KKK held public cross ceremony in Warrenville tonight

Five hours after the KKK group rallied in front of Augusta State University, they held an initiation ceremony in Warrenville, S.C., allowing the public to see a cross lighting ceremony.


At the cross lighting that began at dusk, Duwayne Johnson, initiated as the Imperial Wizard of the All American Invisible Knights, announced his group would soon have a larger presence in Augusta.

The group is planning another rally after 300 counter protesters accused them of hatred and racism at ASU Saturday.

"We're coming back to Augusta because of the disrespect given today," Johnson said. "(Protesters) never gave us a chance to say what we had to say."

Johnson said he called the rally in front of ASU off early because "people there tried to make it about hate, but it was about Constitutional rights."

A date was not announced.

Before the lighting, Johnson insisted their rituals did not represent the hatred and intimidation cross lightings are historically known for.

"We understand when you hear Ku Klux Klan you think racism and hatred," Johnson said. "We do not believe in hate...this is strictly ritual."

He said while other Klans represent racism and white supremacy, his Invisible Knights are a new era of Klansmen who stand for heritage.

His group is concerned with the Constitutional integrity of the national health care reform and promoting political ideals like keeping illegal immigrants from taking U.S. jobs, he said.

Johnson said there are at least 13 other Klan groups in the South with this mentality of a more liberal KKK that does not promote violence or hatred.

Across the street from the cross lighting, Tom Clay, 68, was appalled by what his neighbors were doing.
Clay knows the history of the Klan well because he spent his childhood attending rallies with his father.

He recalls giant crosses being set ablaze during rallies at Stone Mountain, Ga. He also witnessed the beatings and dog attacks in Alabama.

"It just turns your stomach," he said about the violence.

As for his neighbor's actions, Clay said he didn't give it any weight.

"It's just something to keep (things) going," he said.

Johnson said that image of the KKK is what his group is putting behind them. His Invisible Knights, which has 922 members across nine states, has "a new era of thinking."



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