MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Thousands of members of the Ku Klux Klan could soon be headed to Memphis to protest the renaming of city parks honoring the Confederacy.
"Very upset about it," said "Edward", an Exalted Cyclops for the KKK in the Mid-South. "We plan on making a statement, we are going to come big and we are going to come strong."
Three KKK members agreed to meet for a rare in-person interview on Thursday night because they say they're angry about the renaming of the Nathan Bedford Forrest Park in the Medical District.
"We are standing up for the White rights, before this ever took place," said Edward.
The three members agreed to meet in a North Memphis park under certain conditions. They asked abc24.com to arrive at the park first, and to be ready. Once they arrived, they asked us to turn our camera away while they put their hoods on.
"If we take these hoods off, all of us have jobs, our bosses would fire us, we would lose our jobs just because of the hatred that the Klan they put on us so long ago," Edward said. "We are not that way anymore."
Edward said he's heard from KKK members from across the United States, angry by the move by the City Council to rename Forrest Park, along with Confederate Park and Jefferson Davis Park, both in downtown Memphis.
Forrest was the first Grand Wizard of the KKK.
"Hope to keep the name of the parks what they was originally, leave them alone, and you won't have any problems with anybody," Edward said.
These KKK members remember what happened the last time they had a rally in Memphis. They held a rally on Martin Luther King Day in 1998. The rally ended with Memphis Police firing gas into the crowd to stop protestors from advancing on KKK members.
"The last time we was here there was a big riot, this time, the Klan will be prepared. Thousands," Edward said.
Edward expects the rally to be held within the next month.
"We do everything by the books and we go pull all the permits and of course everything will be done by the book," he said.