The head of Missouri’s most visible KKK group claims his “Klanline,” is being flooded with calls from prospective recruits angered by the continuing protests in Ferguson
“Missouri is definitely on fire right now,” says Frank Ancona, the imperial wizard of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. In the past the group made headlines by passing out fliers for a KKK neighborhood watch program, but Ancona tells Daily RFT Newspaper (River Front Times) the Ferguson protests are attracting a new wave of hopeful hood-wearers. He says he’s inducted 50 new members to the group’s Missouri chapter this month, and numbers are up in Ohio and Alabama as well.
“These Ferguson protesters are the best recruiters since Obama,” he says. “Normally we might hear from ten people a week in Missouri, and now we’re hearing from more like fifty people a week. Sometimes, depending on these news stories, we get 100, 200 calls in a day.”
When RFT last checked in with the publicity-friendly Ancona, he was engaged in a feud with a South Carolina-based KKK group that allegedly threw a September fundraiser for Darren Wilson, the Ferguson officer currently under grand jury investigation for the August 9 shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown.
“Personally, I think we need to wait until we see all the facts, all the evidence that’s being gathered. I don’t want to try to gain or exploit this situation,” he told Daily RFT in late August.
Ancona says the time for such restraint is over. He cites death threats made against police officers on social media and statements from outspoken activists, such as notoriously inflammatory live streamer Bassem Masri, as reasons the Klan can no longer stay on the sidelines.
“I call them terrorists, not protesters,” he says. Wait. With the history of the KKK in the United States, this is a sure case of the pot calling the kettle black.
Yesterday, Ancona’s group released a flier that promises to use “lethal force” in response to violent protesters.
“You have awakened a sleeping giant,” the flier reads. “The good people of St. Louis County of all races, colors and creeds will not tolerate your threats of violence against our police officers, their families, and our communities.”
“You have been warned by the Ku Klux Klan!” it concludes. “There will be consequences for your acts violence against the peaceful law abiding citizens of Missouri.”
It’s unclear who released the flier, which began circulating on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. Ancona says his group will begin distributing paper copies in the coming days. The group has reportedly passed out literature in other locations in St. Louis County, including the San Simeon Estates and Capetown Village subdivisions in High Ridge, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Members of the Missouri KKK group will also be on the scene of any unrest following the grand-jury decision, Ancona promises. He says many of the calls he’s received are from concerned citizens asking for Klan protection.
“We’re basically going where we’re being asked to go,” he says. “We’re being low key, we’re not trying to inflame any situation anywhere, but we’re also letting it be known that we’re here to help people if they need us.”
When asked if there was a racial component to the KKK’s involvement, Ancona pointed to the “all races, colors, and creeds” line in the flier. He insists that he’s not encouraging racism or violence against black protesters.
“It would hypocritical for us to pin this on the black race when you can clearly watch footage on TV and you see white people as well as black people,” he says. “All those people need to be on notice.”
Ancona and the Traditionalist American Knights are mentioned by name in the SPLC report, which describes the group’s distribution of fliers and supposed neighborhood watch group. The report cites Ancona’s feuds with other Klan leaders, one of whom accused Ancona of being Jewish, as an example of how petty and powerless the contemporary KKK has largely become.