Taking the moral high ground the Memphis Theological Seminary stated this weekend that the KKK does have to right to express its opinion. African American seminary rep, Andre Johnson, says, “We should respond by showing up in silence (since this would be Holy Saturday) and pray for them. This would send a powerful witness; imagine hundreds standing and kneeling and praying."
The right to own slaves may have been lost 150 years ago, but the right of whites to feel superior to blacks isn't legislated away quite so easily.
On Februry 5th, the Memphis City Council voted to strip Confederate Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest's name from the downtown park. The consensus was to instead call it something that everyone could agree is a sign of progress: Health Sciences Park. It also voted to rename Confederate Park as Memphis Park and to also rename the Jefferson Davis Park as Mississippi River Park.
Since there's only so much progress a white supremest can handle, the KKK announced immediately that they will be sending out their forces in mass to protest. They've promised that this will be one of their biggest rallies ever! Not only will the local "Northern Mississippi White Knights" be there, but the larger “Loyal White Knights” and even the "International Keystone Knights" will be showing up for the protest in Memphis on March 30th -- The day before Easter Sunday.
Also, even though the city counsel has yet to officially approve all of the details of the march, the KKK has promised to come back every month until the park names are changed back. (See the video to the left.)
Nathan Bedford Forrest literally made millions of dollars in the cotton business using slave labor. So perhaps his demise as symbolized in losing the park named after him poses a particularly poignant example of the lost status the KKK is so forcibly trying to reconstruct.
Once the nations undisputed preeminent terrorist organization, the Klan had an estimated four to five million members in mid-1920's. However, their political power and numbers dropped drastically when a major Klan leader was convicted of second-degree murder in the late 1920s.
Things went downhill from there for the Klan, and by 1930 their numbers had decreased to a mere 30,000, and in 1944, the KKK disbanded entirely for a while. Another major blow to their popularity came in 1928 when laws were created forbidding them to wear masks – a law which the often defy to this day.
Still, now that the Klan has regrouped, it trying to sell a new image. Their homepage says: “We do not hate any group of people.”
However, when you go to their chat page it says this: “No Niggers, Spics or Jews allowed. They will be kicked out and blocked.”
So much for their new “no-hate” image. Their home page goes on: … “we try to focus on the love of our race. Love for our God and Country. Our goal is to help restore America to a White Christian nation founded on God's word. ...(Lev.20:24-25)”
Here is what Lev 20: 24-25 says:
24 But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, aland that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people. 25 Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or byfowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean
Excuse me, but that passage speaks to the Jews, not white Anglo supremacists. The KKK disassociates themselves with Jews, maybe as much as they do blacks. So, using that quote as justification for their elitist attitudes makes no sense at all. They're simply superimposing their race onto the group God was actually addressing – reinventing the words of God in their image! (Not that the Jews are any better than anyone else either, but that is another topic.)
In order to clear this all up, I've made reservations to go to Memphis for the big KKK rally so I can ask one of them in person what they stand for and how they justify it. If I survive the interview, I'll be writing a followup story.
As for their new non-violent image, the picture above of a hooded clansman pointing a gun at their enemy was taken just last year. Ideology aside, the Klan could definitely benefit from getting a good PR person to help them keep their stories straight.