By Chris Giblin
The Tompkins County chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, which has recently decided to go green and support government lobbyist groups in favor of combating global warming, pooled their funds to buy a brand-new Smartcar Thursday.
Boasting 55 miles per gallon, the tiny, two-person vehicle is a sleek black color and sports several white stripes surrounding the car.
“Not really the color we wanted, but it’ll have to do,” chapter president Horace Wilkinson said upon his return from a trip to buy the vehicle at the nearest dealership in Buffalo.
A logo on the car door displays a cartoon drawing of the Smartcar with several Klansmen, their heads out the windows, holding up clenched fists and dressed in all light green robes. A caption just below it reads, “IthaKa is Klimate Konscious.”
Wilkinson admitted that the purchase came in an attempt to gain publicity and possible support from the heavily liberal Ithaca population.
“Yes, this is a ploy to gain new members who might find motivation to join us for reasons other than race, gender and immigration relations,” Wilkinson said. “In this day and age, we need it. I mean, look at the rallies we hold these days—the police are there to protect us, not to mention I get the feeling half the people in robes are just undercover reporters from newspapers and magazines.
“We figure people will be sympathetic in the Ithaca community,” he added. “I had to drive over three hours just to get this thing so we’ll have one of the only Smartcars in the county. That’ll get the hippies pretty pissed off, or maybe they’ll admire us.”
Wilkinson, who just took over leadership of the local branch of the KKK, has several ideas that will attempt to bring relevance back to the group for the 21st century. These radical, modern ideals have brought about a rift in the group, and a great number of members have recently stopped coming to meetings, saying Wilkinson has “sold out.”
“The KKK isn’t about namby-pamby, tiptoein’ fag bull-shit,” an angry, anonymous ex-member said. “Horace don’t get it. This club is about hatin’ people who don’t deserve what’s ours.”
The man went on to add that he had denounced organized racism and would go back to regular racism on a personal level.
“Oh no, we’re not losing the whole hatred thing,” Wilkinson said. “That’s who we are, it’s our heritage. It’s just not really the ‘in’ thing right now. For now, I just think that whole part of the organization has to take a backseat. I mean, the president, well, you know.”
Wilkinson admits he is chiefly concerned with growing the membership of the Klan, which has seen an exponential decrease in numbers, from 6 million in 1924 to around 6,000 today. He also finds it ridiculous that the group still often utilizes the 1915 film Birth of a Nation in its search to recruit new members.
“It’s been 95 years, so I feel like the film’s marketing value is really hanging on by a thread at this point,” he said. “So I’ve written a screenplay for a sequel, at long last. Sent it to a bunch of big movie companies, no callbacks yet.”
Though Wilkinson’s slightly progressive Klan stands out within a more traditional country of KKK members, he speaks as though he looks to spearhead the entire organization under his own philosophy some day.
“We realize that these aren’t like the old days anymore,” he said. “We’re not gonna gain any new members through boundless hatred and complete insensitivity. Who knows? Maybe that whole racism spiel has to go.”
Chris Giblin is a junior TV-R major who wonders how the Green Star customers will handle this. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.