President Obama is keen to introduce tough new laws which will force the KKK and other extreme right-wing groups to disclose the identities of their members, Daily Mail Online can disclose.
The President discussed the possibility of the new measures when he telephoned Charleston mayor Joe Riley following last week’s massacre.
Riley, who is into his 40th year as mayor of the city where nine people were murdered by a self-proclaimed white supremacist down in the AME church massacre, said he and the President talked about how best to set up a national council to act as a watchdog to monitor and report on race hate.
Among the ideas being looked at is legislation forcing extreme right wings groups and violent organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan to provide identities of supporters and members.
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Killer: A website seemingly belonging to Charleston killer Dylann Roof included this photograph of him aiming posing with a gun and a Confederate flag surrounded by pot plants
Conversation: Charleston mayor Joseph Riley (right) with South Carolina governor Nikki Haley at the funeral yesterday of Ethel Lance, 70, one of the nine victims of the EMA mass murders
Website: Pictured is the ‘memorial wall for crime victims’ on the Council of Conservative Citizens website, which Roof said inspired him. The page often identified what it calls racist crimes against white people
Riley, in an exclusive interview with Daily Mail online, said: ‘I have spoken with the President and the Vice President about this. And I have talked to the White House too.
‘One of the things we need to do is for the national government to give resources to expose these hate groups.
‘In America we worship the first amendment and any body can say anything they want.
‘But we need to shine the spotlight on them (racist organizations), so at least we know where they are among the public.
‘Neighbors should be able to know that the person living next to them is an absolute bigot. So there is a lot of work to do.’
He said many self styled racists such as alleged gunman Dylann Roof built their evil beliefs after ‘being fed by the internet’ and new legislation to marshal racial material on the web is set to be brought in.
‘We need a national council on these hate groups. The President is talking about that. We have just got a lot more work to do,’ he said.
Roof, 21, revealed in his manifesto after the shootings that he had researched black on white crime on the internet and this had led him to believe he needed to act.
Action: President Obama and Michelle Obama on their way at Marine One at the White House today. He spoke to Charleston’s mayor about ending the KKK’s secrecy over the names of its members and supporters
Victims: Nine people died in the shooting. They are (top row, left to right) DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Myrah Thompson, (center row) Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, (bottom row) Daniel Simmons, Clementa Pinckney and Cynthia Hurd
He had allied himself to extreme right wing ideology and declared himself a white supremacist after spending nearly three years being fed vile racist material from the web.
Mayor Riley, who was welcoming the President to Charleston today for the funeral of Rev Clementa Pinckney, leader of the Emanuel AME Church, added: ‘He (the shooter) wasn’t from here. He wasn’t one of us.
‘But this has been the most difficult week of my life and the city’s life. It is unspeakable and hard to fathom what the families of the victims are going through.
‘It hasn’t completely sunk in, but even now my heart is broken as these were precious people studying the bible.
‘The people are wonderful here and there is a great faith in the community. There is a generosity of spirit and goodness.
‘To see this unspeakable tragedy occur and just watch the family members exhibit such grace and forgiveness might be the most profound memory.
‘We will remember the tragic event, but also their grace. The President commended the community and this city for the way they have responded.’
The reviled Ku Klux Klan continues to operate underground, but its membership is estimated to stand at only around 8,000 in America.
It holds secret meetings and members are said to come from professions such as lawyers, police officers and even judges.
Its aim is to promote white supremacy but its public messages are disguised and watered down so as not to breach government hate laws.
Members back the purification of American society, but the dwindling numbers have led for the organization to be seen as largely a ceremonial group, despite its violent and murderous history.
The Ku Klux Klan began in the Southern United States in the late 1860s, was re-established early in the 20th century, and at one stage claimed to have as many as four million members, wielding huge political clout up until the 1960s.
Force: The KKK has veiled its members and supporters in secrecy ever since it first emerged after the Civil War but President Obama now wants to force them into the open
Floral tributes have filled the memorial site outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina
It manipulated social tensions and became an economic force by selling its hooded costumes across the country and employing paid recruiters.
It targeted black citizens and murdered countless people, hanging and burning individuals and bombing places owned by civil rights activists.
It has been outlawed for decades, but it has a political wing called the Knights Party.
The group’s key claim is that there is a hate war against whites in the US and that it is committed to a non-violent resolution.
It has failed to condemn the racist murders of the Charleston nine church victims.
Roof said he had sought out support of the KKK but had failed to make contact with the secretive groups.
‘I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country,’ he wrote.
‘We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet.’
Several groups use the KKK logo and are affiliated across the US and one of the problems the Obama administration will have to examine is that new legislation may drive the racist groups even further underground.
Any legislation to set up a public register of members is likely to be shunned by white supremacists who spread their messages of hate between each other and rely on their anonymity to be able to continue.
‘GEORGE ZIMMERMAN INSPIRED ME’: KILLER SAID TRAYVON MARTIN SHOOTING SHOWED HIM ‘WHAT THE BIG DEAL WAS’
The manifesto seems to indicate that Dylann Roof started on his descent into racism and hatred after reading about George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.
Roof said reading coverage of the February 2012 incident, in which Zimmerman killed Martin but was ultimately cleared of wrongdoing, convinced him that there was an unreported crime wave of black people attacking whites.
He wrote: ‘The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case. I kept hearing and seeing his name, and eventually I decided to look him up.
‘I read the Wikipedia article and right away I was unable to understand what the big deal was. It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right.
‘But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words “black on White crime” into Google, and I have never been the same since that day.
‘The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief.
‘At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?’