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It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke–or at least a National Enquirer story–but incredibly, over the weekend, representatives from the Wyoming chapters of the NAACP and the Ku Klux Klan forged a new relationship in a heavily guarded hotel.
Jimmy Simmons, president of the Casper NAACP, and John Abarr, a KKK organizer from Great Falls, Mont., met in Casper, Wyo., the first meeting of its kind. Simmons requested the meeting as a means of opening dialogue with the KKK, after claims the white supremacist organization is trying to distance itself from its violent past, according to the Associated Press.
Surprisingly, the NAACP recruited a new member–KKK’s Abarr–who filled out the group’s membership form in order to receive the NAACP newsletters, along with $50 to cover his member fees, plus a $20 donation.
A string of racially-motivated beatings and hate crimes on African-Americans has plagued parts of Wyoming over the last five years.