This Saturday as the Ku Klux Klan rallies across town, Memphis, TN residents will gather for a day of events that celebrate the city’s diversity and cultural life.
ku klux klan
In early February the Memphis, TN City Council voted to rename three parks whose names are associated with the Confederacy and the Ku Klux Klan. Renaming the parks would be a victory for racial equality nationwide, say local activists. Memphis resident Kennith Van Buren told The Huffington Post. “How can we have unity in the nation when we have one city, right here in Memphis, which fails to be unified?” The Ku Klux Klan protested the University of Mississippi's efforts to ban a racist chant in 2010. Not In Our Town covered this protest and response here. In response to the park renamings, the Ku Klux Klan has applied for a permit to hold a protest in Memphis on March 30. A representative told Action News 5, a local television station, that he was expecting “thousands of Klansmen from the whole United States” to descend on the city in protest.
At the University of Mississippi, a segregationist chant and Ku Klux Klan rally threaten to divide the campus community, but student leaders and their chancellor take a stand against hate and intolerance. This story is part of the Not In Our Town program, Class Actions, that premieres nationwide on PBS stations in February 2012. In the fall of 2009, we received a concerned call from Reiko Callner, a leader in the community response to a neo-Nazi rally in Olympia, Washington. She'd heard from a friend in Oxford that the Ku Klux Klan planned to protest at the University of Mississippi. Reiko wanted to know what action was being taken, and whether we planned to cover the story. Reiko is the creator of Unity in the Community. In the 2006 Not In Our Town film about Olympia’s response to the neo-Nazis, Reiko had said, ”Sometimes the worst threats bring out the best in people.” As we looked into the story in Oxford, we learned that Reiko was right and that the lessons of her northwestern capital city were just as relevant in this southern college town. A chant with a racist history
"Who is this group that's coming? And I realized ... it's Fred Phelps and my heart just dropped. I can't believe they're coming. Why us? Out of all the schools, why us?" —Daisy Renazco, Gunn High School teacher02/2011—Above is one of NIOT.org's most popular videos, "Gunn High School Sings Away Hate Group," which has garnered more than 225,000 views on our YouTube channel. Ellen DeGeneres, in a Tweet, said she was "so unbelievably proud of Gunn High School in Palo Alto, CA for demonstrating love & acceptance in a peaceful way."What's significant about this video is that it showcases how a community can stand up to hate in a peaceful and constructive way. The video was shot in 2010, when the Kansas hate group known as the Westboro Baptist Church (Fred Phelps' family) announced they would picket Bay Area schools and Jewish institutions. The students of Gunn High School, located in Palo Alto, Calif., decided they could not sit quietly.