NAME: Thomas Robb
HOME BASE: Harrison, Arkansas
The guy who is trying to create a “kindler, gentler” Klan. He is the present head of the David Duke-founded Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.Though Robb runs the Knights out of Harrison, Ark., he is actually a native of Detroit and has also lived in Arizona. His exploits on the far right began with his publication of the newsletter The Torch at age 19, an endeavor he continues today. Though Robb claims a Bachelor of Theology degree (thus his title of Pastor), it is believed that he has close ties with the Church of Jesus Christ Christian – Aryan Nations. Former CJCC-AN youth recruiter Floyd Cochran has stated that Robb was a frequent visitor to the Hayden Lake, Idaho, compound of Richard Butler, the late founder of Aryan Nations.
Robb joined the KKK in 1979 and emerged as head of the Knights in 1989, after David Duke left to form the National Association for the Advancement of White People (NAAWP). He has honed Duke’s strategy of divorcing the KKK from its violent past by stating that the KKK is a “white civil-rights organization” and also that the Klan does not teach hatred of Blacks and Jews, but rather “love of the white race.” Like Duke, Robb has attempted to enter mainstream politics by running for the Arkansas State legislature as a Republican. However, the state party would not put Robb on the ticket. Also like Duke, Robb has even gone so far as to eschew the traditional Klan head titles of Grand Dragon or Imperial Wizard, and he has instead chosen to be called the National Director of the Knights.
“The time in which we live is very exciting and any like minded individual would be proud to be an associate or supporter of this grass-roots movement to take back America,” Robb once wrote. “The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan will in the years to come, become recognized by the American people as THE WHITE RIGHTS MOVEMENT!”
While both sources from within and outside the Knights claim it is the largest Klan faction (Robb claimed a 26% increase in Knights membership in 1997), Robb’s ostensible moderation in comparison to former Klan heads has led to major splintering of the Knights. In April 1994, Ed Novak, a.k.a. Ed Melkonian, departed to form the Federation of Klans. The next year, leaders from Michigan, Indiana and Illinois attempted to depose Robb as National Director of the Knights and were expelled by Robb for their efforts.