LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A report of a militant anti-government group paints a troubling membership picture for Arkansas.
A report Wednesday from the Associated Press stated that the Anti-Defamation League had acquired a membership list of the Oath Keepers.
The list of 38,000 names shows, by the ADL’s reporting, that the organization had 446 Arkansans sign up for memberships.
Breaking down the report shows that among the Arkansas members, two have elected positions in the state. There were another three members employed in law enforcement, two members of the military and one first responder. Specific names have not been released.
ADL classifies signing up as a person having paid Oath Keepers membership at some point.
The Oath Keepers played a central role in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the United States Capitol Building.
Arkansas, according to ADL reporting, has relatively low Oath Keeper membership. Border state Texas has the largest sign-up number, reportedly 3,301 in the state, with 58 in elected positions or roles in the military, law enforcement or as first responders. Missouri shows 810 sign ups on the ADL map, with 13 public service roles, though none in elected office.
Mississippi shows 312 sign ups in the ADL report, with nine in law enforcement, military or first responder positions with no elected officials. Louisiana has a reported 561 sign ups, with seven officials, none of whom are in the military.
According to the ADL, the Oath Keepers, which it characterizes as a militia, have targeted law enforcement, military and first responders in its recruiting.
The ADL does make the point that some members may have disassociated from the group after their initial sign up due to its extremist ideology.