Anonymous to Name Prominent KKK Members
Hacktivist group Anonymous appeared to have published dozens of email addresses and phone numbers allegedly belonging to members of the Ku Klux Klan late Sunday, in an attempt to out U.S. senators and mayors as members.
However, the information dump known as #OpKKK/#HoodsOff, was almost instantaneously met with public denials by politicians and a twitter account not affiliated with Anonymous came forward taking responsibility for the dump.
The twitter account that released the data wrongfully accusing government officials of being members of the KKK was @sgtbilko420 (“Amped Attacks”), who proceeded to tweet that the act was of his own accord. The official operation KKK twitter account also distanced itself from the initial data release by saying “#ICYMI #OpKKK was in no way involved with today’s release of information that incorrectly outed several politicians.”
Additional dumps, directly from Anonymous this time, are expected on the fifth of November to coincide with Guy Fawkes Night and their Million Mask March.
“On the 5th we shall release more than 1000 Ku Klux Klan members Names and websites, new and old,” the group announced in a press release posted to Pastebin.
Anonymous does not wish to deprive members of the KKK of freedom of speech, but the intent to unveil identities derives from previous threats against Ferguson protesters.
“We never forgot your threats to the protesters in Ferguson, and we certainly never forgave you,” the press release stated. “And the same will be done to the threats you give now.”
Anonymous emphasized that members of the KKK can maintain their beliefs but anonymity is not promised. “Your hateful ideas and words remain yours to keep,” the press release stated, adding, “with that said, we are stripping you of your anonymity.”
A KKK twitter account, “Militant Knights KKK”, suggested counteracting the hackers’ actions by holding an “anti anonymous march” alongside the group on the fifth.
Tweets pouring from different accounts have caused confusion over the credibility of the first release.
Mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee, Madeline Rogero, responded to the accusation of being a member of the KKK on Facebook.
“I began my political career working for the rights of farm workers with Caesar Chavez,” the post read. “I have spent decades working for causes of social justice and equality.”
Rogero went on to highlight examples of her commitment to social justice, “I began the Save Our Sons initiative to increase opportunities and reduce violence-related deaths among boys and young men of color.”
Pushing for diversity can be seen in her public record, not only in terms of race but also in other marginalized groups. “I have advocated publicly for LGBT civil rights, and I was the only mayor in Tennessee to sign onto the mayors’ amicus brief for the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court’s marriage equality case,” Rogero said in the post.
Indiana senator Dan Coats reached out through Twitter to address the accusation. “For those who are asking – I have never had any affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan and deplore all forms of racial discrimination,” Coats tweeted. Senator Coats proceeded to call the data dump “baseless Internet garbage of the worst kind.”
Contrary to the outrageous racism that plagues image board 4chan, Anonymous has demonstrated desire to dismantle the blatantly racist organization. “Ku Klux Klan, expect us,” said the final words of the release.