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Former KKK Leader Running For Office In Georgia As 'White Civil Rights Activist'

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Former KKK Leader Running For Office In Georgia As 'White Civil Rights Activist'

A former Ku Klux Klan leader who served time in prison for beating a Black man has qualified to run for office in Georgia.

Chester Doles – former Grand Klaliff of the Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan who was also a member of the Neo Nazi National Alliance and the Hammerskins racist skinhead gang – is attempting to win election as Lumpkin County Commissioner on a platform he describes as 'white activism'.

Doles claims to be a fourth-generation klansman, and participated in the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.

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Chester Doles (Alamy)
Chester Doles (Alamy)

He spent four years in prison after being convicted on federal charges of beating a Black man in 1993, and in 2003 was sentenced to another four years on federal weapons charges.

Despite having been identified as a member of the Hammerskins as recently as 2016, Doles claims that he has since 'renounced racism' and now runs a right wing organisation called Patriots USA, which claims that white Americans are an 'endangered species'.

His organisation promotes Republican messages opposing critical race theory and the Black Lives Matter movement, with Doles telling supporters while campaigning for upcoming primaries that 'this sick insane culture of wokeness is destroying America. These people want us gone'.

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Speaking to CBS46, which recently conducted an investigation into Doles' racist past, the candidate claimed that his criminal record shouldn't disqualify him from running for office, and compared his candidacy to that of the late Georgia congressman John Lewis, who was arrested multiple times while campaigning as part of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

"If you look at Hosea Williams, he was on the City Council. He was arrested 168 times. Congressman John Lewis, he was arrested 68 times, so that’s not a reason to disqualify someone," he said. "[It] don’t matter if you’re out there for the civil rights movement, then I’m a white civil rights activist," he added.

Chester Doles displays his Klan robes (Alamy)
Chester Doles displays his Klan robes (Alamy)

The Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners represents a constituency of just over 33,000 residents in north-west Georgia, 90.6% of whom are white.

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Earlier this month, Doles confirmed he had qualified to run as a candidate and will be standing in the upcoming primary elections, set to be held on May 24.

Dozens of active and former Klan members have been elected as state and national officials, including former Grand Wizard David Duke, who was a member of the Louisiana State Legislature from 1989 to 1992.

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Politics, US News, Racism

Hannah Smith
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