CNN has a serious credibility problem and it’s only getting worse. Ashley Fantz penned an article asking if the Ku Klux Klan can rebrand itself as a civic organization. WTF? Are we asking if al Qaida can rebrand itself too? CNN actually went out and spoke with marketing experts to ascertain if there’s hope for the racist organization. SMH.
No, say top marketing experts, brand gurus and historians — and for many reasons.
The Klan could change its name, get a smooth-talking spokesperson, replace the robes with suits and take off those ridiculous hats, but underneath, people would recognize its message is the same.
“They stand for hatred; they always have,” said Atlanta-based brand consultant Laura Ries. “Maybe they don’t believe in shooting up a center for Jewish people, but they still support beliefs that are beyond the scope of understanding for most people and certainly the freedom and equality our country believes in.”
Other experts raised the question: If the Klan isn’t violent, what’s the point?
“What would you be left with? Benign racism?” asked Jelani Cobb, director of the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut.
Even if the modern KKK at large distances itself from this supposedly “rogue” element, Cobb said, that doesn’t make up for the group’s past. “Violence and racial intimidation were the KKK’s raison d’etre. They’re not simply a controversial civic organization. If in fact they reject violence, the only honest way of establishing that would be to do restorative work for the incredible damage their history of violence has already done,” he said. “No sensible person is going to wait around for that to happen.”
This ‘riveting’ article comes in the aftermath of former KKK grand dragon Frazier Glenn Cross (AKA Frazier Glenn Miller) shooting rampage at two Jewish sites in Kansas City that claimed the lives of three Christians, identified as Dr. William Lewis Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson Reat Griffin Underwood and Teresa “Terri” LaManno.