MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The Memphis Chapter of the NAACP is joining forces with the Sons of Confederate Veterans to protest a KKK rally scheduled for Memphis at the end of March.
According to the Memphis NAACP chapter's president, Rev. Keith Norman, "I thought it was good to make a collective statement together to say to citizens of Memphis this is not something we want to see on behalf of any particular part of the community."
Lee Millar, Spokesperson for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, says the group jumped at the opportunity. "The Sons of Confederate Veterans and the NAACP are united on this asking the Klan to stay away."
The Klan wants to rally in the Bluff City after the Memphis City Council decided to change the names of several parks, including Nathan Bedford Forrest Park. Forrest was a Confederate general in the Civil War and the first Grand Wizard of the KKK.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans is leading the charge against renaming Forrest Park. Millar says his group didn't know their campaign would lead the Klan to Memphis. "Our focus is on keeping the names of the historic parks intact. We had no idea, should be no relationship to the Klan coming to town, we certainly couldn't predict that and it's unfortunate they are coming."
Norman told abc24.com if the Klan does rally in Memphis, the city can grow from the experience.
"We should use this as a collective opportunity to have dialogue around positive issues, churches, schools, community groups where we sit down and dialogue with equity and brotherhood."