UPDATED: Hacker Accuses Knoxville Mayor Rogero of KKK Ties

In News by Clay Dudaleave a COMMENT

A hacker has alleged that Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero is in bed with the Ku Klux Klan, an accusation the mayor has already publicly denied as “irresponsible and slanderous.”

A short list of politicians allegedly associated with the KKK was released late Sunday by a hacker who goes by the name Amped Attacks. The unidentified person told Tech Crunch he was not associated with the hacktivist group Anonymous, whose shadowy members have threatened to reveal the names of more than 1,000 KKK members this Thursday; however, Anonymous is not a structured group and many involved discuss ideas online before taking actions independently.

The list claims Rogero is associated with the Ku Klos Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a self-identifying branch of the KKK based in Knoxville, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Map that tracks active hate groups around the United States. It is one of three KKK chapters based in East Tennessee, according to the website.

In a statement posted on her Facebook page, Rogero said it was “unfathomable” to her how her name could have ended up on the list.

“Given my background, my interracial family, my public record and my personal beliefs, this would be hilarious except that it is probably being seen by a lot of people who have no idea who I am,” Rogero posted on Facebook. “So, just to be clear, for anyone who doesn’t know me: Don’t be ridiculous.”

A city spokeswoman directed media inquiries to Rogero’s Facebook post. According to the Ku Klos Knights website, a key component to becoming a member is keeping it a secret.

“No one shall ever admit at any time that they are a member of our klan and shall at no time admit to who IS a member of our klan,” the website reads verbatim. “NO MEMBER WILL BREAK THIS VOW OF SECRECY.”

Yet, it’s still unclear what sort of accusations are being leveled at Rogero. On the list of politicians with alleged ties to the KKK released late Sunday, it says those named “are associated with either kkk [sic] or racist related.” It does not explicitly accuse anyone of being a KKK member.

As Rogero notes in her Facebook post, many of her political choices and personal background make her an odd choice to include on the purported list:

“I began my political career working for the rights of farm workers with Cesar Chavez. I have spent decades working for causes of social justice and equality. As Mayor, I have pushed for diversity in our workforce and outreach to and inclusion of people of all backgrounds in our community. In concert with President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper program, I began the Save Our Sons initiative to increase opportunities and reduce violence-related deaths among boys and young men of color. I have advocated publicly for LGBT civil rights, and I was the only mayor in Tennessee to sign onto the mayors’ amicus brief for the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court’s marriage equality case. In short, I don’t think the KKK would want anything to do with me.”

According to Tech Crunch, Amped Attacks said: “I worked for nine days to gather and verify all the information that was gathered before its release. I got the information from several KKK websites when I [hacked] them and was able to dump their database. I went through many emails that was signed up with these sites and a few of the emails that sparked my interest was the ones of the politicians in question there would be no reason for them to be signed up on any KKK website unless they supported it or was involved in it.”

For more than a week the Anonymous group has been threatening to unmask members of the KKK around the country, promising a big reveal of more than 1,000 names on Thurs., Nov. 5. It even has a countdown going. At this point it is still unclear how Anonymous obtained its information, or what might be in its cache.

Politicians on the list posted to Pastebin by Amped Attacks include:

  • U.S. Sen. Thomas TIllis of Cornelius, North Carolina
  • U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Austin, Texas
  • U.S. Sen. John Hardy Isakson of Marietta, Georgia
  • U.S. Sen. Dan Coats of Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Mayor Madeline Rogero of Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Mayor Paul D. Fraim of Norfolk, Virginia
  • Mayor Jim Gray of Lexington, Kentucky
  • Mayor Kent Guinn of Ocala, Florida
  • Mayor Tom Henry of Fort Wayne, Indiana

Photo: Wikipedia


Former Mercury staff reporter Clay Duda has covered gangs in New York, housing busts in Atlanta, and wildfires in Northern California. And lots of stuff about Knoxville.

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