Society

Former KKK Leader Is Now A Multimillionaire Who Has Black Friends

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
Bill Wilkinson. Bill Wilkinson.

Bill Wilkinson was the imperial wizard of one of the most violent factions of the Ku Klux Klan from 1975 to 1984. He disappeared for 30 years after his tenure and has since reemerged in San Pedro on the island of Amergris Caye in Belize, where he owns a multimillion dollar resort and has made friends with the locals — who are largely black, Mayan and Latino.

Wilkinson, 72, spoke about his new life to the Daily Mail. He said he’s still a segregationist, but insists he’s not a racist.

“I never have hated blacks," he said, "I still don't hate blacks, I don't hate anyone.”

He bases his segregationist beliefs on the Bible.

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“I have not changed, I'm the same man I always have been," he continued. "I wouldn't let one (a black person) marry my children or my grandchildren.”

Wilkinson runs the Seven Seas Resort, but he spends his time scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing.

“Life is real good, I love the island, it's full of very friendly people," he said. "... People here know about my past but they don't care, they accept me for who I am.”

Wilkinson said he’s friends with the locals and he hugged, kissed and shared apparently lighthearted race jokes with them in front of reporters.

“Some of them (black people) shout from across the street and make the shape of a Klan hood on their head,” he said, “but they do it with a smile.”

Wilkinson denies he ever imposed his segregationist views on anyone, although he created a paramilitary camp for his followers to prepare them for a “race war.” He also tried to indoctrinate children with his views. While Wilkinson was in the KKK, he says he was respectful towards civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo, who was later shot and killed by Klansmen. At the time, he said he felt "no remorse" for her death. 

Wilkinson, a widower, hopes to sell his $3 million resort upon retirement.

“I just wanna continue enjoy scuba-diving and snorkeling and spear-fishing,” he said.

Source: Daily Mail

Image Credits: Screen Capture via Daily Mail  and Martin/Flickr