RICHARD PRESTON. THE OLD GUARD.
Very few White Nationalists join a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan anymore. If there even is a local chapter.
The thinking among the alt-right seems fresher and more relevant to America today. Every group has a shelf life. It looks like the KKK’s shelf life has expired.
Excerpt from a href=”http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2017/08/31/arrested-klansman-belligerent-leader-kkk-splinter-group/616283001/” target=”_blank”>Delaware Online
At least 13 of the nation’s some 3,000 Ku Klux Klan members attended last month’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, according to Carla Hill, an investigative researcher at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, who identified them through photos and personal accounts.
One of them was Richard Preston, a Baltimore-area resident and the imperial wizard of the Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, just one of many splintered KKK subgroups. He was charged with firing a gun at the event.
The 52-year-old and men like him, Hill said, are proof the KKK is dying.
“He’s on the outskirts. He’s not getting a bunch of members to join up. His newest two chapters are the ones in Missouri and Indiana, but those chapters were formed up by Klan members that left other groups,” Hill said. “Richard himself has been unable to get anything going around him through his own charisma.”
It’s not that far-right hate groups are on the decline, Hill said. It’s just that the KKK represents an old guard with outmoded language, practices and demographics.
“It’s the cause of their demise. The fact that they can’t get along or hold together a group for any length of time shows their weakness,” Hill said. “The Klan has really rural demographics, and the people that are making progress are the members of the alt-right. They use modern technology. They use modern language that attracts younger people.”
Preston is accused of firing his pistol in the direction of a black counterprotester at the rally, an incident caught on camera and distributed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
He’s charged with firing a weapon within 1,000 feet of a school, a felony which could carry a prison sentence of 10 years. Before he did, Preston shouted, “Hey, n—!”
“Preston is rather militant, or perhaps belligerent is a better word,” Hill said. “Preston is vocal and willing to speaking publicly about his views.”
Standing nearly 6 feet tall, Preston owns a three-bedroom home on Nova Scotia Road in Bel Air, Maryland, which he purchased from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2015, according to property and real estate records.
Preston also owned a Baltimore-based off-road truck-racing outfit known as Team Hell, according to a 2013 Baltimore City Paper article. The story referenced an El Camino-Chevy Blazer hybrid festooned with a Confederate flag.
He harps on common themes from the Klan’s playbook: Race-mixing, illegal immigration and gun control laws are bad; the Confederate flag, the Bible and whites of European descent are good.
His group’s membership requirements don’t allow for non-Europeans, homosexuals, Muslims, Jews, Satanists, communists, pedophiles, rapists or terrorists.
The Confederate White Knights have denounced the Black Lives Matter movement and antifa, loosely organized leftist activists who show up at right-wing rallies and counterprotest. A YouTube video promoting the Confederate White Nights flashes to a lion with a bloodstained mouth and proclaims, “We will be America’s lion,” before launching into a montage of cross-burning events and “stop white genocide” messaging to a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man.”
A MISSOURI KKK CHAPTER.