Don Black has come a long way from leading the Ku Klux Klan. As the Grand Wizard, or national leader, of the group in 1978, he’s credited with growing the movement.
He says that now that work is largely being done by GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.
Black quit the KKK in 1987, after a stint in prison for trying to invade the island of Dominica. He’s also cut his ties with America’s Nazi party, of which he was a member in the 70s. He no longer calls himself a white supremacist, although his definition of a supremacist is “someone who believes in exploiting and enslaving other people.”
Instead, he considers himself white nationalist. He believes that whites are their own nation, and should have their own country. Ideally, that country would span “sea to shining sea,” but he recognises the impossibilities of that idea, and resigns himself to taking whatever land he can get.
Black now runs Stormfront, an internet forum that he says gets one million unique visitors per month. Its community is filled with white nationalists, white supremacists, and Neo-Nazis — not that Black thinks that’s a bad thing. Adolf Hitler, he said, is unfairly assessed by historians.
“Hitler, of course, has been demonized because he lost,” Black told INSIDER, a Confederate flag hanging behind him. “There are a lot of things he said about Hitler that simply weren’t true.”
Trump’s presidential campaign is helping Storefront grow. Trump is a daily topic of discussion on the site, and ever since he announced his candidacy in June — infamously categorising Mexican immigrants as criminals, drug smugglers, and rapists — Black has seen a steady uptick in growth.
“We are getting new servers and expanding, and upgrading software in the next month,” Black said. “We’re getting there, we’re seeing it”
Trump’s campaign brings forth a steady stream of xenophobia. This month, he called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Comments like these, Black said, are bringing more people to Stormfront.
“I never would have expected Trump to be the man on the white horse,” Black said. “The great white hope — Trump, of all people.”
Black thinks white nationalists are attracted to Trump’s campaign because he makes it ok to talk about the issues important to them, like the proliferation of non-white people in the United States. With Trump’s success over the Republican establishment, Black thinks that white nationalism can move forward.
“Now, everyone may not call themselves a white nationalist — that sounds a bit scary,” he said. “But I think it will open doors, if he is elected.”
“I’m a little surprised myself,” he added. “I can’t believe that I really like Trump.”
Story by Jacob Shamsian and editing by Adam Banicki
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