Our View: No Klan welcome mats here
Most, if not all, of the approximately two dozen protesters at an anti-Ku Klux Klan demonstration Saturday at North Main Street and Westchester Drive were not from High Point. Some came from as far away as Charlotte.
But make no mistake about it, the prejudice, the violence and the hatred that KKK-affiliated groups spew and which these visitors to High Point were protesting are not welcome in this city or the surrounding area.
The anti-Klan protesters, under the name Stand Against the KKK, obtained permits from the city and gathered in High Point after Enterprise news reports last week about the possibility of some private Klan gathering being held in High Point on Saturday. According to the reports, a group called the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan planned a gathering here, but no permits for demonstrations or parades were sought from the city by that group.
According to the Klan group’s website, a “meet and greet” was being planned Saturday in High Point for members of the group in North Carolina and Virginia. The website, which indicated the Klan group is based in Eden in Rockingham County near the Virginia border, gave no other information about the supposed gathering here.
Ben Lassiter of Greensboro, an organizer of the anti-Klan demonstration, told the Enterprise that he wanted to hold the rally to demonstrate to the Klan that its prejudices are not welcome in High Point or this area.
“The general concern is that, if we pretend that the Klan has a legitimate political viewpoint, it creates an atmosphere in which they feel emboldened,” Lassiter told the Enterprise. “We felt it was important to publicly demonstrate to let people know that this still goes on, and that people still hold these ideas.”
Unfortunately, Lassiter is correct. The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan — whomever they are and wherever they may be — is not an organization that is going to exert power and influence in the political decisions of our day. But still, they do remind us that there are people among us who practice prejudice and espouse the hateful rhetoric that such Klan splinter groups promote.
And certainly, such views are not welcome here.