Kierra Leggett | Editor-in-Chief 

A 19-year-old Black male does not fit the bill of a stereotypical Klansmen. This however did not stop someone from sliding an application for the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan underneath the dorm room door of a Black N.C. State Student, who lives in Tucker Residence Hall.

According to Phillip Hathaway*, a sophomore in nutrition science, the application was slipped into his room on Sept. 25, 2013 while he was unpacking.

The application included a drawing of a hooded Klansmen as well as questions such as “Do you believe in Jesus Christ?” and “Have you ever been in a klan before?”

Though for many, receiving paraphernalia from an organization such as the Ku Klux Klan would warrant

a phone call to Campus Police, for Hathaway it simply meant publishing an angry post on Facebook. “I picked [the application] up and took a picture of it and then just threw it in the garbage because I thought it was stupid,” said Hathaway.

Hathaway said his mother who learned of what happened from his post on Facebook, insisted that he do something more with the picture. However, he said he did not report the incident to Campus Police because at the time, he “didn’t think too much of it.”

Despite his initial feelings, Hathaway said he remained angry about the incident for a while. “Anger was bubbling in me for a longtime after it happened,” said Hathaway. “ For a good few weeks it didn’t go away because I knew, someone on my hall or someone in this building had something to say and they just were hiding in the shadows basically.”

After he found the application, Hathaway said he asked around to see if anyone else had received one. According to him, no one else told him that they did. Hathaway is not sure why he was targeted, however he does not think the application indicates the existence of a Klan on campus.

Jack Moorman, Chief of the N.C. State Police Department stated via e-mail Tuesday, that Campus Police has received no reports of students receiving membership applications for the Ku Klux Klan. Moorman also stated that there have been no reports of such incidents as Klan recruitment or activity on campus within the past year. He expressed concern about the incident Hathaway described saying in part, “If this type of incident is not reported, then it cannot be addressed, which means it is more likely to happen again to someone else.”

Classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a hate group, the Ku Klux Klan was founded by veterans of the Confederate Army in Pulaski, Tenn. in 1866. Since its inception, the Klan has experienced several periods of record high membership, most notably during the 1920s when it had more than four million registered members. National membership for the Ku Klux Klan also peaked during the 1960s, when according to David Cunningham, author of Klansville, U.S.A.: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan, North Carolina was home to more Klansmen than the rest of the Southern states combined.

The SPLC currently estimates that there are between 5000 to 8000 active Klan members in the United States and that nine active chapters of the Ku Klux Klan exist in North Carolina.

According to Dick Reavis, an associate professor of English as well as a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, the Ku Klux Klan does not pose the same threat for African-Americans now as it did during the organization’s heyday. “The real danger is not the Klan,” said Reavis. “When they raise college tuition, that’s doing more damage to Black folks than the Klan has done in a generation.”

Though Klan membership has fluctuated throughout the years, its reputation as a White Supremacist organization that gained infamy through acts of terror and advocating against the mixing of races has remained constant.

It is the history of this reputation that worries Hathaway about the impact, finding the application could have had on another student.

“It could have just went so many different ways,” said Hathaway. “I could have called up some friends and been like, ‘Lets go look for them’ and it could have blown up into a really big thing. I’m also thinking of the more impressionable people,” said Hathaway. “A freshman could have received that application and been like ‘maybe this isn’t the school I thought it was, should I even be going here?’”

In hindsight, Hathaway is not sure that he handled the situation in the best manner. “I [initially] put it under the table, and I’m not sure if it was the right thing to do. To this day I continue to wonder, ‘what could have happened if the people who did this were found?’”

* – indicates that the name has been changed to protect the identity of the subject.