Ku Klux Klan Burns Cross After Memphis Park Name Change

Ku Klux Klan (KKK) meeting, South Carolina, 1951. © Heirs of W. Eugene Smith

The cross-burning, mask-wearing, people-hating Ku Klux Klan is at it again, only this time they’re really really angry about a park. The KKK called for a massive demonstration after the Memphis city council voted to rename a park that commemorated Nathan Bedford Forrest — a lieutenant general in the Confederate army and a historic KKK member.

Statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest in park named after him

Statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest in park named after him.

According to Chris Barker, member of the “White Knights” (a euphemistic moniker adopted by the Klan), the name change is an example of people “trying to erase white history from the history books.”

What Barker doesn’t seem to understand is that it’s pretty bizarre to have a beautiful park named after a man who was both a leader of a violent hate organization as well as a war crime criminal who conducted a massive massacre upon hundreds of black and white Unionist prisoners.  Racism and violence don’t mesh well with chirping birds and manicured landscaping.

The KKK is set to protest the name change of their beloved park on the steps of Memphis’ Federal courthouse today. The Klansmen will then travel to Mississippi for a “cross lighting” (cross burning) ceremony.

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When asked about the KKK’s efforts, Councilman Lee Harris told ABCnews:

It’s done. … We removed controversial names and named them [the park] something that is less controversial.

Looks like no matter how many protesters the extremist KKK is able to muster up, Nathan Bedford Forrest’s name will no longer be used to refer to a peaceful park.

After a period of relative quiet, Ku Klux Klan activity has spiked since 2006, as Klan affiliates have tried to exploit fears in America over gay marriage, perceived “assaults” on Christianity, crime and especially immigration. There are reportedly 5,000 members affiliated with the hate group.

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