The Ku Klux Klan will hold a protest on the South Carolina capitol grounds over the state’s decision to consider removing the Confederate flag, the Post and Courier reported.
Brian Gaines, a spokesman for the South Carolina Budget and Control Board, confirmed to Politico that the Loyal White Knights of the KKK, which is based in Pelham, N.C., reserved the capitol grounds in Columbia on July 18 from 3 to 5 p.m. for the rally. Gaines said that the capitol allows all groups to reserve the grounds for events, regardless of ideology.
The chapter’s grand titan, James Spears, told Politico that the group will protest “the Confederate flag being took down for all the wrong reasons.”
“It’s part of white people’s culture,” Spears said.
The homepage of the Loyal White Knights’ website currently features a message regarding the Confederate flag, telling group members to “say no to cultural genocide.”
“If you cant [sic] tell they are trying to wipe us out of the history books. People seem to forget that black people and even the Cherokee Nations fought for the South,” the message reads. “Unfortunately, most groups out there and especially white people are to [sic] cowardly to stand up for their heritage because they are scared of being called ‘racist.'”
Although the KKK will be permitted to hold a protest on the capitol grounds, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) said that the state does not support the event.
“This is our state, and they are not welcome,” Haley said in a statement, according to the Post and Courier.
The rally will take place about one month after Dylann Roof allegedly shot and killed nine people in a historic black church in Charleston. Roof has been linked to a racist manifesto on a website featuring images of him with a Confederate flag.
Robert Jones, the Loyal White Knights’ grand dragon, told the Post and Courier that Roof “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,” Jones said.