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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Just Who the Hell is San Francisco's Ku Klux Klan Member?? (A Marina Man, Maybe)

Posted By on Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge A Klansman among us? - ERIC PRATT/SF WEEKLY
  • Eric Pratt/SF Weekly
  • A Klansman among us?

News that a weekend rally of the Ku Klux Klan in Anaheim — now there's a clause we never thought we'd write — turned violent wasn't entirely surprising.

These are racially charged and divisive times, and anyone showing up to a racist event in a racially-diverse area in 2016 — especially a racist event planned and advertised well in advance, and especially one with the Klan, of all things — with a sign reading "WHITE LIVES MATTER" isn't there to make peace. 

But on top of the three people stabbed and 13 arrested was a real jolt: one of the arrested was identified by Bay City News as  "Charles Donner, 51, of San Francisco."

San Francisco has a Klan member? And he goes to Anaheim for rallies? The world is full of surprises and secrets — including just who exactly Charles Donner is, and if he indeed lives in San Francisco at all.


According to news reports, charges have been filed against seven people — all of them counter-protesters, and not Klan members. The three people stabbed — some of whom, possibly, with an American flag — may have been stabbed in self defense.

But back to Donner. 

A public records search through Lexis Nexis revealed exactly one Charles E. Donner born 51 years ago, whose address is reportedly in the Marina (?!). There is a Charles E. Donner listed as a licensed security guard in California, and according to state records, he lives in San Francisco.

This Donner has the same home address as a Charles Edward Dhonau, a Princeton alum and former publisher of TIME magazine in Japan, who died in the 1990s. And this Charles Edward Dhonau had a son, also named Charles. And a Charles E. Dhonau petitioned San Francisco Superior Court to have his name changed in the 1980s, according to records. 

So is this the guy? Maybe. 

Efforts to track down Donner through available channels were unsuccessful. A message left at a telephone number connected to him was not returned. And aside from the name change petition, his name does not appear on property or in court records. 

Anaheim police spokesman Sgt. Daron Wyatt could not release a booking photo on Monday, and also could not immediately release the address of the Donner arrested in Anaheim. 

So the mystery of who San Francisco's Klansman is continues. But if you happen to know a security guard in his 50s who lives in the Marina who is, well, a little extreme, he may be a Klansman.

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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Bio:
Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.

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