KKK Preaches 'Love' From Boone County

KARK-TV/June 10, 2003
By Jason Friedman

Deep in the Ozark Mountains, Thom Robb is fighting for the Ku Klux Klan. But in this struggle, he says, there will be no bloodshed or intimidation. In this battle, the Grand Wizard says you won't find Klansmen lighting crosses or wearing white robes. "We want to give a correct image of what we are," Robb tells News 4 Arkansas.

Here, a website and some videos are the battlefield. Self love, and nothing more, is the Klan's message, Robb says. "If a black man can be proud of being black and if a Mexican can be proud of being Mexican, and an Asian can be proud of being Asian, why is it so terrible for a white person to say I'm proud of being white?"

What's wrong is what many people see as a history of hate and a symbol of white supremacy, a reminder of an ugly past headquartered right here in Arkansas. Little Rock City Director Johnnie Pugh: "They say it's about white love. As far as I'm concerned, love don't have a color."

Grand Wizard Thom Robb: "Compared to other racialist groups, we're probably the strongest one in the country, I don't doubt that a bit."

Robb says a big reason for that is the Klan's approach-far different, he says, from others who call themselves Klansmen. "There are people who put on robes and call themselves Klansmen that I wouldn't have dinner with, certainly wouldn't want my kids to associate with."

The Grand Wizard says the only people who hate him are the ones who don't know him. But dig a little deeper, and some critics say the same core values that caused so much concern in the past are still alive and well today.

Thom Robb: "The history of our people has been a history of conquest, and the history of minorities has been a history of submission."

"They're tired of seeing queers shown across their TV screens, they're tired of kids not being safe in schools, they're tired of Mexicans flooding across the borders."

Robb says as his critics continue to focus on the past, the Klan is preparing for the future, hoping for a time when millions rise up and put Klan-friendly politicians in power. "Political change comes about very quickly," he says. "It always has."

City Director Johnnie Pugh has her own dream-not one of racial dominance but one of racial healing. A day when there is "no love with color on it."

As both wait for their dreams to become reality, Robb says he won't stop sharing his controversial message with the world, speaking out from a white cabin in the woods of Boone County in northern Arkansas.

"I'm like a missionary," says Robb. "A missionary doesn't give up the faith just because he doesn't get any converts."

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.