Yesterday, an announcement that Anonymous had made good on its threats and released the names of 1,000 KKK members proved too juicy to be true. Going as far up the ladder as the Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, the list purported to out 4 US Senators and 5 mayors as members of the KKK. But according to the Washington Post, that might not be an accurate list.
The Ku Klux Klan is easy to hate, and rightfully so. If the world was a perfect place, we could simply ignore organizations like the KKK, because only an idiot would agree to something so hateful.
Unfortunately, racism and other forms of discrimination are still a part of our American culture (9 black churches burnt without much of a to-do just this year, anyone?), and people who have the power to affect lives still subscribe to some truly outdated and barbaric beliefs. Because the KKK is so awful, and members get to be so awful without anyone knowing their identities (where’s this justice?!), people jumped at learning exciting tidbits like someone as important as the Senate Majority Whip being a member of a disgusting, racist group. Outing him could be sensational.
From the Post:
The information dump was scheduled for Nov. 5 — or Guy Fawkes day, a kind of Christmas and Fourth of July all rolled up in one for the online activist collective. But then, what appeared to be lists of names, phone numbers, and emails from that very same information cache suddenly appeared online early. Was the leak already underway?
Although the seeming dump, rolled out in multiple Pastebin files, was picked up widely, there was virtually no verified information accompanying the leak. One anonymously posted Pastebin file said it contained the names of several elected officials who were “associated with either kkk or racist related,” including four U.S. senators and several city mayors.
We must all do our homework before jumping on a witch hunt. Last year, Anonymous outed the wrong Ferguson police officer as the man who murdered Michael Brown. In light of a foul-up like this, we be held accountable for grabbing our pitchforks because some pastebin declared random US mayors to be members of the KKK.
Some basic research would show some of these KKK member claims to be ridiculous and even impossible. Mayor Madeline Rogero of Knoxville, TN is a Catholic with Hispanic roots. Mayor Jim Gray of Lexington, KY is openly gay. The KKK discriminates against literally everyone — and that includes Catholics, Hispanics, and homosexuals.
Anon quickly tried to distance itself from the dump:
This account has NOT YET released any information. We believe in due diligence and will NOT recklessly involve innocent individuals #OpKKK
— Operation KKK (@Operation_KKK) November 2, 2015
Anonymous has a history of coordination information leaks against a wide range of groups, and this isn’t the first time they’ve targeted the KKK — last year, the group took over a KKK- affiliated Twitter account, which they later disabled. But now, with source and veracity of the latest leak in question, some are wondering if the operation is now dead, before it even began
On November 5 — remember, remember the 5th of November, Anonymous claims that’s when they’ll release their list of the 1,000 KKK members. But as Addicting Info’s Cassandra Fairbanks points out, the “shoddy list has now given everyone on the Nov 5 list plausible deniability.”
Featured image via Flickr