Ku Klux Klan
The Ku Klux Klan, with its long history of violence, is the oldest and most infamous of American hate groups. Although Black Americans have typically been the Klan’s primary target, it also has attacked Jews, immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community and, until recently, Catholics.
In the past few years, the Ku Klux Klan experienced a drop in the number of active chapters. Unlike years past, however, this downward trajectory was partially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A purge of VK (a Russian social media network popular with the Klan) earlier this year severely limited the visibility of many Klansmen, while constant infighting and an inability to resolve conflict had the largest impact, making the Klan increasingly insular.
Few new members are being recruited to the remaining Klan organizations.
Most Klan interactions and activations came from online activity on VK, Stormfront, and Facebook. An increase of online interaction as opposed to in-person may have contributed to more infighting between Klansmen, causing the creation of more splinter groups.
One of the most notable of divisions occurred at the end of 2019 and into the very beginning of 2020, when controversy surrounding stolen American Christian Dixie Knights funds divided leadership in that group and led to the creation of a new group, the United Klan Nation.
Roughly two-thirds of Klan-related hate flyering incidents can be attributed to the Loyal White Knights across several states in the Mid-Atlantic region. Other groups that dropped flyers in 2020 include the Honorable Sacred Knights, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Imperial Klans of America and Church of the National Knights.