When hackers published a list that they claim contains the names of secret Ku Klux Klan members, one of the politicians who was “outed” took to Facebook to set the record straight – she reminded her constituents that she has an interracial family.
Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero denied the accusation in a lengthy Facebook post on Monday, writing: “Given my background, my interracial family, my public record and my personal beliefs, this would be hilarious except that it is probably being seen by a lot of people who have no idea who I am.”
“So, just to be clear, for anyone who doesn’t know me: Don’t be ridiculous,” the Tennessee Democrat continued, referencing her “decades working for causes of social justice and equality.”
“In short, I don’t think the KKK would want anything to do with me,” she said before calling on Anonymous to retract the allegation.
Rogero was one of many politicians named in a data dump that hit PasteBin, a popular code-sharing website, on Sunday night and Monday morning. The releases came one week after someone using the Twitter handle TheAnonMessage and posting as Anonymous, an international network of activists and hacktivists, threatened to expose 1,000 alleged secret Ku Klux Klan members.
The mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, Jim Gray, whose name was also on the list, called the claim “false, insulting and ridiculous” in a statement Monday, according to USA Today.
“I have never had any relationship of any kind with the KKK. I am opposed to everything it stands for,” he added. “I have no idea where this information came from, but wherever it came from, it is wrong.”
Republican Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana took to Twitter on Monday to deny having any ties to the KKK.
And a spokesperson for Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia told WBIR 10News: “This information is absolutely false. Senator Isakson has never been affiliated with the KKK.”
The hacktivist group, under the Twitter handle @Operation_KKK, also tweeted its plans to launch a full-blown social media campaign against the KKK, starting on Nov. 4 and using the hashtags #HoodsOff and #OpKKK.
In a press release issued by Anonymous on Sunday the group promised, “This is just the beginning.”