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“They took our flag, so be it. They’re taking our heritage from us. They’re taking the freedom out of America.”—William Bader, an imperial wizard of the KKK.

Hatred hit the streets of Columbia, South Carolina over the weekend as members of the Ku Klux Klan yelled racial slurs to protest the removal of the Confederate flag on the statehouse grounds.

It was an ugly scene that underscored the deep racial divide in South Carolina, where white and Black residents live within miles of each other but are worlds apart when it comes to issues of race, immigration, and multi-cultural understanding.

The incendiary rhetoric by the KKK reminds us that racism still permeates our society and while many intelligent, well-meaning Americans — both Black and white –live together harmoniously, there are still white supremacists who are raising a new generation of young racists.

William Bader, a member of the KKK who attended the rally in Columbia, told reporters that he’s tired of having his freedoms infringed on by African-Americans and liberal lawmakers. He also told the media that some KKK members wanted to demonstrate last weekend by burning a church while dressed in the KKK’s signature white hoods.

During the rally, members of the KKK shouted racist epithets at Black Educators for Justice, a group of Black counter-protestors and white supremacist Steven Johnson, who waved a Nazi flag during the protest, told journalists that he’s worried about the state of America simply because of African-Americans.

“The Blacks have been out here attacking people, stealing people’s property, taking their flags,” Johnson told reporters. “I’m scared of what my family’s about to grow up with.”

The KKK demonstrators talked about how their freedoms are being violated and they desperately want to “take back” their country. But from whom? Who exactly is highjacking their country and how?

Last week, South Carolina lawmakers made history by voting to remove the Confederate flag in the statehouse grounds. It was the right decision and long overdue.

Many Southern whites believe the Confederate flag stands for the fight for “state’s rights,” and pays tribute to Southern history. But in reality, the flag is a longstanding symbol for racism since the Confederate states seceded from the Union to fight a Civil War based on whether or not slavery would remain in place. And what an archaic symbol: flying a battle flag on state property to remind Americans that rebel soldiers loyal to Robert E. Lee lost the war? It’s past time to move on.

The heated debate over the Confederate flag intensified after Dylan Roof, a self-proclaimed white supremacist, shot and killed nine black parishioners inside Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina while they were holding an evening prayer service.

The removal of the Confederate flag in Columbia was a noble act by lawmakers and a largely symbolic gesture that, unfortunately, will not change some racist attitudes.

The KKK rally was a stark reminder that racist mindsets can be everlasting and white supremacists like Bader and Johnson, will never accept the fact that multiculturalism is the new normal and America is becoming Blacker and browner. By census projections, whites will no longer be the majority just a few decades from now.

The KKK doesn’t want to hear that. I believe the removal of the flag will actually exacerbate existing racial tensions in South Carolina and across the country, particularly when ignorant people like Donald Trump, a 2016 presidential candidate, calls Mexican immigrants “rapists,” giving hate groups like the KKK a heightened sense of purpose and legitimizing their racist rhetoric.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley asked South Carolina residents to stay away from the rally so the KKK wouldn’t draw any more attention.

“Our family hopes the people of South Carolina will join us in staying away from the disruptive, hateful spectacle members of the Ku Klux Klan hope to create over the weekend and instead focus on what brings us together,” she said. “We want to make the Statehouse a lonely place for them.”

I disagree with Haley. Black residents correctly showed up in Columbia to protest the racist protestors. I don’t think we can afford to ignore racism, Silence has never spurred social change.

What do you think?


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90 thoughts on “KKK Rally Shows Racial Hate Still Strong In South Carolina

  1. MARK 8:36 on said:

    I don’t know how Mr. Cottman came to his conclusions or how he decided on a title for this article. The Klan was from North Carolina, and the Black Educators were from Florida. Both organizations financed by the same interests. South Carolina had nothing to do with any of this other than being the location that these hate groups chose to square off. It looks like Mr. Cottman is trying to advance a false narrative.

  2. Amber on said:

    See, people confused “tolerant” with being “accepted”. Wrong. Just because someone is not calling you a n*****a to your face, does NOT mean they like you.

  3. Donna on said:

    This is really an aching issue for America. This is the habitual image of Afros, well, stealing, raping, fighting barbarians. This is actually racism deeply entrenched in the USA. That’s really a problem resulting in more hatred and violence in the country. What’s the way out I wonder?

  4. The Community should absolutely call out this continued racist assault but be mindful of the fact that this is the creation of Whites and Whites need to address and change the issue. Blacks need to focus on healing our communities and strengthening our families and not get caught up in the subterfuge.

  5. Chris on said:

    Irresponsible journalism at it’s best. “Many Southern whites believe the Confederate flag stands for the fight for “state’s rights,” and pays tribute to Southern history. But in reality, the flag is a longstanding symbol for racism since the Confederate states seceded from the Union to fight a Civil War based on whether or not slavery would remain in place.” This is B.S. Many Confederate Generals as well as Southerners had already freed their slaves, Europe had freed their slave. This is an example of the liberal Media trying to manipulate our belief systems.

    • Kendall on said:

      Chris, people in the US had slaves well into the 1900s. Just because it was technically illegal doesn’t mean they came up with legal punishment for it. It took a very long time for the laws to be worded correctly to end slavery.

  6. Bedford Forrest on said:

    No one noticed that these white racists were from up north?
    Outside agitators stirring up trouble here in the South, they act like they were trained by Jesse or Al.

    • warren springfield on said:

      this hate started from nyc and now it spilled into the south this is done by a particular culture that is envious of African American culture . I can’t believe no one see’s this they are trying to take over the world and knock white people out so they can put their own kind in seats . and racism can grow stronger. this particular culture get in bed with everyone . whit people better wake up or fall by the waste side with the rest.

  7. Rodney Brown on said:

    What we as black people have to do is make a decision, are we going to stand our ground and “Protect Our Life” and our childrens lives or are we going to continue to be terrorized by white people just as we have since we first arrived.

    • Chris on said:

      Rodney Brown: What exactly do you have to protect your Black Children from? Are whites rioting, looting and destroying their own neighborhoods? Are whites out there hiding in the bushes trying rape young black girls? Are whites running in gangs beating up blacks indiscriminately? You need to protect your Black Children from other black children.

      • MoFo on said:

        No Chris whites aren’t doing any of those things. BUT this is what white people are doing. Raging a MENTAL WAR on African Americans, latinos , Asians and anybody else whose skin is not white.

        They SYSTEMATICALLY perpetuate the ‘suddle’ race war. Look at how Serena an athlete is treated.
        There is plenty of racism on the job from holding back qualified African Americans to blatant insults hurled at African Americans. The indiosyncracies we face EVER DAY. We can vividly see the resentment and hatred in the faces of some of the news commentators on T.V. when dealing with
        African Americans. You people have HEAD PROBLEMS. Its simple as that. No other group of people act like you do in this country. What the hell you worried about how we treat each other. You’ll are worse-I seen it!

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