Preacher of hate aged 10

The Sun, UK/June 7, 2010

Young Andrew Pendergraft is playing in the sprawling grounds of his family's country home.

Like any other active ten-year-old, he loves running through the fields and splashing about in the river.

But later he will appear on internet TV and - clearly reading from a script - he will solemnly share his bigoted views on the supremacy of the white race with potentially thousands of other children online.

Andrew may be only ten but he is the face of youth within America's Ku Klux Klan, the most infamous hate organisation in the world.

He has been indoctrinated into the ways of the Klan - famed for its burning crosses, lynch mobs and attacks on black people - by his mum Rachel at their home in Harrison, Arkansas, deep in America's Bible Belt.

It will be three years until Andrew can officially join the Klan, but he already uses his own programme on his family's internet station, White Pride TV, to preach to his audience of like-minded people about the "evils" of races mixing.

He says: "We film White Pride TV on Sunday after church and I have my own spot, The Andrew Show. I talk about something I have seen during the week, like an inter-racial cartoon or kiss, or a film that portrays white people as bad.

"I thought the film Avatar showed white people as destroying the rainforest, which we don't do, and I like to talk about that."

It is hardly surprising that Andrew and sisters Charity, 19, and Shelby, 17, hold such views - they are the grandchildren of Thomas Robb, America's national Klan leader.

Robb's extremism originated with his own parents. The 64-year-old - Rachel's father - claims to have "become awakened" to many of his views from the age of 13.

On the surface, the Pendergrafts' lives seem a model of all-American wholesomeness.

Their days are filled with music lessons, schoolwork, church, chores and camping trips.

Yet all three children have been forbidden by their mum from mixing with other races, and told they must marry other white people and have children to prevent the Klan's biggest fear - the extinction of the white race.

Although 40-year-old Rachel claims the Klan has changed since its violent heyday, she has home-schooled all three children at the family ranch to prevent them absorbing views from other children.

She says: "I would love it if there was a public school system which I could faithfully send my children to.

"But they would be taught there are heroes of the homosexual agenda, and that it is OK to race-mix. They would be taught that there is a great socialist agenda in America and they can get on that bandwagon.

"We teach the same basic education in maths, science, English and so forth but the main difference is when it comes to history.

"America's students today are not taught correct national history and I believe that is a great part of the undoing of our people."

So in the Pendergraft household's history lessons the achievements of America's white founding fathers are praised, while discussion of the contribution made by slaves is avoided.

Daughter Charity says: "What role did black people play in the history of America? I mean no offence, but none. None at all.

"They were here but they didn't build the country. They didn't sign any of the documents of the Declaration of Independence."

The KKK, which was formed in response to slaves being freed after the American Civil War, has an estimated 8,000 members in the US - and it has grown since Barack Obama was elected President.

The group preaches that non-white people should be kept separate to prevent whites from "dying out" and calls for the "voluntary repatriation of other races back to their ancestral homelands" and a ban on mixed-race marriage and parenthood.

Rachel says: "There is growing oppression against white people around the world.

"The greatest endangered species to fight for is the white race, and as a white person I don't want to see the end of my people."

Once a month, KKK children meet at the White Christian Revival Center in Harrison and Andrew says: "It is so much fun. We start after White Pride TV has been shot and go down to the bowling alley in Harrison with around 30 other kids."

At some gatherings, crosses are still lit. Family photos show all three Pendergraft children smiling next to burning crosses - one of the world's most powerful symbols of hate.

But according to Charity, the symbol has been misunderstood.

She says: "We don't call it cross-burning. It is meant to highlight that Jesus died for us on the cross."

Charity is married and hopes to have children soon, while Shelby has a steady boyfriend. Both their partners support their beliefs.

In their spare time the sisters sing in a white nationalist band, Heritage Connection - whose songs include Aryan Warrior, Racial Suicide and Alien Flood.

But the girls insist their lives are ordinary. Shelby says: "Once I have finished my school in the morning and once me and Charity have done going through rehearsals and new material we head out to town.

"We do everything that you would expect teenage girls to do. We hang out in nail polish bars, get ice cream smoothies in and drink milkshakes in the diner.

"It is true we don't have any black friends, but then where we live is a 98 per cent white area anyway."

Speaking of black people she adds: "They are a completely different culture. When people in America talk about black people they say African American, they don't say Americans. This is because they know they aren't American." The girls' musical tastes are limited and exclude all black-influenced styles.

Charity admits: "I have only heard a couple of Beatles songs on the radio and I don't know if I agree with their politics, but I liked what I heard."

The pair are less generous towards President Obama, who their grandfather Thomas Robb called "alien" just before Mr Obama's historic election victory in November 2008.

Charity says: "The fact that Barack Obama is mixed race is very bad. I don't think he should be President.

"He is also completely unqualified and he has Communist beliefs."

Rachel insists that the Klan's emphasis is now on the protection of the white race rather than violence towards others.

However, attacks by groups associated with the Klan still occur.

She refuses to be drawn on her feelings on other races, saying: "I try not to say things about non-white people, but the children might raise a topic of conversation that needs addressing."

Rachel insists that she and her father have updated the KKK in other ways and says: "I am the national membership co-ordinator and Pastor Robb is the national director. We no longer use terms like Grand Dragon or Grand Wizard.

"It is for those kinds of reasons of misconceptions that we light our crosses at private ceremonies now, where the public is not allowed."

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