The grand dragon of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan tells Triad City Beat that his group plans to hold a rally on Saturday at the courthouse in Troy, if at all, not outside of High Point or Welcome as many people had been led to believe.
Initial information about a Klan rally outside of High Point surfaced when WTDV-TV reported in mid-July that residents of Harnett County had found Klan recruitment fliers in their driveways. The TV station quoted Imperial Dragon Chris Barker as saying the rally would take place outside of High Point. Subsequent news reports suggested the rally had been moved to Welcome, a small town in Davidson County between High Point and Winston-Salem.
A coalition of LGBT and immigrant groups have called for a “Hatred Not Welcome Here” counter-protest against the Klan in Welcome from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The comment thread on the Facebook page set up for the event indicates that people plan to travel from Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Charlotte and Yadkinville to attend.
“We won’t never let the location out until the last minute,” Grand Dragon Robert Jones said. “Most of the time you find a flier of ours and it says “in High Point,” and it’s actually two towns over. You have to call us, so we can tell you that the actual location. We did one two years ago that was supposed to be in Harmony, but it was actually in Mt. Airy.”
The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is based in the community of Pelham, NC, in Caswell County, outside of Danville, Va. Jones told Triad City Beat that Pelham is where Barker, the imperial wizard, lives. The imperial wizard is the organization’s national leader. As grand dragon, Jones is the state leader in North Carolina. Jones said he lives about 30 minutes away from Barker.
Jones said plans for the event at the courthouse in Troy are contingent on good weather, adding that if it rains the rally might be called off. Regardless, he said his organization will hold “a private rally with a cross-lighting about an hour outside of Troy.”
He added, “If this was a sunny day, I’m pretty sure we’d have close to a hundred people” at the courthouse rally, “like we usually do.”
Troy is the county seat of Montgomery County, and is located about 50 miles south of Greensboro on Interstate 73. Jones said the Klan chose Troy because some of the organization’s members there asked them to come and protest against immigration.
Jones said he considers the situation at the US-Mexico border with people attempting to enter the United States to be a “land war.”
“I think we should have our troops there with a shoot-to-kill policy,” he said. “These people are obviously not getting the picture that we don’t want them here.”
The Loyal White Knights have adopted immigration as a wedge issue to try to promote division between blacks and Latinos.
“We’re talking to the African-American population, and they’re agreeing with us,” he said. “The Klan hasn’t directed no anger at them in probably 40 or 50 years. I tell people it’s hard for the black race and the white race to keep the lights on and food on the table with immigrants coming and taking our jobs.”
When asked about the history of murder and terror against black people by the Klan, Jones said the only “terrorizing” Klan group was the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, founded by Sam Bowers in Mississippi in the 1960s, and that the group fell apart because other Klan organizations refused to support them. Jones said that the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is not connected with the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Mississippi, and that his group does not honor Bowers.
But the Loyal White Knights’ website displays a graphic bearing the name and likeness of Bowers, along with other Klan leaders with the text, “In memory of these Klan giants, lest their names never be forgotten.”
Despite the organization’s recent professed outreach African-Americans, Jones indicated in an interview that he doesn’t much care for black people, expressing the view that George Zimmerman was justified in killing Trayvon Martin, and that black people are generally prone to violence and at fault for selling drugs in schools.
The outgoing message on the Loyal White Knights’ hotline ends with the sign-off: “Always remember: If it ain’t white, it ain’t right. White power!”
The Loyal White Knights profess a hatred of homosexuality, abortion and “race-mixing” on its website.
“We want to see America stay for Americans,” Jones told Triad City Beat. “You can’t put too many races together on one continent. It’s like the melting pot has soured and it’s about to explode. We’re going to see a racial war. A lot of us pray for it. We would love to see another civil war, and if it was to happen we believe we would win.”
UPDATE: 1:29 p.m.: The Klan has applied for a permit to rally outside the courthouse in downtown Troy, a woman who answered the phone at the Troy Police Department has told Triad City Beat. She added that the permit will require the approval of the chief of police, who was not in the office at the time.