Cheers, jeers greet Klan rally in south Georgia

Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010 8:26 PM
Last updated Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010 11:01 PM
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NAHUNTA, Ga. - Cheers and jeers greeted 48 Ku Klux Klan members who rode into Nahunta today for a rally focusing mostly on undocumented immigrants.

Georgia law enforcement personnel were out in force in Nahunta, GA Saturday keeping a close eye on Klan members and the crowd during the KKK rally. 
  Bob Self/ Morris News Service
Bob Self/ Morris News Service
Georgia law enforcement personnel were out in force in Nahunta, GA Saturday keeping a close eye on Klan members and the crowd during the KKK rally.

The tense but non-violent event drew a mostly supportive crowd of at least 500, in addition to a major police presence and several dozen protestors nearby. Many in the crowd waved Confederate flags and held children, applauding and shouting "white power" during the two-hour gathering held by the Knight Riders, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

"We are here to tell you wake up Georgia and stop the Latino invasion now," Imperial Wizard Jeff Jones said. "I know plenty of people who are willing to work and would do anything right now."

Many supporters who came out said they wanted to hear what the Klan had to say, which included Jones railing against employers' illegal hiring practices, in addition to his questioning of Mexicans' patriotism toward the U.S. and offering a sprinkling of racial slurs.

He encouraged supporters to vote for new leaders.

"Get rid of the people running this country," he said. "They're running it into the ground."

Protesters shouted "you are causing trouble" and "you are haters" during the rally.

Law enforcement reported no incidents of violence during the event. Before the rally began at noon, Nahunta Mayor Ronnie Jacobs expressed concern about the impact the gathering could have on the city of less than 1,000 residents.

"This is going to leave a bad scar on the city," he said. "A lot of people are taking it bad having them here today."

Jacobs estimated 300 law enforcement officials from surrounding counties, as well as the Georgia State Patrol and the U.S. Department of Justice, were in town to maintain order.

Jacobs said blacks and whites "get along great here" and he had no idea why the Klan chose his town for the rally.

He said City Hall received more than 1,000 calls from as far as California asking for information about the rally. "Some wanted to be part of it," he said.

Gary Moore, chairman of the Appling County NAACP, said he thought more local Klan supporters would have attended, except it would damage their position in their communities.

"You've got a lot of closet people - businesspeople, doctors, lawyers, judges - that aren't going to jeopardize their livelihoods," he said.

He described the Klan's message as propaganda.

"It's a smokescreen to what they believe in their hearts," he said.

Viola Lewis of Hazlehurst described the rally as "a disgrace and shame."

"They're spewing hate," she said. "Everybody here is an immigrant except the Indians."

But supporters had a different perspective.

"They like the Ku Klux Klan around here," said Ronnie Deloach of Blackshear. "It's part of their heritage."

Don Spaulding of Brunswick said the rally was "pretty good."

"They had some good answers for what we wanted to hear," he said. "There are too many illegal Mexicans."

However, Patrick Wells, a member of First Jordan Grace Baptist Missionary Church in Brunswick, was not swayed by the speeches.

"Their message hasn't changed one bit," he said. "It's a message of hate."

Another congregation member, Diamond Thomas, 15, of Brunswick, described Klan members and supporters as ignorant and said she will never attend another rally.

"I was shocked," she said. "I pray for them."

Brantley County Sheriff Robert Thomas said all 18 deputies were on duty to maintain order, but without help from other law enforcement agencies, "violence may have erupted."

"I think things went pretty good," he said. "Without the other counties the crowd would have done what they wanted to do. I've lived here all my life and never seen anything like this." 

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Nat the Cat
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Nat the Cat 02/21/10 - 12:24 am
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It is absolutely amazing to

It is absolutely amazing to me that the Appling County Chairman of the NAACP said that he thought more Klan supporters would have attended...... "You've got a lot of closet people - businesspeople, doctors, lawyers, judges that aren't going to jeopardize their livelihoods."
My question is this: How is a closet Klansman, or any Klansman for that matter, going to jeopardize their livelihood with a "Pointy Sheet Over His Head?"

Jake
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Jake 02/20/10 - 09:57 pm
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I have a lot of kin folk down

I have a lot of kin folk down there and one of them is a deputy in Hoboken which is near Nahunta. I'll wait to get his take on this. I thought Halloween was over.

Rudy4364
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Rudy4364 02/20/10 - 10:36 pm
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I can't believe this is still

I can't believe this is still happening. What a disgrace! Why can't people live and let live. What makes people think they are superior because of the color of there skin? I bet if any of them needed blood to save their life they would not give a flying hoot what color body it came from. Myself on the other hand, would rather meet my maker rather than have any of these bigots blood run through my veins!

Sargebaby
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Sargebaby 02/20/10 - 10:58 pm
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Notice all the brave faces of

Notice all the brave faces of the Klan members? Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!

Dixieman
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Dixieman 02/20/10 - 11:14 pm
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Frankly, I would rather have

Frankly, I would rather have the gay pride parade here in Augusta than these jerks.

Sargebaby
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Sargebaby 02/20/10 - 11:21 pm
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Why have either? They're both

Why have either? They're both losers!

msteal
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msteal 02/21/10 - 12:25 am
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Sargebaby, I agree!

Sargebaby, I agree!

FedupwithAUG
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FedupwithAUG 02/21/10 - 12:40 am
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So true Dixieman.

So true Dixieman.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 02/21/10 - 10:23 am
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A lot of overtime for the

A lot of overtime for the police force...well at least some1 got something out of it..

Roadrunner
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Roadrunner 02/21/10 - 10:59 am
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Yes the police got over time

Yes the police got over time for this, but look at it this way the illegal aliens got paid also for cleaning the streets, wonder how many people afterwards went to the local mexican, or chineese resturant and ate food made by a bunch of illegal aliens. They are everywhere and I agree we need to get a grip on the USA borders. Its a shame that we will have to have the gays in Augusta, I would rather have the KKK.

happychimer
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happychimer 02/21/10 - 01:09 pm
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I hate the KKK.I hate all

I hate the KKK.I hate all groups that promote hate.

CobaltGeorge
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CobaltGeorge 02/21/10 - 01:21 pm
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happychimer, Then you must be

happychimer, Then you must be a great supporter of The Gay Parade. It's all about LOVE.

happychimer
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happychimer 02/21/10 - 08:18 pm
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Colbalt I don't care if gays

Colbalt I don't care if gays have a parade or not. If they want a parade, then let them have it. I won't be there. What gays do is their business.

1beachbum
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1beachbum 02/22/10 - 05:23 pm
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Ok happychimer..."I hate the

Ok happychimer..."I hate the KKK.I hate all groups that promote hate." There's a lot of "hate" in your post.

But seriously, we have a major problem with "illegal" aliens in this country. I do NOT support the KKK, (heck, they wouldn't want me as I'm 1/2 Puerto Rican and 1/2 Russian!) but if this particular rally was about illegals in this country, I agree- it's a problem. I have no problems with someone becoming a citizen the LEGAL way. But to come to this country illegally, and getting benefits LEGAL, hard-working citizens have paid into is WRONG! And business owners should be ashamed of hiring these ILLEGAL immigrants...they're taking jobs away from LEGAL citizens! But I guess it won't matter until some of these employers reach retirement age and there's no money left in SS. Then it will matter A LOT!!!!

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