The Department of Homeland Security recently issued a chilling report: Americans, it said, can expect an upsurge in “rightwing extremism” from White nationalists, militias, and groups like the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan, of course, has had a hand in some of the nation’s most infamous acts of racial terror and murder.
But what does the KKK look like today? Photographer Anthony Karen has documented the modern-day Klan in their homes, at rallies, and at Klan gatherings, taking us deep inside a world we would otherwise never see — a world most of us might not even want to know about. The unnerving photos featured here, exclusively on LIFE.com, are from his book, “The Invisible Empire: Ku Klux Klan.” “The majority of people I’ve come across,” Karen told LIFE, “you’d only know they were in the Klan if they decided to share that.”
see more — LIFE Goes Inside Today’s KKK
And there’s even a Klan bride…
I mean—this is important and shit—and I’m not in ANY way saying that the Klan is not a violent force in the US right now. BUT—the thing that irritates me about focusing on the Klan when it’s *militias* that are inciting the most violence right now—is that the Klan is NOT as media savy as the militias are, and already have a bad reputation amongst almost everybody (well, except the people who support them). A white liberal will see this picture and will go, ewwwww, how scary and horrible and sit condemnation on it. On the OTHER hand—they will hear the logic of the militias and *ENGAGE* with it and seek to compromise with it—BECAUSE MILITIAS ARE IN THE US GOVERNMENT. They’ve been normalized through CNN and MSNBC and FOX News caters to them—and the militias and nationalists and nativists are *scarier* to me because they’re a fringe group with no signifying features like a white hood. They’ve done this *purposely*. there was a big divide between factions of the minute men because they were using catch phrases like from MLK (not judged by the color of our skin) and doing that *purposely* with the attempt to appeal to a mass base—and the other faction disagreed with that.
Well—the white supremacist militia man in a business suit is the new norm now—and there’s no easy way to mark to the world that they’re fringe and they’re doing shit like convincing liberals that we need to “protect our borders” and a liberal who has deported a million people in two years and has increased detentions to catastrophic proportions STILL isn’t doing enough. liberals have gone from supporting immigrants rights because “they’re just trying to have a better life” to braying about “go to the back of the line and take a fine” and clapping over the increased violence against immigrants that ICE is inflicting just since obama’s been elected. it wasn’t scary people in white hoods that made this happen—it was the militias recognizing that liberal masses are scared more of appearances than actions.
Please listen to this woman please