A never-ending history of the Ku Klux Klan: a leader may face hate crimes charges

Harry H. Rogers

Harry H. Rogers is an admitted leader of the KKK. On Sunday, June 8, he allegedly drove his car through a crowd that was protesting peacefully in a Richmond-area roadway, in the state of Virginia. The prosecutor says Rogers is facing charges including assault and battery.

White supremacist attempts malicious wounding

The crowd was protesting on the recent death of George Floyd.  36-years old Rogers was driving insensately driving in the proximity of the protest. Although no serious injuries were caused, the KKK leader revved the engine and drove into the group.

According to Fox News, the victim of this assault refused further treatment after the rescue team checked him. Rogers was arrested for attempted malicious wounding and felony vandalism, assault, and battery.

Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor said that “the accused, by his own admission and by a cursory glance at social media, is an admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a propagandist for Confederate ideology. We are investigating whether hate crimes charges are appropriate.”

The KKK leader claims he is a landscaper

In court, Rogers was represented by a court-appointed attorney. George Townsend was the legal representative who was assigned to him. In court, Rogers declared he is a self-employed landscaper. Although it could be that this is his actual job, it also sounds like a metaphor in which the landscape he is working on as a freelancer seems to refer to people’s skin color.

The prosecutor considers the allegations to be “incredibly serious”, given the circumstances of George Floyd’s murder which caused “real conversations about racism, real conversations about social inequalities, and the idea of the injustices that are happening.”

During her statement, Taylor evoked the unfortunate tragedy that occurred in Charlottesville in 2017, when white supremacist James Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd of anti-racism demonstrators. As a result, 32-years old Heather Heyer was killed.  The killer was convicted of first-degree murder and he is currently serving multiple life sentences.

KKK – a never-ending story

We are currently living in Ku Klux Klan’s third era.

The first KKK era began in Tennessee, 1865 – the year President Abraham Lincoln was murdered by Confederate spy and actor John Wilkes Booth for promoting voting rights for blacks. Its members were fighting for white supremacy. It ended in the early ‘70s with the help of the Enforcement Acts, passed to prosecute and suppress KKK crimes.

The second KKK era began in 1915 based on America’s most controversial movie ever made, The Birth of Nations. The script was inspired by the book and play “The Clansman: A Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan” by Thomas Dixon Jr.

Directed by D. W. Griffith, the subject of the movie is the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. It was the first picture screened in the White House, during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson. The picture is a tribute to the KKK aim of “one hundred percent Americanism”. During the second era, 4–5 million white Protestants were opposing Jews, blacks, Catholics, and immigrants such as Italians, Russians, and Lithuanians. The second era died in the 1940s.

The third and current KKK era was reborn in the ’50s. By 2016, over 30 active Klan groups existed in the US. The organization is considered to be “subversive or terrorist”. Modern KKK members aren’t one organization, but rather independent chapters which rival one another. They oppose illegal immigration, urban crime, civil unions, and same-sex marriage. Some of the chapters have alliances with neo-Nazis, another white supremacist group, and have adopted white power skinheads’ look..