Posts tagged: Ku Klux Klan
It's unlikely that any other Bonner County sheriff candidate spent their Friday night like Shaun Winkler. At his compound just outside Priest River, Winkler and other family members of the northern Idaho Ku Klux Klan lavern held a get-together that included a nighttime cross lighting. Winkler, 33, is also tied to the Aryan Nations and Church of Jesus Christ-Christian. He has participated in racially-charged Kootenai County protests. According to Winkler, cross lighting, more commonly known as cross burning, often provokes strong reactions from most people. Given that fact, the ceremony is generally conducted in private within the compound once a month or so. “Generally, for a cross lighting, it's extremely rare we'd let any media there at all,” he said. However, after discussing the matter with his family and associates, the group agreed to allow outside observation for the ceremony. Winkler said the evening was meant to express both camaraderie and religious devotion/Cameron Rasmusson, Bonner County Bee. More here. (SR 2004 file photo of Shaun Winkler, center)
Tongue firmly cheeked, columnist Argus Hamilton of the Ardmoreite.com Web site writes about a North Idaho neo-Nazi's problem with running for office: “Idaho Ku Klux Klan leader Shaun Winkler announced he will run for Bonner County sheriff in May. His timing was bad. Right now everyone thinks that anyone who wears a hood is protesting racial profiling in Florida, so he'll have trouble getting his message out.”
Question: Do you think that sheriff's race in Bonner County might be getting the wrong kind of national attention?
He has been an Aryan Nations member and Ku Klux Klan leader, and now Shaun Winkler wants to be the sheriff in a rural Idaho county near the Canadian border. The white power activist is running as a Republican in the May 15 Bonner County primary to become the top law enforcement officer. Winkler said despite the white supremacist beliefs he holds as a KKK imperial wizard, his brand of justice would be color blind. “In the event I was elected sheriff, I would not act on racial profiling,” Winkler said. “Being in the white power movement, I know how it feels to be profiled by law enforcement.” Rather, Winkler is running on a platform that includes coming down hard on sex offenders and meth manufacturers, and reducing the impact of federal law enforcement at the county level/Nicholas K. Geranios, AP. More here.
Question: Is it worth getting worked up about Winkler's candidacy since he has little chance to win in Tea Party-influenced Bonner County?
Montana state legislators this week received a newsletter from a white supremacist group tied to the Ku Klux Klan that wants to turn the Northwest into “the future homeland of the white race from people all over the world.” The newsletter came from the Northwest Knights, whose national headquarters is based in Harrison, Ark., and whose website, www.KKK.com, is that of the Ku Klux Klan. It mentions that the Montana First Committee was formed in 2011 as an umbrella group for “white racialists in Montana, who want to create a white homeland in the Northwest.” The Northwest Knights, the newsletter said, is a “fraternal organization that is dedicated towards white civil rights in the Northwest”/Charles S. Johnson, Missoulian State Bureau. More here. (AP photo of late Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler during 1999 rally in Coeur d'Alene)
Question: Sound familiar?
Protesting members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church were met with an unlikely group of counterprotesters Monday at Arlington Cemetery. Hours before President Barack Obama led the nation's Memorial Day observances at the Tomb of the Unknowns, three members of the Westboro Baptist Church were challenged by others who disagreed with them — including members claiming to be from the Ku Klux Klan. The Kansas-based church has attracted nationwide attention for its angry, anti-gay protests at the funerals of U.S. military members. Among those counter-protesting at the cemetery's main entrance: About 10 members of a group that claims to be a branch of the Ku Klux Klan from Virginia called the Knights of the Southern Cross/CNN. More here. (AP file photo: Westboro Baptist protesters)
Question: In a cemetery showdown between Westboro Baptist Church and the Ku Klux Klan, which side would you be rooting for?