The Ku Klux Klan, based in Pulaski, Tenn., has retained the international public relations firm Clayton+Daye to educate Americans about the good the organization does and the fun its members have. “There’s a perception among Americans that the KKK is all about lynchings and scrawling swastikas on cars,” says John Arnold, a past grand master of the 150-year-old organization. “Those things are a big part of it, yes. But the group is so much more than that. We have picnics, help people paint houses and fences—in short, we help build community. Of course, it’s community for white people, but it’s community nonetheless.”
In the ad campaign, which will air on TV and radio and have an online component beginning this spring, Klan members and their families will be shown as ordinary Americans who care about each other and the places they live. “What a lot of people don’t get about the Klan and its members is it’s cross-burnings and other activities are motivated by a love of God and America,” says Nigel Ohlsson, Clayton+Daye’s campaign creative director. ‘It’s been especially helpful to me, as someone who came into this unfamiliar with the inner workings of the organization, to see with fresh eyes what it’s really all about. What I learned is, it’s really about community and doing good things for it.”
Ohlsson, based in London, said it’s been eye-opening to see how much Klan members care about other people as long as they’re not black or Jewish or another despised minority. “Yes, there’s that whole bigotry thing, but when you peel that away, what you have are ordinary people living ordinary lives who really care about others,” he says. “If it weren’t for the Jews or blacks or the others who are making the American bloodline impure, the men and women who make up the Klan would not be burning crosses or dragging minorities from the backs of cars; instead, they would be helping granny cross the street or making sure the town park has bulbs in its light fixtures.”
The first TV ad scheduled for airing depicts John Smith, a friendly looking man in his thirties, as he drives around in his pickup truck collecting trash from the side of a country road. “I do this because I care about where I live,” Smith says in the voiceover. “I want my family to be proud of their community. That’s why I take the time to look for trash in our community and get rid of it. If you do nothing, trash will multiply and become a blight on our way of life. Trash is not American. When my kids grow up, I want them to be able to come down this same road that I did as a kid and look on it with pride, because it’s not blighted by trash.”
Another spot will follow a busy mom as she gives her husband fresh-baked cookies before he goes out. “Make sure you give these to all the guys,” she says. “You’re the best,” he replies as he takes the cookies and gives her a kiss. “We’ll be needing a little snack; it’s going to be a long night.”
Both spots end with the tag line, “The Klan: It’s you, It’s me, It’s America the Free.”
Ohlsson says people can buy T-shirts and mugs that reinforce the theme. “It’s a 360-degree campaign,” he says, “so you can watch the TV commercial, see a banner ad on the Internet, and drink coffee out of your mug. You’ll even be able to get the kids a coloring book and crayons—without the brown crayon, of course. Hah-hah. In a year, we think, perceptions will change, and the Klan will become much more accepted part of America.”
This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos (some modified): xi (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
White nationalist leader Richard Spencer says he believes blacks, Jews, and other Americans of impure bloodlines will leave the United States on their own accord once he and his followers march in front of enough confederate statutes. “What we think is, after a certain point, the approximately 15 million Jews and about 50 million blacks in our country will choose to leave and everyone will be happy,” says Spencer, whose organization is based in Alexandria, Va. Spencer’s organization was involved in the rally by white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan in Charlottesville, Va., in late August that led to the death of a counter protester. More.
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Americans say they’re still proud* to be Americans. That’s the theme of a group that Americans launched today, called America Proud!®, to express how proud* they are to be Americans, today and tomorrow. “We’re Americans first and always will be, and with our new organization, we’re telling the world that we stand tall* as Americans because we love our country,” says Jared Brown (not his real name), a ski instructor in Park City, Utah, who is president of the new group. More.
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In a move that’s sure to make to make it harder for Donald Trump to get his election message out, Twitter has suspended the account of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for including banned hate speech in his tweets. “We take our responsibilities to foster respectful dialogue seriously,” Twitter Chief Enforcement Officer David Hearns says in a statement the company released this morning. “This was not a decision we made lightly, but we stand by our policy and did what we felt we had to under the circumstances.” Under the company’s hate-speech policy, accounts are suspended 60 days for tweets that . . . . More.