Suburban Supremacist: Summerville Resident Kyle Rogers a Rising Star in the Radical Right Movement
Rogers said he has received nothing but congratulations from supporters. But he scoffs at the distinction, describing it as “childish name-calling” and an inconsequential scam to boost fundraising.
“It’s all about convincing little old ladies that there really is this army of skinheads and Nazis out there so they will donate money,” he said. “They are talking about stuff that only exists in Hollywood movies.”
Rogers said he is not a racist or a danger; he’s just voicing facts and opinions that are ignored by mainstream media.
He said his group upholds the ideals of the nation’s founding fathers by fighting government intrusions in people’s lives, illegal immigration that undermines the country’s stability and “social engineering” programs like affirmative action that give one group advantages over another.
Poke a little deeper and Rogers also will share beliefs that black people ruin things for the rest of society and that “slaves who were taken to the United States hit the slave lottery” because they were brought to a country where they could thrive and prosper.
Black people here, he argues, “are the most privileged members of their race” and “benefit greatly from the generosity of American whites, as they always have.”
“I don’t see a legacy of oppression,” Rogers said. “Blacks have always benefited from being in the United States.”
Bernard Powers, a College of Charleston professor who specializes in African-American history, said Rogers’ views fly in the face of historical fact, ignoring the brutal subjugation of millions of people, the strip-mining of Africa’s populace and myriad inequities that remain barriers to success.
“To say that America was the promised land for these folks is far from borne out by the facts,” he said.
But make no mistake, Rogers has his followers, and that worries people like Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project. Rogers has emerged as a key member of the council’s new guard, using Web-savvy and racist rhetoric to promote an agenda of white supremacy and societal division, she said.
“Most folks in the group are pretty old, so he represents the future of the organization,” she said. “The council is not a violent organization. But they push nasty propaganda that causes major damage in this country.”