Eight people have been arrested in Louisiana for the murder of a woman who was recruited over the internet to join a white supremacist group:
The woman, whose identity has not been confirmed, was recruited over the Internet to join the Klan by the suspects, said Capt. George Bonnett of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The woman traveled from Oklahoma to Louisiana for the ceremony and was taken to a campsite near Sun, Louisiana, about 60 miles north of New Orleans.
On Sunday, the woman asked to be taken from the camp to a nearby town. An argument ensued, and the woman was fatally shot by the group’s leader, Bonnett said.
Some of the suspects then tried to conceal the killing by burning the woman’s personal items, he said. (via CNN)
This site (local New Orleans news, it appears) has a much better report on the situation, including some slightly graphic details of how the 8 tried to cover up the woman’s murder.
The sheriff’s department in the area has taken a pretty cavalier attitude toward the incident:
At the campsite, investigators found weapons, several flags, five white Klan uniforms and one black imperial wizard uniform. The uniforms are festooned with patches, including one that reads, “Kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out, ” and a pin shaped liked a noose.
“I can’t imagine anyone feeling endangered or at risk from these kooks, ” [St. Tammany Sheriff Jack] Strain said. “This Sheriff’s Office will not allow it. We’re not going to tolerate this in St. Tammany.” (via Nola.com)
Uh, except that one woman has already been killed. Clearly this group of nutters is in possession of weapons that have the capacity to take a life, and clearly they’re capable of doing it. So yeah, I’d say that there are people at risk. Fortunately, Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center sees things the same way:
Though the extent of the group’s activities remains unclear, Potok said the killing shows that a threat could come even from small, seemingly disorganized groups.
“It’s easy to dismiss these people as lunatics, the fringe of the fringe of the fringe, ” Potok said. “And while that’s often true, that doesn’t mean they’re not capable of killing someone or in some cases a great many people.”
While it would appear that the woman who was killed is white, this is yet another indicator that we are not, in fact, living in a post-racial America. A group of white supremacists using the internet to actively recruit members across state lines and associating themselves with the larger, more organized KKK is a disturbing thing.