Just when we thought the world of reality television couldn’t get worse, A&E decides to “be on the side of shining a light on things that aren’t really looked at” and showcase the Klan at a grassroots level in the South. The network has picked up an eight-part documentary series titled “Generation KKK” following prominent leaders of the Ku Klux Klan including Richard Nichols, the Grand Dragon in the Tennessee Knights Of The Invisible Empire; Chris Buckley, a Grand Knighthawk with the North Georgia White Knights; Steven Howard, the Imperial Wizard of the North Mississippi White Knights, and the internal struggles between their families.
The first episode gives a chilling introduction to the organization and will allow viewers to see the disturbing truth of just how the Klansmen begin to inflict their beliefs on impressionable youth. One segment even includes Steven Howard gifting his two young daughters with distinguished pointed hoods of the Klan, which he expresses are a means to continue his legacy.
The documentary began filming a year and a half ago just before the Klan endorsed Trump for his presidency. Ironically, the series is produced by anti-hate activists, including filmmaker and executive producer Aengus James hoping to convince Klansmen to leave the group. “The struggles we were most drawn to were the struggles with the internal 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,” he tells the New York Times.
The first Klan group flourished back in 1865 advocating for White supremacy and anti-immigration. Over a century later, the racist movement is still home to 5,000 to 8,000 extremists, according to the latest report from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
A&E general manager Rob Sharenow stands firmly behind his words that the network is not supporting the KKK’s views, but is plainly trying to shed light on the contentious subject. “The only political agenda is that we do stand against hate,” he says.
The controversial show is set to premiere at the top of the year on Jan.10, 2017.
Will you be watching?