Thomas Robb (activist)

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Thomas Robb
Born1946 (age 72–73)
Detroit, Michigan, United States
ResidenceBoone County, Arkansas, United States
TitleNational director of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
Pastor of the Christian Revival Center

Thomas Robb (born 1946) is an American far-right activist, Ku Klux Klan leader, and Christian Identity pastor.[1][2] He is national director of The Knights Party, also known as the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan,[3] taking control of the organization after David Duke.[2]

Early life[edit]

Robb was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Tucson, Arizona.[2] He attended college in Colorado.[2]

Christian Identity and Klan activities[edit]

Robb is pastor of the Christian Revival Center in Bergman, Arkansas, a Christian Identity center where Robb espouses racism and antisemitism. Robb's "Thomas Robb Ministries" website declares that "the Anglo Saxon, Germanic, Scandinavian, and kindred people are THE people of the Bible."[2]

Robb took over the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan from David Duke in the 1980s. In a bid to gain mainstream acceptance, he took the title of "National Director", instead of "Imperial Wizard", and chose to rename the organization "the Knights Party."[2] He also decided to accept members via mail-in forms, rather than through initiation rites that had been common Klan practice in the past.[2] Robb defends the Klan as a harmless organization, claiming that it is "gentle, upbeat, and friendly";[4] when featured in the PBS documentary Banished, Robb compared a Klan hood to a businessman's tie, claiming that "it's just tradition."[5]

Robb has maintained ties to other far-right groups; he has spoken at the Aryan Nations' annual "World Congress" of hate group leaders, appeared on Jamie Kelso's white supremacist Voice of Reason Radio Network, and contributed regularly to the white supremacist Internet forum Stormfront.[2] In 1996 Robb began to pioneer the concept that white people were being targeted for genocide.

In 2009, Robb's daughter Rachel Pendergraft and his granddaughters, Charity and Shelby Pendergraft, formed a "white nationalist" band called Heritage Connection.[6]

The Knights' Party appeared in a 2008 documentary by Al Jazeera on American hate groups. In it, Rogers Police Department Sergeant Kelley Cradduck alleged that many American white supremacists in northwestern Arkansas home-school their children to hide production of illegal drugs and incest from authorities.[7]

Robb's Party publishes The Crusader, a quarterly publication. In November 2016, just days before the presidential election, Robb wrote an front-page article under the title "Make America great Again" in The Crusader, devoted to a lengthy endorsement of Donald Trump and Trump's message. The Trump campaign responded by denouncing The Crusader article.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Conant, Eve (May 4, 2009). "Rebranding Hate in the Age of Obama". Newsweek. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Extremist Files: Thomas Robb, Southern Poverty Law Center.
  3. ^ Jones, Jonathan D. (October 18, 2006). "Ku Klux Klan files suit against Rhino Times". News & Record. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
  4. ^ Ronson, Jon (2001). "New Klan". Archived from the original on May 15, 2008.
  5. ^ Maguire, Ellen (February 9, 2008). "PBS's 'Banished' Exposes the Tainted Past of Three White Enclaves". Washington Post.
  6. ^ "Another Adorable White-Power Sister Act". Southern Poverty Law Center. August 6, 2009. Retrieved August 15, 2008.
  7. ^ Inside USA - Rise of hate - 19 April 08 - Part 1 @9:00, Al Jazeera English, 21 April 2008. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  8. ^ Holley, Peter (November 2, 2016). "KKK's official newspaper supports Donald Trump for president". Washington Post. Retrieved November 2, 2016.