Can the Ku Klux Klan really 'rebrand' themselves?

OPINION - Are you ready for the kindler, gentler Ku Klux Klan?...

Are you ready for the kindler, gentler Ku Klux Klan? Before you finish sucking your teeth and/or wiping the laughing-induced tears from your face, allow me to explain (before you do any of the above again). You see the KKK is trying to do an image overhaul. They don’t want you to think of them as the cross-burning, black people murdering, hate group they’ve proven themselves to be since inception. No, no, they’ve “evolved” now. Or something.

An example of this “new” KKK was purportedly revealed over Memorial Day weekend. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, best known as the “God Hates F*gs” sign holders, were doing their usual protests — this time outside of Arlington Cemetery as President Obama led the nation’s observances at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

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As the Fred Phelps followers carried on with their asinine antics, members of the Ku Klux Klan greeted them in a counter protest. The alleged KKK affiliated group said they were there to take a stance against the Kansas-based church’s anti-troop tirade. Dennis LaBonte, who said he was an Imperial Wizard of his respective KKK group, told CNN, “It’s the soldier that fought and died and gave them that right to free speech.”

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Abigail Phelps, daughter of the gay-bashing pastor, was quick to call the other hate group on their sordid history. She said, “They have no moral authority on anything.” She went on, “People like them say it’s white power…white supremacy. The Bible doesn’t say anywhere that it’s an abomination to be born of a certain gender or race.”

When the pot and kettle collide.

LaBonte denied being a racist or “hate-monger,” though he did tell CNN he believes that the white race is “slowly and most assuredly being denigrated.” And if you’re wondering, members of the KKK group refused to answer whether or not they were armed.

Sound familiar? It sure does to me, but LaBonte insists that things aren’t how they used to be. He’s not the first member of the organization to profess a different kind of Klan either. Speaking with The Huffington Post, Pastor Travis Pierce tried to argue that the Ku Klux Klan has a new “positive” message.

Pierce says nowadays the Klan’s mission is to defend and represent white people, hold up the constitution, and deny gay teachers access to public schools. They plan to do this through legal means. Pierce says that “speechifying” or protesting doesn’t get the job done anymore.

Pierce explained: “Even with the best speeches we can come up with, all we get are protesters and thugs who try to drown out our message. So we want to take our agenda directly to those who can make something happen. We’ve hired attorneys, and we can take it directly to the government.”

Oh you fancy, huh?

Yes this “new direction” is all about advancing the white race through legal means (as if that never happened before). Pierce also claims that the KKK no longer condones violence. He told the HuffPost, “We have people call up, ‘Why are you still killing black people?’ I say: we’re not. It would be on the front page of the newspaper.”

As to when such violent behavior was on the newspaper, Pierce says it was “overplayed” throughout history. One member of the “old Klan” is currently making headlines for his Congressional run. John Abarr says he’s running for a Congressional seat in Montana as a Republican because he believes he can benefit from the backlash to America’s first black president.

Abarr says, “I think that the fact Obama got elected shows that the white people are starting to lose their political power. I am running to draw attention to the fact that white people are becoming a minority and losing our political power and way of life.”

Abarr said he’s no longer officially apart of the KKK, but is still on the mailing list. Shocker.

If you’re keeping score, the new Klan still believes minorities are denigrating white folks, still doesn’t like gay people, and still wants to use the government to create policies that solely benefit white people. Meanwhile, ex-members with “old Klan” line-of-thinking still blame minorities for soiling the nation, still don’t like homosexuals, and still want to use the government to advance the causes of white people.

If you’re wondering where’s the difference, congratulations, you’re smarter than the average Klan member. These guys can switch out their hoods all they want, but they’re all still the same bigots underneath.