The KKK warns that they are planning the largest rally in the history of Memphis, over the renaming of three city parks. Confederate Park will now be known as Memphis Park and Jefferson Davis park was renamed Mississippi River Park. Nathan Bedford Park, named for a historical leader of the KKK will now be called Health Sciences Park.
On Monday Tennessee state legislation was introduced that would disallow the renaming of monuments and memorials. The legislation specifically mentions monuments and memorials that are meant to honor “the War Between the States.” As reported by the Huffington Post, Nathan Bedford Forrest was not only a KKK leader, he was also lieutenant general for the Confederate Army in the Civil War.
As the parks were renamed before the legislation, “Tennessee Heritage Protection Act of 2013,” was approved, they will retain their new names.
Many citizens and civil rights organizations were in favor of changing the names, which they felt were racist. However, others would have preferred keeping the original names. For many, the men that fought in the Confederate Army were heroes. They also view the Civil War as a vital part of history that should not be denied.
Perhaps the most outspoken opponents of the changes are the KKK, who were originally organized by veterans of the Civil War in 1865. As reported by RT.com, the “KKK Exalted Cyclops” contends that the KKK is planning the largest rally in the history of Memphis:
“It’s not going to be 20 or 30, it’s going to be thousands of Klansmen from the whole United States coming to Memphis, Tennessee.”
Reportedly there are approximately 5,000 KKK members in the US. There are currently four chapters throughout Tennessee.