Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Anonymous and the KKK

Anonymous. They really mean action, don't they? They attack full force out of nowhere. They are a force to be reckoned with. I admire their guts.

After the KKK blogged that it would hurt people who protested in  Ferguson, Missouri, and we all know what happened there, a white police officer shot an unarmed black youth, and the racial unrest that continues, which leads you to believe it has been happening for decades, Anonymous took over the KKK's online presence, exposing members via their FB accounts with addresses, phone numbers, work places, the names and ages of their kids, and even photographs of KKK family members.

Anonymous says it is not acting against free speech, but instead against the physical threats the KKK promised to protesters as a hate group. The KKK members have now been completely publicly exposed for the first time ever. I wonder if anyone will attack the KKK members now that they have been forced out of their sheets. Maybe they will be afraid for the first time in their lives. It is interesting that Anonymous did this, and that they went so far as to even include the KKK children. They are children, but they are children who are being brought up to hate and propagate hate. If I were their parents I would be afraid for them and for myself.

As an archivist at an archives which holds several sets of KKK membership cards from the 1920s, clearly identifying people, their spouses, occupations, and general addresses, this current exposure is new and different. The few membership cards of the past, found in various states, have usually been found decades after most members are dead. They are usually found by accident after an KKK ex-officer dies having forgotten to dispose of the records. Now, Anonymous has exposed current, active KKK members, some of them with young children. Very few KKK members have been arrested while active over the years, and not all of this personal, identifying, familial information was widely dispersed to the public. This is a historic event of revelation and must be infuriating and probably terrifying to at least some KKK members.

What are the implications of this Anonymous action? Will the KKK be arrested by the feds for threatening to hurt people for trying to invoke freedom of expression, or for hate crimes or for impeding civil rights? Will the KKK retract their threats? Will they in turn be threatened or attacked? Will they ask for protection? If they are attacked, will Anonymous be blamed? It must tick the KKK off to be exposed and not have a direct, known target to go after and intimidate or beat up. If the KKK tries other online means I hope that Anonymous re-exposes them. Will Anonymous take over other hate groups' accounts? Too bad they can't hit ISIS. Maybe they are trying, who knows? This is a very interesting development in online media control of hate groups. I'll bet the NSA, the feds, and local law enforcement are trying to figure out who is doing what and how to react to it. Oh wait...they've apparently been trying to do that for some time now. Local and state MO officials do not seem to have a clue. I'm thinking that they might benefit from classes on public servant hood, humanity, and basic communication skills.  Who or what will Anonymous hit next and why? Read more about it at http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-30105412

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