Anonymous exposes alleged KKK members in mass list
Tyler Korponai – Photo Editor
The 20th century was a turbulent time for America, and with good reason. So much activity happened that reshaped the landscape; as a people, we reevaluated our position and path. Of all the striking figures and movements, few can rival the Civil Rights movement championed by those such as Martin Luther King Jr. or the iconic Rosa Parks.
While their efforts culminated in massive alterations in the social balance of America, the fight to eliminate institutional racism and remove racial barriers that have hampered our country still continues today. If anything, these divides and issues have become accented with the violence that has turned communities, such as Baltimore and Ferguson, into quagmires of unrest.
In the wake of the death of Michael Brown, Anonymous, a network of hacktivists, declared cyberwar on the Ku Klux Klan. The KKK had made numerous death threats after riots had rocked Ferguson. In response Anonymous attacked the KKK’s twitter account and servers associated with the Klan’s activity.
That was back in Nov. 2014 though; now, Anonymous as of Oct. 28 had announced “Operation KKK,” a plan to release up to 1000 names of alleged Klan members and other affiliates.
On Nov. 5 the hacktivist group followed through releasing on Pastebin the names and contact information of hundreds. The group prefaced the list with text outlining its intentions and motives.
“We hope Operation KKK will, in part, spark a bit of constructive dialogue about race, racism, racial terror and freedom of expression, across group lines,” states the document. “Public discourse about these topics can be honest, messy, snarky, offensive, humbling, infuriating, productive, and serious all at once. The reality is that racism usually does NOT wear a hood but it does permeate our culture on every level. Part of the reason we have taken the hoods off of these individuals is not because of their identities, but because of what their hoods symbolize to us in our broader society.”
Anonymity has been one of the greatest assets to the KKK. Operating with a certain degree of facelessness, beyond the iconic white hood, has allowed the group to remain a pervasive threat to communities, especially in a areas where historically the Klan has had connections to law enforcement and public officials.
“I think it’s necessary to do something,” said Shannon Harrell, exercise science major. “When you may have people inside society like police departments, courtrooms, or anywhere really, that have ill intentions to a certain demographic, they could be a big factor in the social climate, it’s massive.
The climate of America has changed though, thats unavoidable. The Klan has been reduced from the massive conglomerate of cells operating all across the country in large numbers to smaller groups. Their mission to destabilize and disrupt communities, specifically targeting the black population, persists though.
“The Ku Klux Klan is the only organization with a repeated, well-documented history of domestic terrorist behavior that has gone unchecked and unwatched by the US government,” said Ben Brown an English Major. “If we care enough about international terrorism to throw our country into eight-plus years of unproductive, false war, why should our government and citizens not care the same or more about clear acts of domestic terrorism. The answer is obviously internalized and systematic racism and classism. But the best we can do as a self-founded nation is to hold our own power structure responsible and take appropriate action for ourselves when they can’t.”
Photo Credit: Vincent Diamante