A key leader of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), Kyle Rogers has deployed his Internet-savvy talents to attract members and media attention for the white supremacist hate group. Rogers heads the South Carolina chapter of the CCC, one of the group’s most active U.S. chapters; serves on the CCC national board of directors; runs its national website; and is editor-in-chief of Citizens Informer, the hard-copy magazine mailed to members and subscribers. The CCC, which says in its platform statement that it “opposes all effort to mix the races of mankind,” grew directly out of the segregationist White Citizens Councils of the 1950s and 60s. When Rogers first joined the Ohio CCC in 2000, he focused on the core issue of preserving “European heritage,” code for a kind of white nationalist separatism. But in recent years, as he’s taken a stronger leadership role in CCC, Rogers has ventured into much more blatantly racist, anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant activism.
In His Own Words
“The worst thing you can do is send your kids to a heavily integrated school. My high school was about 10 or 15 percent black, but they committed probably 90-plus percent of the violence and crimes at the school. I can imagine how much worse it would be if the school is over half black.”
—Interview on White Talk Radio Network, Jan. 25, 2014
“Your typical left-wing Jew is obnoxious about being Jewish and constantly drawing attention to their Jewishness. …Your hardcore Orthodox Jews were probably upset when American Christians first started doing [circumcisions].”
—Post under the name of “Valhalla” on the racist Stormfront website, January 2012
“Slaves who were taken to the United States hit the slave lottery. … [They] 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. Blacks have always benefited from being in the United States.”
—Quoted in the Charleston, S.C., Post and Courier, June 24, 2012
Kyle Rogers’ activism in the white supremacist movement began during his 20s, when he began running the Columbus, Ohio, chapter of the CCC. Always media conscious, Rogers attracted notice in Columbus by getting “white power” programs onto public access cable TV, according to the anti-racist One People’s Project. Among the hatemongers given free public platforms on these shows were former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and notorious white supremacist Matt Hale, who is serving a 40-year sentence for soliciting an informant to murder a federal judge.
Trained as a computer engineer, Rogers moved to South Carolina in 2004 and promptly reconnected with the CCC. In that state, he participated in repeated demonstrations against granting “amnesty” to undocumented immigrant workers and has defended use of the Confederate battle flag. But Rogers’ true leadership forte as a creator of racist media propaganda has garnered the most attention. In addition to running the CCC website and print publication, he writes posts for Examiner.com, talks to reporters, appears as a CCC spokesman alongside other racist leaders at a variety of events, and also has spearheaded activist campaigns for the group.
In 2011, he pushed hard for a boycott of Marvel Studios’ movie “Thor” because Idris Elba, a black actor, was cast as the Norse god Heimdallr. Many contemporary white supremacists glorify ancient Norse gods, and Rogers called Heimdallr “the progenitor of Europeans” and said he was “referred to as ‘The Whitest of Gods.’” Therefore, Rogers insisted, Marvel shouldn’t have cast a black person in the role. But the racial miscasting is understandable, he alleged, because Marvel is a known advocate of “leftwing ideologies and causes.”
Rogers also has re-cast himself as an archaeologist, writing in the CCC’s tabloid about Kennewick Man, an ancient skeleton found in the state of Washington. Like many white supremacists looking to justify their the idea that the United States is a “white” country, Rogers claims the skeleton proves whites were the original inhabitants of what is now America but fell victim to American Indian massacres.
Speaking on more modern issues, he once told a reporter that the NAACP was “busing in welfare mothers” to demonstrate against the U.S. flag.
Rogers’ also has turned his racism and his alleged patriotism into profit, running an online business called Patriotic Flags that markets white nationalist and racist flags and apparel.
Contempt for the mainstream media is a recurring theme in Rogers’ public script. He’s written about black-on-white crime and condemned media outlets that don’t identify the race of criminal suspects, according to a 2012 profile in the Charleston Post & Courier. Rogers also railed against so-called media bias in the Trayvon Martin case, alleging that news outlets published false and whitewashed information about the unarmed black teenager after he was shot to death by George Zimmerman, a white neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida.
Rogers frequently appears at rallies with notorious white supremacists. On Aug. 24, 2013, for instance, Rogers joined a rally sponsored by the League of the South (LOS) in Uvalda, Ga., to protest the “Southern demographic displacement” allegedly created by Latinos moving to the white-dominated area. The rally attacked Uvalda mayor Paul Bridges, a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit that resulted in the courts overturning major parts of a Georgia anti-immigrant law. Among rally speakers were representatives from the LOS, a hate group advocating a second Southern secession and a Christian theocratic state run by white “Anglo-Celts,” and Matthew Heimbach, a white supremacist leader with the Traditionalist Youth Network, which is trying to build a coalition of “white student unions” on college campuses.
Rogers’ extremist views and associations haven’t stopped him from wading into Republican electoral politics. (Although most politicians avoid the CCC like the plague today, it has had associations in recent years with well-known politicians like former Senator Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi and former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, who addressed the group’s national conference in 2012.) Rogers served as a delegate to the Charleston County Republican convention in 2007, and Dorchester County, S.C., GOP officials confirmed to SPLC in 2013 that he was a member of that county’s Republican Executive Committee. Republican politicians there have expressed embarrassment about Rogers’ participation, saying they have asked him to resign but are unable legally to eject him.
In the last few years, Rogers has gone beyond the relatively tame white nationalism of the CCC and likeminded groups to post, under a pseudonym, on Stormfront, a major racist Web forum run by a former Alabama Klan leader, according to several anti-racist websites. Among Rogers’ favorite topics in these postings are crimes supposedly perpetrated by the Jews and alleged Jewish domination of the media. Rogers typically writes under the name “Valhalla” but at least once signed his name “Kyle” in a post linking to his flag-selling business.
At the very same time, Rogers has worked to make the CCC seem politically mainstream by changing the name of its website to Top Conservative News. The 2013 ploy has evidently worked, with mainstream media outlets like Time Magazine linking to CCC stories about race and related issues without being aware that the group vows to “oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind.”
White supremacists see Rogers as one of the brightest young lights of the white nationalist movement. In a 2012 interview with the Charleston paper, CCC founder and CEO Gordon Lee Baum called Rogers a natural writer with a keen grasp of history, “one of the smartest guys we’ve got.”