One of Montana’s most notorious white supremacists has said he wants to recruit members for a new Ku Klux Klan group which no longer holds racist or homophobic views.
13WMAZ reports John Abarr formed the Rocky Mountain Knights specifically to fight against a “new world order” – or a one-world government, which he says the US government is trying to achieve.
The new group however, will not discriminate on issues of race, religion, or sexual orientation.
He told the Great Falls Tribune: “The KKK is for a strong America. White supremacy is the old Klan. This is the new Klan.”
Abarr said he had his change of heart after meeting with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Casper, Montana.
“I thought it was a really good organisation,” he said. “I don’t feel we need to be separate.”
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He added he now hopes to hold an interracial and interfaith “peace summit” in the summer of 2015.
However, Abarr’s statements have not passed without criticism within the Klan moment.
Imperial Wizard of the United Klans of America Bradley Jenkins said: “That man’s going against everything the bylaws of the constitution of the KKK say. He’s trying to hide behind the KKK to further his political career.”
Jimmy Simmons, one of the NAACP representatives who met with Abarr last year, said he would take a “strong look ” at attending Abarr’s peace summit.
However, he added: “The use of the letters KKK instills fear in people.”
Montana Human Rights Network co-director Rachel Carroll-Rivas also criticised the group’s label, saying: “If John Abarr was actually reformed, he could drop the label of the KKK.
“They know that their beliefs aren’t popular, so they try to appear moderate. I think it’s just a farce. Our mission for the last 24 years has been to shine a light on hatred.”