightening and unexpectedly moving.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Here by Richard McGuire
    A six-page version of this innovative work by a regular contributor to the New Yorker first appeared in RAW magazine 25 years ago. Each two-page spread depicts a single place, sometimes occupied by a corner of a room, over the course of 4 billion years. The oldest image is a blur of pink and purple gases; others depict hazmat-suited explorers from 300 years in the future. Inset images show the changing decor and inhabitants of the house throughout its existence: family photos, quarrels, kids in Halloween costumes, a woman reading a book, a cat walking across the floor. The cumulative effect is serene and ravishing, an intimation of the immensity of time and the wonder embodied in the humblest things.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer
    The legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist delivers his debut graphic novel at 85, a deliriously over-the-top blend of classic movie noir and melodrama that roams from chiaroscuro Bay City to Hollywood to a USO gig in the Pacific theater of World War II. There's a burnt-out drunk of a private eye, but the story is soon commandeered by a multigenerational collection of ferocious women, including a mysterious chanteuse who never speaks, a radio comedy writer who makes a childhood friend the butt of a hit series and a ruthless dame intent on making her whiny coward of a husband into a star. There are disguises, musical numbers and plenty of gunfights, but the drawing is the main attraction. Nobody convey's bodies in motion more thrillingly than Feiffer, whether they're dancing, running or duking it out. The kid has promise.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis
    This is a weird one, but in the nervy surreal way that word-playful novels like "A Clockwork Orange" or "Ulysses" are weird. The main character, a teenage schoolboy named Scarper Lee, lives in a world where it rains knives and people make their own parents, contraptions that can be anything from a tiny figurine stashable in a pocket to biomorphic boiler-like entities that seem to have escaped from Dr. Seuss' nightmares. Their homes are crammed with gadgets they call gods and instead of TV they watch a hulu-hoop-size wheel of repeating images that changes with the day of the week. They also know their own "death day," and Scarper's is coming up fast. Maybe that's why he runs off with the new girl at school, a real troublemaker, and the obscurely dysfunctional Castro, whose mother is a cageful of talking parakeets. A solid towline of teenage angst holds this manically inventive vision together, and proves that some graphic novels can rival the text-only kind at their own game.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    NOBROW 9: It's Oh So Quiet
    For each issue, the anthology magazine put out by this adventurous U.K.-based publisher of independent graphic design, illustration and comics gives 45 artists a four-color palette and a theme. In the ninth issue, the theme is silence, and the results are magnificent and full of surprises. The comics, each told in images only, range from atmospheric to trippy to jokey to melancholy to epic to creepy. But the two-page illustrations are even more powerful, even if it's not always easy to see how they pertain to the overall concept of silence. Well, except perhaps for the fact that so many of them left me utterly dumbstruck with visual delight.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Over Easy by Mimi Pond
    When Pond was a broke art student in the 1970s, she took a job at a neighborhood breakfast spot in Oakland, a place with good food, splendid coffee and an endlessly entertaining crew of short-order cooks, waitresses, dishwashers and regular customers. This graphic memoir, influenced by the work of Pond's friend, Alison Bechdel, captures the funky ethos of the time, when hippies, punks and disco aficionados mingled in a Bay Area at the height of its eccentricity. The staff of the Imperial Cafe were forever swapping wisecracks and hopping in and out of each other's beds, which makes them more or less like every restaurant team in history. There's an intoxicating esprit de corps to a well-run everyday joint like the Imperial Cafe, and never has the delight in being part of it been more winningly portrayed.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew
    You don't have to be a superhero fan to be utterly charmed by Yang and Liew's revival of a little-known character created in the 1940s by the cartoonist Chu Hing. This version of the Green Turtle, however, is rich in characterization, comedy and luscious period detail from the Chinatown of "San Incendio" (a ringer for San Francisco). Hank, son of a mild-mannered grocer, would like to follow in his father's footsteps, but his restless mother (the book's best character and drawn with masterful nuance by Liew) has other ideas after her thrilling encounter with a superhero. Yang's story effortlessly folds pathos into humor without stooping to either slapstick or cheap "darkness." This is that rare tribute that far surpasses the thing it celebrates.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Shoplifter by Michael Cho
    Corinna Park, former English major, works, unhappily, in a Toronto advertising agency. When the dissatisfaction of the past five years begins to oppress her, she lets off steam by pilfering magazines from a local convenience store. Cho's moody character study is as much about city life as it is about Corinna. He depicts her falling asleep in front of the TV in her condo, brooding on the subway, roaming the crowded streets after a budding romance goes awry. Like a great short story, this is a simple tale of a young woman figuring out how to get her life back, but if feels as if it contains so much of contemporary existence -- its comforts, its loneliness, its self-deceptions -- suspended in wintery amber.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
    This collection of archetypal horror, fairy and ghost stories, all about young girls, comes lushly decked in Carroll's inky black, snowy white and blood-scarlet art. A young bride hears her predecessor's bones singing from under the floorboards, two friends make the mistake of pretending to summon the spirits of the dead, a family of orphaned siblings disappears one by one into the winter nights. Carroll's color-saturated images can be jagged, ornate and gruesome, but she also knows how to chill with absence, shadows and a single staring eye. Literary readers who cherish the work of Kelly Link or the late Angela Carter's collection, "The Bloody Chamber," will adore the violent beauty on these pages.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...