The first Unity Rally Against Hatred will be held at the Hughes Main Library in Greenville on July 26th to address the motives of the KKK.
“I don’t think any of us realized the KKK was actively recruiting new members,” said rally co-chair Claudia Waggoner, “and by using candy is almost like targeting children.”
Some residents in Oconee County found an invitation from the Ku Klux Klan earlier this week.
The flyer read “Save Our Land, Join The Klan” and came in a bag with candy.
“We are not going to welcome this in our community,” Waggoner said.
The KKK has a long history in South Carolina that dates back to the 1860s, according to Courtney Tollison Hartness, Associate Professor of History at Furman University.
“They represent that aspect of society that fights against change, fights against diversity and that wants to preserve a white supremacist way of life that hasn’t been firmly established since before the Civil War,” Hartness said.
While the KKK has evolved over the years, their ideals have not changed nor the effect they can have on a community.
“It tends to force people to take a stand, often in support of progress,” Hartness said.
The rally will be held on July 26 from 3:30 pm until 5:30 pm. It will feature presentations by community leaders speaking out against hatred as well as some short musical performances.
“The Unity Rally Against Hatred is not only important to those who the KKK threatens, but to every person who wants the Upstate to be a safe, welcoming place for all people,” said Ivy Hill, Program Director for Gender Benders.
The event will be hosted by a variety of groups coming together to host this rally. Those groups include the Greenville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Gender Benders, Peace Congregational Church, UCC, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clemson, Greenville Forward, Upstate Atheists, Piedmont Humanists, Upstate Pride, Pride of Greenville Men’s Chorus, and Rainbow Support Group.
Click here to get more information about this event.