Post-Racial Update: KKK Protest in Memphis on Easter Weekend

Well, it’s the weekend I’ve been waiting for, folks. Nope, I’m not into getting dressed up and attending Easter Sunday service with the rest of the fake Christians. No, instead, this is the weekend that the Klu Klux Klan is coming to Memphis. That’s right, a real live major Klan rally and protest is going down here in downtown Memphis. It’s not everyday this sort of thing happens in America — yeah, we’re post-racial. And it’s not everyday that a professional racism chasing blogger like myself will have the opportunity to come face to face with hate (other than encountering the occasional troll in the comment section of this site from time to time). So, to say I’m excited is clearly an understatement. According to Klan leaders, this KKK protest this Easter Weekend is slated to be “the largest rally Memphis, Tennessee has ever seen.” Quite naturally, this is something I cannot miss; because of course, Jesus wouldn’t want me to; after all, this is the love that he talked about before he died on the cross.

That said, for weeks now I’ve been trying to figure out a way that I can get to one of these fine white social justice activists for an interview for Madness & Reality Radio. I figured I’d just show up and see if I can get one of them to talk to me. After all, it’s not like I have a phone number or email address for any one of these freedom fighters. But, as my luck would have it, it doesn’t look like just showing up to talk would be successful thanks to the Memphis Police Department. Oh well, so much for my idea of a cordial sitdown for tea and crumpets to improve race relations.

This from Memphis NewsChannel5:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – The police chief said security will be heavy at a weekend Ku Klux Klan Rally in Memphis, where the white supremacists plan to protest the renaming of three Confederate parks.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said Klan members will be fenced off from the anticipated crowd of anti-Klan protesters and will be bused to and from the rally site in front of the Shelby County courthouse in downtown Memphis on Saturday.

A North Carolina-based faction of the Klan received a protest permit after the City Council voted to change the names of Nathan Bedford Forrest Park, Jefferson Davis Park and Confederate Park.

City officials hope that the protest does not turn violent. A section of the downtown area will be closed off and loaded with officers.

A member of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan participates in a demonstrationHopefully we can work out a meeting if they decide to return monthly like they proposed recently. If not, I suppose I can always take the time to go hang out and politick with folks like myself at the People’s Conference on Race and Equality instead. Yeah, sounds like the move. It’s either that or go to the “Heart of Memphis” counter rally and hangout with rappers like 8Ball & MJG. Heck, maybe we can figure out how to stop the violence among our youth while kind of sort of not paying any attention to the Ku Klux Klan. Yeah, that would be nice, right? Yes, post-racial is awesome.

This from Campus Progress:

The mayor brought up an important issue that has been hotly debated in Memphis since the city issued a permit to the KKK last month: What is the proper response to the KKK? Is ignoring them the best option—as many have advocated—or does silence equate to acquiescence? Would a counter-rally be effective, or could that provoke violence?

One group, Memphis United, decided neither of these options are the solution. Instead, despite very short notice, they planned the People’s Conference on Race and Equality. The event, which will take place on Saturday during the KKK rally, seeks to confront the message of the Klan without direct interaction. The event will engage community members through workshops and panels on issues of racism and discrimination. Speakers include Mayor Wharton, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), and other community leaders.

“What we want to do is not have an event that focuses on the Klan, that plays into the hands of racists,” said Brad Watkins, the organizing director at the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center and workshop organizer. “The next day, they’re gone and so all of this focus on the Klan, what does it really accomplish the next day here in the city of Memphis? What’s really changed? Have we gotten any closer to having a community where we’ve eliminated racism? No. I’m more worried about the racists wearing suits or uniforms in our city than people dressing up as ghosts,” he told Campus Progress.

Watch the video below: