- You talked about being involved with smaller Klans in the 1980s. What first attracted you to those Klans? I saw on one of your postings that you served
After leaving the Army, I knew very little about the Klan. I met some Klan members from Tennessee and joined. Like most splinter groups, they came and went. I was attracted with their views on politics, more than anything.
- What is your role as Imperial Wizard of the New Empire Knights?
The Imperial Wizard is just a title for National Leader. I set on what is known as an Imperial Board (with other Imperial Officers). We make decisions and approve ideas that state leaders and local leaders come up with. We make sure Klansmen are following Klan doctrine and banish those who do not. A few months back, I was informed about a Klavern (unit) leader in Texas posting YouTube videos while drunk. We kicked this person out and banned them. Those are just some of the few things I do as Imperial Wizard.
- Before you came to the Abbeville area, where did you live?
I was born in Boston, south Boston to be more specific. I lived there until age 17 and then I joined the Army where I attended basic training at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. I was then stationed in Germany for 18 months. After being honorably discharged, my brother helped me land a job in Memphis, Tennessee where I lived for 3-4 years. I landed a great job in South Carolina and have been here ever since.
- You talked about what you saw as the ignorance of the good deeds the Klan had done as far as charitable giving, food drives, etc. Would you say the Klan has been linked to violence in the past or present? If so, how does that link affect what you’re trying to accomplish with the NEK?
I could write an entire book about this topic. Here’s the short answer. There are over a billion Muslims. Some are terrorists. Do we call all Muslims terrorists? Westboro Baptist Church promotes incest and hatred of America. Do we compare all Baptists to them? Of course we don’t. The exact opposite is said about the Klan.
Take the 1960’s for instance. KKK documentaries will always show the violence and crimes of the United Klans of America (UKA) and the White Knights of Mississippi. Both groups were made up of criminals. Sam Bowers, the leader of the White Knights even denounced Klan doctrine. That alone should have got him banish from the Klan.
Nobody talks about the other Klan groups of this era such as the National Knights, US Klans of America or the Knights (David Duke was former Imperial Wizard). These groups existed during the same time and were linked to no violence. The Knights, now known as the Knights Party, even exist today. They still have never been charged for a hate crime. Again, do we see the SPLC and ADL report this?
You can’t compare Robert Shelton to David Duke, or me to Sam Bowers. Yet, the media and people compare all Klan groups as the same.