Sons of Confederate Veterans Tells KKK To Stay Out of Park Name Controversy

February 15, 2013
by George Brown and Sabrina Hall

(Memphis) March 30th is the date the Ku Klux Klan has set to hold a rally in downtown Memphis.

The permit must first be approved.

Many people say they hope the group will change its mind.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans and the KKK both want three parks in Memphis, including Forest Park, to keep their names and preserve their historical value but the Sons of Confederate Veterans wants the KKK to stay out of the issue.

The KKK says it’s going to hold the biggest rally that Memphis has ever seen to oppose the City’s decision to rename three parks with confederate ties.

“Our message to the KKK would be not to come to Memphis,” said Lee Millar.

And that is coming from a man who is also not happy with the City’s decision, “Cause it’s silly to rename the park. You shouldn`t rename any historic park.”

But Millar, the spokesman for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, believes the bad reputation and history of the KKK is not going to help the cause.

“We just want everyone to know that we are here to protect and preserve our history and do it in a gentlemanly fashion,” said Millar.

The  Sons of the Confederate Veterans says it’s in talks with the mayor and will keep voicing its dissent to the City Council, while the KKK plans to rally.

“While they may be peaceful, or try to be peaceful, there might be people who are opposed to the Klan that might turn it into a hostile situation.”

The KKK says they tried to get a permit to rally at Forest Park but the City gave them a hard time so now they’ve filed for a permit to rally at the chancery court on Adams.

They say if the permit is approved, they will rally March 30.

Millar says he’ll be sure not to be there,  ”I hope everyone stays away. If the Klan does have a rally in Memphis, I hope everyone just ignores it.”

The SCV has previously said it is against hate groups using the Confederate Battle Flag and now says its is against the modern KKK using Forrest as a symbol.

Millar does say the current attention from the KKK is due to actions by the Memphis City Council,  “If the Klan comes to Memphis due to the inappropriate actions of the City Council then any results are entirely the responsibility of the Council.  We hope that nothing like that occurs and that the Council will do what’s right and leave the parks alone.”

Copyright © 2013, WREG

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