Spic-and-Span Klan

Klan finds cleaning up is hard to do

Sometimes, it's hard to be a Klansman.

Consider the case of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a group that spent years trying to join Missouri's state Adopt-A-Highway program. Only after a lengthy court battle was the group finally allowed to maintain a stretch of Interstate 55 south of St. Louis — and to get state highway signs designating the Klan-cleaned stretch.

But the hard times had only just begun. Less than a day after the first signs went up on Dec. 1, vandals knocked them down.

Then, a black state senator introduced a bill to rename the Klan's stretch of interstate the Rosa Parks Highway, in honor of the civil rights heroine who refused to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated bus.

Next came official threats to boot the Klan out of the highway program because, three months into their sponsorship, they had yet to pick up a single bag of trash.

Finally, in February — a day and a half after replacement signs went up following a nine-week delay — the highway signs were again knocked down.

"I don't know why there is such hatred towards white people," Klan leader Thom Robb said. "It just shows the example of hatred in the world."