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"So how'd you decide to join up?" I asked.
"I used to live in San Antonio until five years ago, and we just had all these wetbacks moving in. And I couldn't get a parking spot on my own street, they'd bring so many of them to live with them," he said. "Then one day, I saw chickens in one of their yards. I think there was even a fucking goose. That was it for me."
"Wow, a goose?" I marveled that someone would join a hate group based on a lack of parking.
"A fucking goose. I couldn't take it anymore. So I joined up. My wife wasn't too happy about it. I'm divorced now. But then she'd tell me to take my Knights diploma down because I kept that up on the bedroom wall. And I have a bloodstained Confederate flag wallpaper on my computer, and she'd get nervous her parents would see that when they came to visit."
Turk worked occasionally as a substitute teacher. He planned to get a teaching degree and work in education full time. But his day job was in customer service at a drug company in downtown Kansas City.
"You mention starting a Klavern, and people think you're driving around in a costume with a rope hanging out the back of your truck," he said. "It's such hypocrisy. Why can't I celebrate my racial heritage?"
As enthusiastic as Turk was about putting a Klavern together, he'd never managed to recruit the three other guys needed. It seemed that most Klan activity was taking place online among people who had never met.
Later that week, Turk started a group on Yahoo.com for local Klansmen, and he named me moderator. I started getting e-mails from people with screen identities such as "kneegrowslayer" and "pure_race_ blood_warrior." They pleaded to me for membership so they could help "save our white race." When one sent me a particularly sinister request, I sent a message back, half-hopeful, half-petrified, fishing for details of unsolved hate crimes to forward to the police. None responded. The few members who bothered to post mostly linked to news stories about migrant workers and wrote warnings of an impending Hispanic takeover of the economy. After the initial ghoulish fascination, I generally ignored the site.
Turk and I talked for almost two hours before I excused myself. At the end of the meal, he picked up the check. In April, another flier appeared in the Pitch, again in Olathe. This one was for the National Socialist Movement, and it listed a post-office box at the end. Using my Klan ID, I sent a letter the day after it appeared. A week later, I got a reply.
Racial Greetings from the NSMKC,
The NSM works with many different Klan groups. The "knights party" happens to be one of the more prominent ones. You were wise to choose them, they are some of the best, one of the biggest, and one of the oldest surviving Klan factions that can legitimately trace their roots back to the original KKK. I particularly work with them a lot. I can tell you much more that might surprise you so give me a call and I look forward to working with you. 88!