Andrew Shain of the News & Observer reported today that South Carolina state officials had confirmed that the Ku Klux Klan is planning to hold a rally at the State House next month. According to Shain, the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan have requested that the rally take place from 3-5 p.m. on July 18th.
Arturo Garcia (Raw Story) said that “the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which calls itself the ‘largest Klan in America,’ filed a permit saying they expected between 100 and 200 people to attend the event on the north side of the building, where the Confederate battle flag is currently being flown.”
Governor Nikki Haley and other state political and business leaders have called for removal of the Confederate flag from the State House grounds where it has flown for more than 50 years. The South Carolina Legislature is scheduled to take up “bills on the flag’s removal on July 6.”
Schuyler Kropf of The Post and Courier said that the KKK has been approved to hold the protest rally against removing the Confederate battle flag. According to Kropf, the group called accused mass murderer Dylann Roof a “young warrior.”
James Spears, the Great Titan of the Loyal White Knights chapter, said that the group would be rallying to protest “the Confederate flag being took down for all the wrong reasons.”
Brian Gaines, spokesman for the S.C. Budget and Control Board, said the state provides rally space at the Statehouse site when space is available or previously not reserved.
The move was not endorsed by Gov. Nikki Haley. “This is our state, and they are not welcome,” she said in a statement issued by her press office.
On Monday, Robert Jones, the grand dragon for the group, said that “the Klan is a civil rights organization dedicated to white culture and history as symbolized by the rebel banner.” Jones reportedly gave words of support for Dylann Roof during a telephone interview–saying that Roof “erred in going after black people while they worshipped.”
Jones added, “He was heading in the right direction; wrong target…He should have actually aimed at the African-American gang-bangers, the ones who are selling the drugs to white youth, the ones who are robbing and raping every chance they get.”
Shain said that the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are based in Pelham, North Carolina. He said that the front page of the group’s website “includes a message opposing efforts to ban the Confederate flag, which have taken off in the days since nine African-American churchgoers were shot and killed on June 17 in Charleston in what authorities have called a hate crime.”
The website message reads: “If you can’t tell, they are trying to wipe us out of the history books. Tell this Marxist government they better not dishonor out [sic] ancestors graves.”
Ku Klux Klan to protest removal of Confederate flag on July 18 at Statehouse (The Post and Courier)
KKK plans South Carolina State House rally (The News & Observer)