Mayor Rogero scoffs at claims of KKK ties, calls them 'ridiculou - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Mayor Rogero scoffs at claims of KKK ties, calls them 'ridiculous'

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Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero scoffed at the suggestion that she is in any way affiliated with the hate group Ku Klux Klan, and even poked fun at an online list that suggests otherwise.

But, she called the accusations "defamatory" and said they should be retracted immediately.

"It is irresponsible and slanderous," Rogero said in a released statement. "Although, on a positive note, I do appreciate that they are using a picture of me from 12 years ago. Very flattering!"

Anonymous, a loosely associated network of hackers that has become known for a series of cyberattacks on governments, religions – specifically, Scientology – and corporations, has threatened to expose 1,000 members of the KKK on Nov. 5.

However, a list that went viral starting late Sunday, that does not appear to be associated with the group, suggests that dozens of politicians are connected to the KKK. Anonymous, though, did link to the list from its Facebook page.

The list highlights Rogero, Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson and Lexington, Ky. Mayor Jim Gray, who is gay, among others.

The 2 minute and 46 second long video says "these are the officials that have political power in the USA that are associated with either the KKK or racists related."

The video notes that "addresses will not be released so nobody gets it in their mind to take out their own justice against them."

An Isakson spokesperson told WBIR 10News: "This information is absolutely false. Senator Isakson has never been affiliated with the KKK."

Gray, on his Twitter account, said: I am opposed to everything the KKK stands for. I have no idea where this information came from, but wherever it came from, it is wrong."

The list said Rogero was connected to the KKK's "Ku Klos Knights" affiliation out of Church Hill, Tn.

Rogero questioned whether she should even respond to the allegations, noting that "given my background, my interracial family, my public record and my personal beliefs, this would be hilarious except that it is probably being seen by a lot of people who have no idea who I am."

Rogero, who recently won re-election, said she began her political career working for the rights of farm workers with Cesar Chavez. She also spent decades working for a number of causes tied to social justice and equality.

"As Mayor, I have pushed for diversity in our workforce and outreach to and inclusion of people of all backgrounds in our community," she said. "In concert with President Obama's 'My Brother's Keeper' program, I began the 'Save Our Son's initiative to increase opportunities and reduce violence-related deaths among boys and young men of color. I have advocated publicly for LGBT civil rights, and I was the only mayor in Tennessee to sign onto the mayors' amicus brief for the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court's marriage equality case. In short, I don't think the KKK would want anything to do with me."

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