In the midst of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s huge win in the Nevada caucuses, several people on Twitter and some media outlets reported Trump’s candidacy turned out avowed supporters of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). But even a quick look at the evidence suggests the mysterious “KKK” support was actually an anti-Trump stunt which may have even been carried out by black men.
During Tuesday night’s caucuses, pictures surfaced on Twitter of two men in the KKK’s hooded white garb carrying pro-Trump signs outside of Cimarron-Memorial High School in Las Vegas, which was a caucus location. Instead of going inside for the caucus, the two figures apparently demonstrated outside until they left at the request of a police officer.
Many quickly took their presence at face value, assuming the hate group had turned out a couple of members to publicly back Trump.
The supposed white supremacists even attracted the attention of Sen. Aaron Ford, the Democratic minority leader of the Nevada Senate.
The stunt also attracted attention from some peripheral news outlets, such as The Wrap, PerezHilton.com, and the New York Daily News. The liberal advocacy group OccupyDemocrats uncritically pointed towards the white-clad demonstrators as proof that Trump’s supporters espouse violent white supremacy.
But from the beginning, many were skeptical. Despite their heavy presence in America’s racial psyche, the KKK is today a marginal force with just a few thousand members split between several rival organizations. It’s also not currently known for big public stunts.
Also, simply looking at the available evidence suggests the alleged KKK members may actually be black. While the protesters’ features were mostly obscured, many noted that their hands appeared quite dark in some photos.
Kevin Smith, a University of Nevada-Las Vegas student and alleged eyewitness to the protest, claimed on Twitter that at least one of the demonstrators was black:
Already, the New England Police Benevolent Association, which has endorsed Trump and was referenced on one of the “KKK” demonstrators’ signs, says it is the victim of a smear effort.
“I can assure you of one thing: we don’t have any members that are members of the Ku Klux Klan,” executive director Jerry Flynn told TheWrap.
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