Wednesday night on "The Colbert Report," host Stephen Colbert discussed the Ku Klux Klan and its new, purportedly non-racist positive message, then offered the group some handy advice for recruitment.
Race relations in the U.S., Colbert said, continue to improve. "For instance, yesterday, I watched almost an entire Tyler Perry movie," he said, "before I realized it was one of those Michael Jordan Hanes commercials. Still, we're getting closer to that mountain-top."
Some people, however, just won't let racism go, like former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Powell recently stated that the Republican Party is going through an identity crisis, that there has long been a "dark vein of intolerance" among some members of the GOP.
"How dare Colin Powell accuse the GOP of intolerance!" Colbert said. "It is the party of such prominent black Republicans as Colin Powell and...others, one imagines."
But the true halmark of how far race relations have come in the U.S. is the fact that the Ku Klux Klan is "no longer racist." The group, after finding that it was having trouble recruiting new members, now claims that its mission is to promote the Christian faith and call attention to such pressing national issues as illegal immigration and the outsourcing of U.S. jobs.
"We're not a hate group," proclaimed one hooded member in a taped interview segment. "We don't hate anyone," he said, to incredulous guffaws from Colbert's studio audience. "We just, I mean, we want to see good things come to our race."
"And this new Ku Klux Klan spreads its positive message the way any open-minded group would," added Colbert. "Door-to-door in the dead of night."
Klan members have been leafleting neighborhoods at night in towns all the way up the eastern seaboard from Florida to New York state. Colbert cautioned, however, that these letters, while upsetting, are an improvement over what the Klan used to leave on people's lawns, burning crosses.
Sadly for the Klan, their membership is declining, even as other hate groups grow exponentially.
"Ain't that a kick in the robe?" Colbert quipped.
To be helpful, the host offered some recruiting advice to the struggling organization.
"First of all, I know that flowing robes are a tradition," he said, but to reach the hipster demographic, the Klan needs to invest in some skinny jeans and ironic t-shirts that say things like "I (heart) black people."
Also, the hoods may be part of a heritage, "but it makes you look like you're ashamed. Why not wear your Klan affiliation proudly and transparently by putting on a clear hood? Just slip a dry cleaning bag over your head and keep it in place with a rubber band around your neck."
"Now that is a great new look," he said, "that I think a lot of people would love to see."
Watch the clip, embedded via Comedy Central, below: