The Ku Klux Klan is on the rise, according to the producers of a new documentary series that takes viewers inside the organization.
The New York Times reports that the eight-part series “Generation KKK,” which premieres Jan. 10 on A&E, “burrows in with high-ranking Klan members and their families. The series also takes A&E, best known for long-running favorites like ‘Hoarders’ and ‘Intervention,’ into programming waters more complicated — and politically charged — than anything it has shown before.”
The report notes: “According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of independent Klan chapters in the United States (there is no national organization) grew from 72 to 190 between 2014 and 2015. The Anti-Defamation League estimates membership at 3,000, while the law center places the figure at between 5,000 and 8,000. And the indoctrination of young people, members say, is crucial to the Klan’s survival.”
Filmmaker Aengus James says the project, which began taking shape a year and a half ago — just before the presidential election began to cast the Klan and other nationalist groups in a brighter light — focuses largely on the struggles of Klan families.
“We had a stance, and we were clear with folks that we were hoping for them to see the light and to come out of this world. It’s an incredibly destructive environment for anybody to be in, let alone children,” said James, an executive producer on the series.
The Times adds: “As they sought to capture this relatively unseen world, the filmmakers also incorporated the anti-hate activists Daryle Lamont Jenkins, Arno Michaelis and Bryon Widner as they tried to persuade members to leave the Klan — or at least to leave their children out of it.”