The Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan have business cards. The name of the member, his or her title, address and phone number is handed out freely.
It is a new image for the traditionally anonymous, masked nightrider of old.
About 100 of these card-carrying Klan members are expected to arrive by bus from Charlotte, N.C., Sunday to march along Constitution Avenue NW and rally at the Capitol. They will be watched every step of the way by several thousand police officers brought in to protect them from supporters of the All Peoples Congress, avowed haters of the Klan.
Demonstrations are routine events in the capital. This one has the attention of media and police because of the history of violence associated with the Klan and with those opposed to it. Eight years ago when a different Klan group tried to march, police pulled the Klan members off the parade route for their own safety and drove them to their rally. Frustrated counterdemonstrators touched off a melee downtown.
Why would anyone want to ride eight hours by bus, march for a mile and face almost certain hostility?
They say they want respect.
"We are going to Washington to get the word across to the Congress and the president that they have to listen to the Klan," said the Rev. Charles S. Beasley, Christian Klan grand dragon and second in command. "These NAACP people . . . want to put white people under their foot and stomp on us."
Beasley's speech, punctuated with racial slurs, was warmly applauded by the 50 members and their children who attended a Sunday afternoon meeting and covered-dish dinner in Stanley, N.C.
American blacks were only part of the Klan's agenda, which includes American communists, flag-burners and the issue of prayer in the schools.
The list of who the Klan hates is as long as the restrictions on who can join. A membership application says recruits must be "native-born loyal United States citizens, 18 years old, a White, Gentile person of temperate habits, of Protestant Faith, and believe in White Supremacy and Americanism."
Virgil Griffin, the imperial wizard and founder of the Christian Knights, is the leader of people who say they meet the qualifications. They see themselves as victims of discrimination who have been denied food stamps, unemployment compensation and subsidized housing because they are white.
These are blue-collar people who earn minimum wages as laborers, factory workers and clerks. Any tiny slip in the economy is immediately felt in their paychecks.
Griffin, 46, a mechanic, is one of them. He says he works 59 hours a week. On weeknights he attends Klan meetings near his home in Mount Holly, N.C., and on weekends he travels with his wife, Linda, as many as 1,000 miles to recruit new members.
Griffin, a father of five and the grandfather of eight, continually wears a look of disapproval. His mouth turns down. His voice is stern. He seems to be the father waiting for his children to act up.
Last Sunday, Griffin rapped for attention with the back of a heavy pocketknife.
After a prayer and the passing of a baseball hat for donations to rent buses, Griffin stared hard at his adult audience of teenage, middle-age and older men and women.
"Don't worry about Washington," he said. "Don't worry about it at all. There will be 3,000 police to escort us. This will be a peaceful walk."
There is concern about violence. Several Klan members said they fear attacks on their almost weekly marches in and around Charlotte.
Griffin was one of the Klan members who confronted the Communist Workers Party at a "Death to the Klan" rally in 1979 in Greensboro. Five in the communist group were killed. Griffin and eight other white supremacists were charged with murder but were acquitted.
Later, the longtime Klan member found he wasn't as welcome in his old unit and founded his own group.
Danny Welch, chief investigator for Southern Poverty Law Center's Klanwatch, said Griffin's group is the third or fourth largest of the Klan factions that have a total membership of between 6,000 and 12,000 nationwide.
"They are one of the most active Klan groups as far as holding marches and rallies," he said. "They do this for the purpose of recruiting and publicity. They still spout racial hatred with the best of them."
Mira Boland of the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League said some members of Griffin's group have records for weapons and explosives violations and cross-burnings.
Christian Klan official Juanita Gibson, 52, emphasized that her group is unlike the Klan of earlier times.
"We are not mean people," she said. "My father was a Klan member who was involved in tar-and-featherings and cross-burnings. I found out after he died. We don't do that anymore. We don't do any of that mean stuff."
The Klan, founded after the Civil War, has had three periods of significant strength: the late 1800s, the 1920s and the 1950s. In 1925, the Klan brought 40,000 members to march on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Nationally, the Klan has gained stature with the election of former Klan member David Duke to a seat in the Louisiana Legislature. Duke, a Republican, is running for U.S. Senate this year.
Griffin said the decision to march here had nothing to do with the majority black city of Washington or the recent drug and perjury trial of Mayor Marion Barry.
"Some of our members have never been to Washington," he said. "We are coming because it's the capital."