Last week, the hacktivist group Anonymous promised that it would publish a supposed detailed list of the names and identifying information of elected officials who were also members of the Ku Klux Klan.
"We are not attacking you because of what you believe in as we fight for freedom of speech," Anonymous said in its initial warning. "Ku Klux Klan, We never stopped watching you. We know who you are. We know the dangerous extent to which you will go to cover your asses."
Over the weekend, Amped Attacks, an Anonymous-affiliated hacker, followed through and posted a list to Pastebin, a site not exactly known for the trustworthiness of its content.
"These are the officials that have political power in the usa that are associated with either kkk or racist related," the document reads. "Addresses will not be released so nobody gets it in their mind to take out their own justice against them."
Named on the list are four senators and five mayors from across the country, each with alleged connections to different factions of the Klan.
Jim Gray, the mayor of Lexington, Ky., was one of the nine people named. He took to Twitter to disavow any affiliation or history with the United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan."I am opposed to everything the KKK stands for," Gray tweeted. "I have no idea where this information came from, but wherever it came from, it is wrong."
Knoxville, Tenn., mayor Madeline Anne Rogero was also named and posted a lengthy response to her Facebook page to call the accusations "unfathomable."
"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," Rogero wrote. "So, just to be clear, for anyone who doesn’t know me: Don’t be ridiculous."
As Mayor, I have pushed for diversity in our workforce and outreach to and inclusion of people of all backgrounds in our community. In concert with President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper program, I began the Save Our Sons initiative to increase opportunities and reduce violence-related deaths among boys and young men of color.
I have advocated publicly for LGBT civil rights, and I was the only mayor in Tennessee to sign onto the mayors’ amicus brief for the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court’s marriage equality case. In short, I don’t think the KKK would want anything to do with me.
It's important to note that none of the accusations being leveled by Anonymous have been verified independently by the authorities as of yet. That being said, the group is not quite finished and has promised to publish the names of more alleged Klansmen on Nov. 5.