(Memphis) On the set of News Channel 3 Live at 9, it could be described as the unlikely joining of two groups coming together to show they oppose the hatred of the KKK.
Lee Millar of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Pastor Keith Norman, the new president of the NAACP, sat side by to say they don’t want the Klan to hold a rally in Memphis next month.
“We don’t believe in anything they stand for and we’re together on that and wish the Klan wouldn’t come to Memphis,” Millar said.
Norman said the KKK doesn’t need to come here and it’s seeking relevancy.
“They’re a declining organization without a purpose and they’re looking to ride the coattails of an event or have a resurgence and we don’t want to give it to them,” Norman said.
The two organizations are asking Memphis to ignore the KKK if its members are allowed to hold a rally in Memphis next month.
“To ignore them completely and not give them the attention they’re hoping to gain,” Norman said.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans said it doesn’t share the same principles with the modern-day KKK.
“The Sons of Confederate Veterans is interested in preserving battlefields and promoting our history sometimes tied into that (KKK), but the SCV has no connection to that and oppose the principles of the KKK,” Millar said.
The KKK applied for a permit to rally in Memphis. It’s against the renaming of Nathan Bedford Forrest Park, Confederate Park and Jefferson Davis Park.
But Millar and Norman say Memphians can better resolve this dispute without the KKK.
“We have to look at how we go about moving forward when it comes to the Council, historians and other people concerned about the issue. We have to look at the economic impact, emotional impact and philosophical impact,” Norman said.
Millar said education is also the key to understanding the city’s past.
“The parks should be enhanced and educational opportunities, provided though historic panels, so that people will have a better understanding of our history and parks,” Millar said.
It’s a new understanding and a symbolic handshake two groups hope will send a strong message against hate.
“For Memphis to stay home on that Saturday and we’re(the two shake hands) together on this and promote Memphis,” Millar said.
Monday, Norman told News Channel 3 he believes the Confederate names of three Memphis parks should not have been changed.
Millar agrees and has asked the city to reverse its decision.