"The Fourth Wave of the Ku Klux Klan" and American History

Vice has released "The Fourth Wave of the Ku Klux Klan," which documents the extremist group's efforts to recruit disaffected military veterans in Mississippi. Thriving off of the economic discontent and latent Islamophobia present in the United States, the Klan also appears to be attracting a disproportionate number of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the documentary, previous waves of the Klan took advantage of similar conditions to promote their expansion. As is noted, "Besides white robes and hoods, the other thing these three iterations had in common was the recruitment of disenfranchised and troubled young men returning home from combat who were struggling with adapting to societal changes happening in America."

How significant is the problem presented here? According to Daryl Johnson, a domestic hate group expert interviewed in the documentary, it's more significant than people recognize. "We're currently in one of the hottest periods of extremist activity in the United States that I've seen in my twenty year career," he explains in the third segment. "This blows what we saw pre-Oklahoma City [bombing, carried out by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols in 1995] out of the water and makes it look like a kindergarten picnic." (I suppose Johnson has a vested interest in promoting this notion, since his consulting company, DT Analytics, specializes in domestic extremism. That still doesn't explain away the rest of the documentary.)

If you have a spare half hour to watch this, I highly recommend it. The first part of the documentary is embedded, and you can find links to part two and three here and here.