published Sunday, September 12th, 2010

Klan slams illegals


by Adam Crisp

ELLIJAY, Ga. — Ku Klux Klan members rallied here Saturday to condemn illegal immigration, homosexuality, sex offenders, blacks and President Barack Obama, while counterdemonstrators preached love for everyone.

About 40 robe-clad Klansmen stood in the Gilmer County Courthouse parking lot as several hundred spectators watched from across the street. Police said there were no incidents.

The Klan’s biggest gripe nowadays, if the Saturday event is any indication, appears to be illegal immigration. Speakers spent most of the hourlong rally assailing Hispanic immigrants.

“Most of you probably don’t realize how bad this illegal alien situation actually is,” said a man who identified himself at Imperial Wizard Jeff Jones. “Us real Americans don’t want these ... people in our country.”

He blamed lack of jobs and increases in tuberculosis, HIV and car accidents on illegal immigration.

“Ellijay has a major illegal alien community,” said Jones, who claims the state headquarters for the KKK is in Gilmer County. “They are nothing but a bunch of leaches, parasites, like ticks on a dog, sucking our country dry.”

  • photo
    Staff photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press -- Sep 11, 2010 Brother Jeff Jones speaks in front of the Gilmer County Courthouse during the Ku Klux Klan rally in Elljay, Georgia, on Saturday.

People who said they were Klan leaders in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi all spoke, but none gave full names or could be contacted after the rally.

Countering the Klan, some people carried signs proclaiming love for all people, regardless of ethnicity. Around 15 came from the Mountain Light Unitarian Universalist Church to “provide an alternative message,” said Myra Kibler, president of the congregation.

“We were incensed they would do this on Sept. 11,” Kibler said. “We just didn’t want their message to go unanswered. And we are thankful there are many other people here who want to make a different statement [than the Klan]. We want to provide an alternative message. ... We say that we are standing on the side of love.”

“IMPOTENT AND IRRELEVANT”

The Klan that onlookers saw Saturday is a mere flickering shadow of its former power and influence.

During the 1920s — the Klan’s heyday — the group had more than 4 million members, according to Mark Potok, head of intelligence for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala.

Today, a fractured Klan with small branches all over the country has fewer than 6,000 members, he said.

“The Klan of today is small, fractured, impotent and irrelevant,” Potok said.

The group has been crippled by lawsuits, infighting and waves of more sophisticated white supremacist groups that have siphoned members, said Potok.

That’s the general impression of Andrew Stevens, a native of England who became an American citizen a few years ago. He had never seen a Klan rally but came to Ellijay expecting some sort of spectacle.

“These are just a bunch of knuckle-dragging idiots,” Stevens said. “It’s really pathetic to see how irrelevant they are, almost a parody of themselves.”

STILL SOME APPEAL

Glenn Whitman drove from Tennessee to hear what the Klan had to say Saturday. He said he wasn’t a member, but he didn’t disagree with everything the speakers had to say.

“They are angry; I am angry. Who wouldn’t be angry?” Whitman said, referring to the economy and illegal immigration. “They’re illegal, for God’s sake. They are turning our country into a Third World nation.”

BY THE NUMBERS

5,000-6,000: Estimated current membership of KKK in U.S.

40: Estimated number of Klan groups in U.S.

4 million: Estimated Klan membership in 1920s

Source: Southern Poverty Law Center, Anti-Defamation League

He declined to say where he lives in Tennessee.

Most of the supporters, who cheered and shouted “white power” with the Klansmen, appeared to have traveled with the group. They left after the event.

Gilmer County Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Frank Copeland, speaking after the event, said officers checked the Klansmen’s license plates and found only one Gilmer County plate among 30 vehicles. Others came from South Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and one had a New York plate, Copeland said.

BIG PROTECTION

No one would say how many law enforcement officers were present Saturday, but Lt. Copeland said at least 100 were in Ellijay to prevent a violent incident.

As the Klan left, a dozen or so Georgia State Patrol troopers with riot gear walked out of the courthouse and drove away. Sheriff’s deputies, state troopers, city police and Department of Natural Resources rangers were at the rally.

Copeland said the cost of all that protection would be tallied later.

“It’s definitely an expense,” he said. “We’ve got to pay these officers to come down here ... but we don’t really have a choice.”

Marcelle Lowry, who owns the barbershop on the town square, said the county can ill afford such an expense in lean times.

And it’s not good for the town’s budding tourism economy, which relies on weekend travelers from Atlanta, Lowery said.

“I don’t know if their reason [for being here] is because of the economy, but the cost is kind of defeating the purpose because it’s hurting our economy,” Lowery said.

Contact Adam Crisp at acrisp@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6323. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/adam_crisp.

about Adam Crisp...

Adam Crisp covers education issues for the Times Free Press. He joined the paper's staff in 2007 and initially covered crime, public safety, courts and general assignment topics. Prior to Chattanooga, Crisp was a crime reporter at the Savannah Morning News and has been a reporter and editor at community newspapers in southeast Georgia. In college, he led his student paper to a first-place general excellence award from the Georgia College Press Association. He earned ...

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EaTn said...

Hey dudes, get some new duds; the white robe thing is out and flag colored garbs are in. Small town squares have given way to places like the DC Mall where 50 marchers are peanuts compared to 50 thousand and more. Three letters in the name is catchy but needs updating to something more "patriotic". You can keep the "whites only" mentality but throw in some Biblical slogans now and then to give it more credibility. Save the shoe leather and get a bus.

September 12, 2010 at 5:52 a.m.
catamount62 said...

How can anything these guys say being taken seriously? The sad part is on immigration and the incompetence of our broken socialist system, I have to agree with em...but if someone dressed in a clown suit was giving motivational speeches, I wouldn't be motivated. And, I am not racially motivated on the immigration issue, most our hard working, good people, but illegals do not contribute to the tax system and use the services. Please, just come legally and help rebuild our broke country.

September 12, 2010 at 7:57 a.m.
rkeefe57 said...

Mark Potok is a $143,000 donor-dollar-a-year public relations man. He has no legal or law enforcement experience.

http://wp.me/pCLYZ-2a

As far as the SPLC being a "non-profit," the SPLC currently holds nearly $190 MILLION tax-free donor-dollars in their bloated "Endowment Fund," and every week the call goes out for more donations.

Much of that money has come from the SPLC's unending fear campaign where Mr. Potok has claimed that "the Klan is on the rise!," but suddenly their "irrelevant?"

http://wp.me/pCLYZ-6I

NOT ONE of the SPLC's top ten, highest paid executives is a minority, and certainly not a Muslim.

http://wp.me/pCLYZ-67

Despite being located LITERALLY in the backyard of Dr. Martin Luther King's home church, the SPLC's hometown newspaper, the Montgomery Advertiser, reports that the SPLC has NEVER hired a person of color to a highly paid position of power.

Some "experts"

September 12, 2010 at 9:47 a.m.
sigmasoror said...

All I can say is wow! In this day and age people hold on to some things that absolutely contradict the bible, just as the pharisees did. God stated "His will and His word will never contradict." So I pray for peace for these people and understanding because they wasted their money, time, and effort with this rally. I could show them a way that would better use their energy and put some money in their pockets www.ardysslife.com/simplyshapely1>

sparta_bubba said...

I'm hurt. Glen Beck and the Republicans held a rally close by my trailer and didn't let me know. If I had known I could have gone over there and marched with them. I didn't have the money to go to DC, but had enough gas to get over to Ellijay and back. My wife could have taken one of our bedsheets and made me a uniform. It would have been dingy yellow, but we could have dyed it black like a couple of those fellers in the picture.

I'm just glad to see us freedom loving patriotic Americans standing up for what we believe in and I'm glad to see them showing the Confederate flag is "heritage not hate!!!"

Going to the next Republican meeting here and make sure they have my address for the next one.

September 12, 2010 at 9:52 a.m.
camo705 said...

We need more of these gatherings.

September 12, 2010 at 10:30 a.m.

It pains me to see the ignorance that was shown on a day that is already a sad one. 9/11 is a day to remember all of the innocent lives that were shed of our country. We have enough people outside of the country who hate us, but thanks for letting us know that self hate is still present. It’s amazing that these grown men can express their hate for others but sound like nothing more than children themselves. Really playing dress up and whining has never solved anything and I don’t expect it to now, they need a timeout. When daughter acts up or complains about something she gets disciplined and that’s what should have happened to these men. Instead of police protecting them they should have been arresting them. Try coming up with an original idea: change your mindset, get a new outfit, complain about something that actually matters only then will I be surprised. I don’t remember seeing a rally 9 years ago when our country began to crumble, so why now? Why do people persist to making non compelling arguments about things that are obviously beyond their control? Get high tech like the rest of us; if you want to complain get a website and start a blog or did it take you so long to sew those costumes you missed technology advancing…

September 12, 2010 at 12:55 p.m.
Brittanicus said...

NumbersUSA states: All 50 “Deserters” on this list:

* Received grades of F-minus and 0%, failing to take a single action to reduce competition for jobless Americans.
* They are asking voters to re-elect them to Congress this November
* They are in the Senate or in the House where they are leaders with special opportunity to influence policy toward jobless Americans because they either are congressional chairmen, leaders of their Party or on the Judiciary Committee with direct jurisdiction over immigration.
*  
* GO AND SEE THIS BLACK LISTING FOR YOURSELF

The whole harangue began with the suing of Arizona’s Governor Brewer, State Senator Russell Pierce’s or Sheriff Joe Arpaio administration, as a jackboot example to other states that only the feds have jurisdiction over immigration? Then if so—why haven’t they built the real double border fence, mandated E-Verify, give every policeman training in 287 (G) law? Why have no employers who hire illegal labor, gone to prison? Why have neither political party enforced the 1986 law, after all the late Ted Kennedy did promise voters—no more amnesties of any kind. While right under our noses ICE has orders to release non-criminal illegal aliens? But the reality is that anybody who crosses the border without processing, without renewing an expired visa is a criminal. In a small town in Pennsylvania, another in Nebraska and yet another in Texas that have been inundated with neighborhoods full of illegal aliens, if not the feds then the ACLU is prosecuting Mayors for protecting their population? ICE Chief John Morton might be suing Fremont, Nebraska, Hazleton, PA, Farmers Branch Texas, but the American people are not apologetic as they send millions of dollars in donations for the upcoming fights in court.

September 12, 2010 at 3:06 p.m.
Brittanicus said...

Although I am adamantly against any form of illegal immigration or any--AMNESTY. I do not condone any White Supremacists or Klan ideology.

We do not need any more Democrats or even Republicans who voted against America labor. Our economy has been hijacked by illegal labor, which is costing jobs, lowering wages and unfettered welfare in hundreds of billions of real dollars. We, the taxpayer are the benefactors as both political parties over the last thirty years, who have deceived us into paying even more taxes towards the destitute of other nations. Employers have walked away without responsibility, not paying for the health care, education or any of the hundreds of programs offering cash payments to illegal alien families. Now it’s time for the taxpayer to say enough of these lies spawned by the Liberal progressive press, the special interest lobby, the open border organizations and unite against these incumbent politicians with the jobless lines in November. If we don't separate the bad apple from the barrel, the illegal immigration nightmare will never end. Bombard lawmakers with your anger and frustration in Washington at 202-224-3121 With Millions of members and growing NumbersUSA is the site to learn about the deceit and lies spilling from the mouths of the worst offenders to Americas Democracy.

Democrat Senator Michael Bennett of Colorado has probably one of the worst immigration records in Washington, other than Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) or Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill. Another incumbent Governor who has inspired--SANCTUARY CITY--policies is Garcia Hickenlooper. Tancredo as Governore will halt any policy that brands Denver as refuge city for illegal aliens? Bennett is carrying an (F minus) for his terrible voting record and like all those who cater to the illegal alien occupation of our country, must be thrown out of office in November. As an incumbent he has displayed no fealty to the American worker, but amplified his commitment to approving a whole range of benefits for foreign nationals. According to his voting record as credited by NumbersUSA . Bennett's actions speak for themselves as revealed here. Reduce Chain Migration (Failed to Act). Reduce Illegal Jobs & Presence (F-) Reduce Visa Lottery (Failed to Act) Reduce Illegal Immigration at Borders (F-). Reduce Unnecessary Worker Visas (F-) Reduce Amnesty Enticements (F-) Reduce Refugee and Asylum Fraud (Failed to Act) Reduce Illegal Immigration Rewards (F-) Reduce Anchor Baby Citizenship (Failed to Act) His dismal record demands action, and he should be parted from his job at the earliest.

September 12, 2010 at 3:10 p.m.
mattryan886 said...

I thought the illegals were leaving because our economy is so bad, even though it's their fault.

September 16, 2010 at 7:21 p.m.
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