MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The group Sons of Confederate Veterans, which fought the Memphis City Council over its decision to rename Forrest Park, is denouncing the Ku Klux Klan's supposed plans to rally in Memphis.
In a statement released Friday, spokesperson Lee Millar said, “The city does not need the negative notoriety of a Klan gathering. We can solve the parks issue like gentlemen if the city council will just leave the historic parks alone. A Klan rally might likely undermine those efforts and give the city a worse black eye on this issue.”
The council voted to temporarily change Forrest Park - named after Confederate General and originating member of the KKK, Nathan Bedford Forrest - to 'Health Sciences Park' after proposed state legislation by Rep. Steve McDaniel (R-Jackson) would have banned the renaming of any park named after war figures. Likewise, Confederate Park was changed to 'Memphis Park' and Jefferson Davis Park to 'Mississippi River Park' in a 9-0 vote, with three council members abstaining.
Shortly after the council's decision, members of the Ku Klux Klan announced plans to hold a protest rally on a date yet to be determined.
"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."
Millar further stated in the group's release, that the Sons of Confederate Veterans "has absolutely no relationship or association with the KKK whatsoever and that the SCV strongly condemns any of their actions that bring disrespect to Southern history or our historic parks."
He continued, “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.”