News & Politics

White Supremacist, KKK Member Running for Office as Democrat

Ku Klux Klan initiation at Stone Mountain near Atlanta, Georgia. June 1949. KKK men in full white masks and gowns lead new members wearing small face masks. Everett Historical (source: Shutterstock)

John Abarr is a known member of the notorious Ku Klux Klan, and he’s somewhat remembered for his involvement in a push to make the Klan more “inclusive.” That’s right, he’s the guy who wanted to recruit minorities into an organization best known for terrorizing and murdering minorities. Can’t imagine why it didn’t work.

Abarr now wants to run for office. He’s running for the Montana House of Representatives as a Democrat.

In a statement, the Montana Democrats said: “John Abarr is a failed former-Republican House candidate with a revolting history of promoting white supremacy. His views have no place in Montana, and we condemn him and his campaign without exception.”

In fairness, Abarr did run as a Republican, famously chalking up his decision to run as an attempt to “save the white race” following the election of Barack Obama. But he lost.

So now he’s back as a Democrat, which bothers Democrats — but it shouldn’t. After all, the ties between Democrats and the Klan are well-known historical fact. For example, the last Klan member elected to Congress was Sen. Robert Byrd, a Democrat with close ties to the Clintons.

Abarr has apparently learned that an outright racist message won’t work anymore, so he has apologized “for promoting bigotry and hate against minorities.” He also claimed that his attempt to recruit minorities into the Klan was a stunt he pulled in conjunction with a company that owns several newspapers in the state. Maybe, maybe not.

The fact is that Abarr hasn’t done enough to show he’s changed — not that he’s got a shot either way. Even if Democrats were to buy his change of heart, Montana leans so heavily Republican it makes the Deep South look like swing states. He doesn’t have a prayer.

But Abarr going Democrat is yet another opportunity to remind us of the long and intimate history between the Ku Klux Klan and the Democratic Party, which the Dems keep trying to deny.