There’s still no Ku Klux Klan in Howell.
So says the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors and tracks a variety of hate groups across the country. The SPLC this week updated its “Hate Map,” which shows where organized hate groups exist in each state.
You’ll find the map here.
The Michigan map shows there are a variety of hate groups across the state – 29 in all – but none in Livingston County. Howell has long battled the unfair reputation that it’s the “Home of the KKK,” thanks to the sad legacy of former Klan Grand Dragon Robert Miles, who lived in Cohoctah Township and held cross-burnings and hate rallies at his farm. Miles’ history and his sad impact on Howell’s reputation was outlined in this post.
Miles died in 1992, but the reputation that nearby Howell was a hotbed of Klan activity exists to this day. As recently as last summer, Michigan Democratic Chairman Brandon Dillon referred to Howell as the “home of the KKK” in a tweet – something he apologized for after being outed by the Livingston Post.
The SPLC has long maintained what people in Livingston County have always known – there is no Klan in Howell. Any organized KKK activity that did exist died with Miles back in 1992.
And while no city in Livingston County shows up on the SPLC’s hate map, plenty of other cities do. The hate groups include everything from Neo-Nazi groups to Holocaust-denying groups. According to the SPLC, there are hate groups in Benton Harbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Wyandotte, New Baltimore, Utica and more. The map even shows two organized hate groups in Ann Arbor.
The only KKK chapter in Michigan is in Alpena, where a chapter of the Pacific Coast Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is said to exist.