The Huffington Post | By Paige Lavender
Leaders from branches of the Ku Klux Klan and the NAACP had a historic meeting in Casper, Wyoming on Saturday to discuss recent acts of violence against black men and the distribution of KKK pamphlets in the area.
Jimmy Simmons, president of the Casper branch of the NAACP, had reached out to John Abarr of the United Klans of America about meeting in June, according to the Casper Star-Tribune. The two didn’t meet until several ground rules were established, including an agreement to meet under heavy security.
The two discussed the KKK’s desire to secede from the union, segregation and violence against black men. Abarr revealed that he saw an uptick in new members after the election of President Barack Obama and shared why he likes being in the Klan.
“I like it because you wear robes, and get out and light crosses, and have secret handshakes,” Abarr said, according to the Star-Tribune. “I like being in the Klan — I sort of like it that people think I’m some sort of outlaw.”
But Abarr — who believes violence against black men is a hate crime and touts his group as a non-violent religious organization focused on political issues — said his branch of the KKK isn’t hateful enough for some, and that he really likes to “recruit really radical kids, then calm them down after they join.”