Since Charlottesville, Ku Klux Klan attempts to appeal to college minds
By C.S. Hagen
VALLEY CITY – The White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are targeting North Dakota university newspapers in a cry for help: a book banning.
So far, Valley City State University’s ‘Viking News,’ and NDSU’s ‘The Spectrum,’ have received a letter postmarked Fort Myers, Florida, with no return address, from someone claiming to be a “Loyal American Patriot,” asking for for help banning a book titled ‘The Slave Players,’ by Megan Allen, published by Burn House Publishing.
“Dear Editor: Recently, we have come under extreme fire for being a hate group,” the KKK letter began. “This couldn’t be further from the truth. We follow the teachings of the Bible and only wish to keep the white race pure as God intended for his chosen people. Only those who live in ignorance call us hateful.”
The anonymous writer then targets “loudmouth literature,” a work of fiction and a love story, which was “clearly written just to agitate the college-educated, who always think they have a better answer for the woes of the world.”
The KKK letter writer further states Allen is a “white woman who knows little about white society.”
On the Burn House Publishing website, Allen mentions the KKK targeting her book on October 10. “I really just set out to write a novel about racial injustice and maybe weave in a good love story. And the AltRight has decided to beat the hell out of me for it. It must be good though, or they wouldn’t care so much.”
Burn House Publishing also replied, stressing that the critics are refusing to identify themselves. “To the skeptic who wrote us. The Southern Poverty Law Center is currently investigating the KKK attacks on our behalf. They have great resources and lots of experience in tracking down and exposing them for what they are.”
Since the Charlottesville, Virginia rallies in August, which left one woman dead, the AltRight and other pro-white activist groups appear to have changed tactics. Instead of marching with tiki torches, they’re sending out mail to further agendas. Pro-white hate groups have also attempted to become more socially acceptable in recent years, replacing words like “genocide” with “ethnic replacement,” not using “white nationalist,” and choosing “identitarian” instead.
Groups like the KKK also maintain that whites may not be superior, but that whites need a homeland of their own. Instead of saying, “purge non-white people,” they twist semantics to call such minority groups criminals, rapists, and terrorists.
Halfway through the letter, the writer quoted a line from the book, which the KKK finds hateful.
“There will come a time when blacks stop praying for salvation and start praying for bombs of their own,” the letter stated.
“Who says that? That’s the kind of hateful talk that can start a racial uprising, and is about as un-American as you can get. Most Americans we talk to support the banning of this book. Brown or colored or white it should make no difference. Hate is hate.”
The KKK is currently attempting to apply pressure on Google to have the website taken down.
“They’ve been sending those to school papers for a while if they got down to the V’s,” Jenni Lou Russi, a media teacher and editor at Valley City State University said. She found the letter in school mail on Tuesday.
The envelope is handwritten, but the letter is typed, a form letter, with the KKK logo on the upper left hand side. The incident isn’t Russi’s first brush with racist organizations. A few years ago someone put a swastika on the sidewalk in front of her house the night before the first night of Chanukah.
“Is this demographic their market?” Russi said. Why were college newspapers targeted instead of professional media?
Jack Hastings, editor in chief of NDSU’s “The Spectrum,” said he had just received the letter, and wasn’t sure what his office was going to do with it yet.
“I guess I’m surprised and slightly disturbed by it too,” Hastings said. “First off, the presence of a group such as the KKK surprised me, but now they’re targeting college campuses. Seeing this delivered to our office is upsetting to me.”
College campuses are places of study, full of potentially susceptible minds eager to learn more about the world they’re preparing to enter.
“Most college papers are pretty liberal, maybe they’re trying to sway that,” Hastings said. “This letter seems like a call to action. It has the potential to maybe grow, and it could pick up easily on a campus, more than a city newspaper.”
About a week ago, the campus was hit with “Identity Evropa,” white supremacist posters, which were quickly taken down, Hastings said. “Identity Evropa” is a defined as a racist white supremacist organization by the Anti-Defamation League, and designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Despite hate group attempts to reach out to college students, Hastings said he believes most people won’t be persuaded.
“It seems like everyone is aware that this is not ethical or even moral,” Hastings said. “I feel like the public here is pretty accepting and accommodating to people when it comes to race.”
Other university newspapers were called for comment, but would not go on record or could not be reached.