A black cop infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Unbelievable, right? Wrong. On a lark, Ron Stallworth responded to a recruitment ad for the Knights in the local Colorado Springs newspaper. He did not expect a response. He used his real name because he figured that the ad was the work of a prankster. Imagine the cop’s surprise when he received a phone call from Ken, the local organizer of the “Organization.” Ken inquired as to the reason for the man’s interest in the group. He also asked if Stallworth was Jewish and if he hated Black people. A no and yes, response, respectively were necessary in order to gain admittance to the group.
So it happened that Stallworth handled the back end of the investigation, handling the phones whenever Klan members wished to speak to him. To make a believable front end, he enlisted the assistance of his white colleague, Chuck, to appear for in-person meetings. There was constant communication between the two to ensure that conversations could pick up exactly where they left off. Chuck listened to all conversations between Stallworth and the Klan, and vice versa. How the Klan members never noticed the change in voice from telephone to in-person is beyond all of the those involved.
This was an intelligence operation, not a sting operation, so no arrests occurred. However, cross burnings were thwarted and police departments in other localities received warnings of planned Klan activities, such as marches. Though the operation started with simply one undercover officer, Stallworth was able to obtain approval for more officers, and two officers became sworn Klansman in the pursuit of knowledge of the organization. They were able to obtain indoctrinating literature and propaganda that was produced by the Klan. Even the Colorado Springs police force tried to destroy all evidence that this operation even occurred. The only reason that this activity came to light is that Stallworth illicitly removed some of the case evidence from the police force since the investigation is of such import to our society.
Klan philosophy is as follows, and members must swear to uphold these policies. Klan activities and conversations must be kept secret. It is important to publicly profess racial justice and nonviolence, saying that the Klan is a proponent of racial segregation. Interestingly, the KKK originated in 1865, immediately after the banning of slavery. Members of “The Cause” should not use ethnic slurs in public. They agree to participate in Klan activities, such as cross burnings and marches in full robes with only the eyes cut out. They belong to a den and socialize with a few members outside of meetings. They agree to recruit other members, which they frequently do by claiming that a black man raped their wife. Since 1954, the “Cause” or “Organization,” as it is referred to in public seeks to find members to run for political office in order to advance its agenda of their belief of racial superiority of white people. David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Klan, changed his political affiliation from Democrat to Republican, and is a former Louisiana state representative. Incidentally, Trump was purportedly endorsed by the KKK.
Some facts about the KKK:
1. They profess to dislike Jewish and Hispanic people, yet one member had a Mexican wife.
2. They are not supposed to converse with plainclothes police officers, yet it is difficult to know when police are undercover.
3. The membership card of “The Knights” contains these rules and more.
Black Klansman: Race, Hate and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime by Ron Stallworth, 2014
Stallworth is brilliant, and he did a fantastic job exposing the hate-filled Klan for what it is. This cop is so admirable because he took the evidence of this investigation into his home against orders to destroy it. He risked his career in order to expose the KKK for the horror that it is. It was most definitely difficult to slog through the hate and cruelty that filled these pages.