Scott Shepherd joined the KKK at age 17 and by 19 he was a grand dragon heading recruitment of the racist group in Tennessee. These days, however, Shepherd refers to himself as a “reformed racist.” He writes on his blog: “I am on a mission of education and self education with hopes that I may help prevent other people and mainly younger people from falling victim to the racist recruitment traps and tactics used by racist organizations.”
The former Klan leader compares Donald Trump to David Duke and explains here why white supremacists are drawn to Trump.
In this short documentary by Independent Lens, Shepherd says that his reasons for joining the KKK stemmed from feelings of isolation. “I was just looking for a place to fit in, to fill a void within myself,” he says. To fill that void, he considered joining the Italian Mafia and the Irish Republican Army before settling on the KKK. “I could very well have gotten involved with ISIS,” he says.
The documentary follows Shepherd’s search for redemption as he reconnects with Rebecca Hawkins, an African American woman who helped raise him.