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Missouri’s GOP Candidate for Governor Gave Nazi Salute at KKK Rally

Alex Constantine - March 1, 2024

Missouri GOP is distancing itself from Darrell McLanahan after his links to the Klu Klux Klan came to light

By Bevan Hur, Independent
A long-shot Missouri gubernatorial candidate who once admitted to being an “honorary” member of the Klu Klux Klan says he will defy attempts by the state Republican Party to have him kicked off the ballot.

Photos of Darrell L McClanahan appearing to make a Nazi salute while standing in front of a burning cross resurfaced online this week, nearly two years after they were first published by the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Center on Extremism.

On Thursday, the Missouri Republican Party said in a post on X it had been made aware that Mr McClanahan had filed to run for governor “despite his affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan”.

The party said this “fundamentally contradicts our party’s values and platform”, and that it had begun the process of removing him from the ballot.

Mr McClanahan fired back in a post that the Missouri GOP “knew exactly” who he was and had vetted him when he ran for the US Senate

“What a bunch of Anti-White hypocrites,” he wrote on X, adding the party was aware he was a “Christian identist”.

The move to take Mr McClanhan off the ballot, first reported by The River Front Times, came after former state representative Shamed Dogan brought attention to his past ties to the KKK and urged the party to take action.

Mr McClanhan this week confirmed to the River Front Times that it was him in the photo published by the ADL, but denied he was ever a member of the Klu Klux Klan.

Mr McClanahan took exception to the ADL describing him as a “white supremacist” and filed a $5m defamation lawsuit against the non-profit last year, in which he claimed he was not a KKK member and had only been granted an “honorary one-year membership” by the group’s state coordinator.

In the lawsuit, he said he identified as a “pro-White man, horseman, politician, political prisoner-activist who is dedicated to traditional Christian values.”

He admitted in court documents that he had attended a “private religious Christian Identity Cross lighting ceremony falsely described as a cross burning”.

The ADL describes the Christian Identity church as a “racist and antisemitic religious sect.”

He added that he had attended the ceremony after becoming angry that a Charlottesville Unite the Right protester had been sentenced to seven years in prison for assaulting a Black man.

In December, a magistrate judge threw out the defamation lawsuit. The judge ruled that Mr McClanahan had not been defamed and that his court filings were consistent with the views ascribed to him by the ADL, “that is the characterisation of his social media presence and views as antisemitic, white supremacist, anti-government, and bigoted.”

On his campaign website, Mr McClanahan describes him as “the conservative voice for governor of Missouri” and among his campaign pledges he promises to support “Christian Values & God's Laws” and oppose “the woke agenda.”

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