(Memphis) The Ku Klux Klan is coming to Memphis, March 30th. Their permit was approved, but with conditions. Those conditions and a letter from Mayor AC Wharton helped ease a Christian organization’s about holding a convention in Memphis the same weekend.
Just last week, Lads to Leaders sent a letter to city leaders pleading with them not to approve the KKK rally. But now, the group says it feels safe because the mayor personally broke down how the rally wouldn’t interfere with their convention.
A masked KKK member is something Lads to Leaders doesn't want to see. The group voiced their concerns when they heard about a KKK rally in Memphis, the same weekend they would be here.
“The mayor communicated they would do everything possible to make sure nothing interfered with our convention,” said Lads to Leaders Executive Director, Roy Johnson.
Mayor Wharton did that with a phone call and a follow up letter to Lads to Leaders, explaining the KKK rally on the courthouse steps would be blocks away from their convention.
Even though the city is allowing the rally, Klansmen are banned from wearing their iconic hoods. Another condition, no one participating in the rally will be able to carry a gun. For extra protection, Memphis officers are going through additional riot training.
“I hope that those who are coming here to exercise their constitutional rights would cooperate with the law enforcement,” said Wharton.
Kevin Kane with the Memphis Visitors and Convention bureau says the Easter holiday is usually a slow weekend for tourism and believes a KKK rally won't stop people from visiting Memphis in the future.
“It’s not Memphis holding the rally, it’s people coming here to have a rally here,” said Kane.
So far, Kane's belief is coming true.
“We aren`t calling it off, we are going to be prayerful and hopeful that everything goes well,” said Johnson.
To help ensure safety on March 30th, Police Director Armstrong is asking those who are against the rally and those who may want to watch, to stay away from the courthouse.