ORLANDO, Fla. - Channel 9's Jeff Deal sat down with a man who oversees the Florida chapter of The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan after WFTV found its
members' activities have started heating up in central Florida.
The KKK is a name historically associated with white supremacist views and violence against minorities. The flaming crosses, flowing white robes and klansman hoods are the unmistakable symbols of the KKK, a group mainly known for its extreme hate and acts of violence against black people in the last two centuries, including the 1951 murders of early civil rights leaders Harry and Harriette Moore in Mims.
"I remember saying, 'I don't believe my daddy's dead,'" said Evangeline Moore, who was 21
years old at the time.
Moore said she was on a train from Washington, D.C., to visit her parents when a bomb went off in her parents' home on Christmas Night.
The murders have been tied to the KKK.
"They murdered my parents, and it was done because of hatred," said Moore.
So what has happened to the KKK?
LIVE CHAT RECAP: Jeff Deal discusses KKK story
In recent months, recruitment fliers starting popping up across central Florida for the local chapter. Channel 9 learned the fliers even showed up the Harry T. Moore home site around the anniversary of the Moore murders.
"What you've seen is just the tip of the iceberg right now," said the
grand dragon who oversees the Florida chapter.
The grand dragon and a newer member agreed to sit down with Channel 9, faces covered.
Deal: "Why do you want your face covered here?"
Grand Dragon: "Because I care about my job."
The two claim to be part of an
"We have police officers, paramedics, judges," said the grand dragon. "They're everywhere."
And the members said they're 1,000 members
strong and growing.
"You start looking at numbers, start looking at census and you realize whites are the minority," said the other
That's why he joined a year ago, saying
he's interested in preserving the white race.
Both men claim The Loyal White Knights is not violent and insist it's not a hate group, even though they referred to minorities using racial slurs that WFTV has chosen not to air.
"I'm not going to lie about that. It doesn't mean we hate them," said the grand dragon.
"We are just proud to be white," said the other man.
Both insisted they no longer try to harass or intimidate minorities, but for Moore, seeing the fliers was a painful reminder of her parents' murders.
"It really made me very, very angry, and it hurt," she said.
Moore said she's not ready to buy into the claims that today's KKK is a kinder, gentler Klan.
"What else are they if they're not a hate group?" asked Moore.
The Loyal White Knights of the KKK said the fliers dropped at the Harry T. Moore home site are just an expression of free speech.
It has groups in 29 states, and Florida's grand dragon said they hope to expand across all 50 states.