A key leader of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), Kyle Rogers has deployed his Internet-savvy talents to attract web hits, members and media attention for the white supremacist hate group.
About Kyle Rogers
Rogers heads the South Carolina chapter of the CCC, one of the group’s most active U.S. chapters; serves on the CCC’s national board of directors; ran its national website until June of 2015; and has served as 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 1960s. 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 took a stronger leadership role in the CCC, Rogers has ventured into much more blatantly racist, anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant activism. Under his management, the CCC website focused on reporting sensationalized stories about supposed “black on white crime.” Alleged Charleston shooter Dylann Roof credited the CCC’s website for opening his eyes to the supposed epidemic of black on white crime before he went on to kill nine members of the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. church in Charleston in June 2014. Under intense scrutiny following the discovery of Roof’s manifesto, which cited the CCC as his inspiration, Rogers ceded control of the group’s website to fellow member and League of the South (LOS) leader, Brad Griffin. Rogers now runs an un-bylined site promoting the same brand of deceptive racist “news” that previously anchored the CCC website named Stop Hate Crimes.
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’ public activism in the white supremacist movement emerged during his twenties, when he began running the Columbus, Ohio, chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC).
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 the display 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 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. The theory is that this original white population fell victim to American Indian massacres.
In more recent years, while protesting the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina capital, Rogers told a reporter that the NAACP was “busing in welfare mothers” to demonstrate against the 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. His business, which has been the sole advertiser on the CCC’s website, regularly prints shirts for other hate groups, such as the neo-Confederate League of the South (LOS), which advocates a second Southern secession and a Christian theocratic state run by white “Anglo-Celts.”
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.
This brand of racist opportunism, exemplified by Rogers’s coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting, is a staple of Rogers and the CCC’s media plan. On Feb. 6, 2012, in the midst of the site’s coverage of the shooting, the CCC’s website topped 170,000 unique visits in a single day. Such successes have emboldened Rogers and the CCC’s web team, resulting in similar coverage following the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the social unrest that followed.
Rogers frequently appears at rallies with notorious white supremacists. On Aug. 24, 2013, for instance, Rogers joined a rally sponsored by the 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.
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 past 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 expressed embarrassment about Rogers’ participation, saying they had asked him to resign but were unable legally to eject him.
Since around 2010, 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 Jews and alleged Jewish domination of the media. Rogers often writes under the name “UlsterScot12,” typically to generate traffic to the CCC’s website or his personal business.
At the same time, Rogers has worked to make the CCC seem politically mainstream by rebranding the name of its website to Top Conservative News. The 2013 ploy has worked to some extent, 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.” In early 2015, the CCC’s website changed domain names again, this time to Conservative-Headlines.
While the mainstream media outlets that Rogers lambasts on the CCC website may be welcome to draw from the articles on Conservative-Headlines, the same is not true for fellow white supremacists. In 2015, after the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website that aggregates a wide variety of white supremacist literature, reprinted an article from the CCC’s website, Roger’s contacted the site’s owner, Andrew Anglin, to demand a removal under a veiled threat of legal action.
In a 2012 interview with the Charleston paper, CCC founder and CEO Gordon Lee Baum, who died in 2015, called Rogers a natural writer with a keen grasp of history, “one of the smartest guys we’ve got.” Although he was once regarded as one of the brightest young stars of the white nationalist movement, Rogers’ profile has diminished somewhat in recent years as he settled into his primary role as Webmaster for the CCC.
In June 2015, Rogers relinquished his duties as the CCC’s Webmaster following the discovery of alleged Charleston shooter Dylann Storm Roof’s manifesto. In the second paragraph of the manifesto, Roof states that after typing the words “black on white crime” into Google, “The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief.” Rogers’s inability to handle the resulting media attention led to him ceding control of the CCC website to fellow CCC member and LOS leader, Brad Griffin.
Rogers has kept an extremely low profile since giving up his role in the CCC’s online management. His focus appears to have shifted to peddling Confederate battle flags at Patriotic Flags and anonymously running another website focused on “black on white hate crimes” called Stop Hate Crimes. The site, named to conceal its explicit racism like the CCC domains in the past, exists to fill the void in sensationalized, racist news that was left in the wake of the Charleston shooting. He also sold Trump T-shirts in 2015 from his Twitter account and Patriot Flags’ ebay account.