When you offend the most notorious hate group in the United States of America with your Halloween costume, you might have gone a smidge too far.
As it turns out, the Ku Klux Klan isn’t at all impressed, honored or pleased by a 7-year-old Virginia boy’s Halloween costume, which imitated the long, white robes of the Klansmen. A leader of the Klan told the Atlantic Wire that the costume crossed the line and “ruined” the Klan’s reputation.
“There’s no respect for the Klan,” Imperial Wizard of the United Klans of America Bradley Jenkins told the Wire, pointing out that you had to be 18 to join the organization.
“People look at the United Klan as a hate organization … We don’t hate anyone. Hate is such a strong word,” he added. "The Klan has seven sacred symbols, and the robe is one of them. I don’t know where she’s getting that from. None of this is a joke.”
The controversy started on Halloween when little Jackson Black went trick-or-treating as a member of the KKK, dressed in a white robe and a pointed hood with a red-and-white cross emblazoned on his chest.
Jackson said he wanted to wear the robes that he had seen in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes because “it was cool.”
He faced backlash and threats online and from neighbors who said the outfit was unacceptable. His mother, Jessica Black, however, defended her son’s right to wear it, saying it was a “family tradition,” and stood up for the KKK, saying that they had the right idea about interracial and LGBT relationships.
However, if Black was looking for support from the Klan or a thank-you note for standing up for them, she’ll be looking for a while. Jenkins complained that Klansmen are ostracized in today’s society.
"That woman had a choice to [dress her kid up as] Frankenstein or an Angry Bird. She made the choice—I don’t know, I have no clue why,” Jenkins said, according to the Wire. “Nowadays we’re ostracized … [the way people treat us now] is no different than the way people used to treat African Americans years ago,” he said.
Read more at the Atlantic Wire.