The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan’s Pelham, North Carolina, chapter have reserved the Statehouse Grounds in South Carolina for a rally next month.
James Spears, the Great Titan of the North Carolina chapter, said the Ku Klux Klan would be rallying to protest “the Confederate flag being took down for all the wrong reasons.” “It’s part of white people’s culture,” he added.
Brian Gaines, who runs the South Carolina Budget and Control Board, which oversees reservations, confirmed the scheduling in an email. He added that the group submitted the request on June 23 and, because his office allows any group, regardless of ideology, to reserve the grounds on a first-come, first-serve basis, the KKK will be able to hold its rally.
The event is planned for July 18 from 3-5 p.m., just over one month after Dylann Roof allegedly entered a historic church in Charleston and shot to death nine blacks. Reports indicate Roof was attempting to incite a race war and had read 34 various materials from white groups online before plotting his action.
Roof’s use of the Confederate battle flag in photos posted online before the killing set off a liberal debate over the flag and other Confederate iconography on public grounds throughout the South — leading South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, along with a bipartisan cast of state and federal lawmakers, to call last week for the flag’s removal. The South Carolina Legislature is expected to decide on the Confederate symbol’s fate early next month.
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The KKK’s Pelham chapter liberally employs the Confederate flag on its website and has changed its home page to highlight its opposition to the flag’s removal. “Say No to Cultural Genocide,” the group’s site reads, adding, “most groups out there and especially white people are to cowardly to stand up for their heritage.”
When asked for his opinion on the charges facing Roof, Spears said, “I feel sorry for the boy because of his age and I think he picked the wrong target. A better target for him would have been these gang-bangers, running around rapping, raping and stealing.”