KKK Disowns KKK Fundraiser for Darren Wilson

In an exclusive interview with KKK Imperial Wizard Frank Ancona, the Missouri leader spoke out against a fundraiser organized by another Imperial Wizard, Chuck Murray, for Darren Wilson. 

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Last week, a so-called Imperial Wizard for the Ku Klux Klan sent an email soliciting funds for Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. The email was sent by Charles "Chuck" Murray, who says he is the director of the New Empire Knights in South Carolina.

The email was obtained by Hatewatch, a blog by the Southern Poverty Law Center:

We are setting up a reward/fund for the police officer who shot this thug. 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." 

It's not surprising that an organization known for their hatred of African Americans would unequivocally support a white police officer who has killed one, as the Klan demonizes the black community as a threat to law and order. However, this grab for publicity and fundraising was distasteful even to others in the Klan. Other top officials affiliated with the Klan are not supporting the effort, causing a rift within the community.

The fundraising email is actually in violation of the traditional Klan constitution, according to another Imperial Wizard, Frank Ancona. Ancona leads the Traditionalist American Knights, one of the largest branches of the KKK, approaching 10,000 members in the lower 48 states. Their headquarters are in Missouri.

The KKK is split into many smaller subdivisions, explained Ancona, and often times, banished members of a larger branch will attempt to start their own. Ancona believes this is the case with Murray, who is not even known to the Traditionalist American Knights.

"He basically made up his own name," Ancona said, explaining that Murray may not even be on his birth certificate. "We are a registered organization. We have a charter with the state... Half of them don’t have the rituals for our ceremonies."

Ancona worked with senior members of his organization to attempt to find Murray and confirm his connection to the larger group, but they could not. "No one has ever heard of the guy, I talked to the older members of our group," he said. "There are other legitimate Klan organizations, but this group here sprang out in the last year or so I don't believe he has any members. I think it's just him."

Additionally, Ancona believes Murray's fundraising effort is a scam, because technically, members of the Klan cannot speak with the media, let alone solicit their help with raising donations. All members sign an agreement that forbids conversations with the press. Only highly vetted officials interact with reporters, and even then, interviews are rare.

"This is not even a Klan member, they don't even have their own legitimate website. It’s a scam, he is just trying to capitalize on the situation," said Ancona. "The Klan is not out soliciting money. We do ask for donations from members for different events, we have dues, but this is not the case here." 

Murray's Wordpress avatar.

However, Ancona is not ruling out supporting Wilson in some other way. When asked if Ancona's chapter of the Klan would consider helping the officer, he said he would have to consider all of the facts, as they become available. "Maybe we will do something to assist, once the justice system does its diligence. We may help around his home," Ancona offered. "We are sitting here waiting to see what the prosecutor comes up with. Will this goes to a grand jury? Will they indict him? We would like to look at what they're charging him with, what the police report says, to see what’s going on, and then we will decide if we will help him."

Having said that, Ancona has already been sharing tweets online that would attempt to exonerate Wilson, and seems inclined to believe the shooting was justified. "From what I have seen, from a witness account, if that’s true, that’s what [Wilson] had to do in that situation."

While this larger group of Klan members does not currently have plans to formally support Wilson, they say the Missouri headquarters has already received calls for assistance from within Ferguson. Ancona said that a number of members are on the ground there. He said that they are "patrolling neighborhoods where people are concerned and reporting to law enforcement in regards to what they are seeing." Members have been instructed not to wear their regalia in public or protest.

Some store owners also requested the Klan's assistance in protecting stores from looting. Ancona would not disclose which particular neighborhoods or stores are being watched by Klan members "for their safety."

For his part, Charles Murray – who would not disclose how many Klan members were under his leadership — offered only this comment to The Wire, "I could care less what another Imperial Wizard said. The KKK has raised funds. We have already raised nearly $1,200."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.