By Brenda Lopez Romero
Impunity Watch Reporter, North America
NAHUNTA, Georgia – With a population of 930, this north Georgia town whose name is derived from the Iroquoian “nahunta”, meaning tall trees, witnessed a rally by the Ku Klux Klan. There were about a dozen-plus Klansmen out numbered by hundreds of spectators, counter-protesters and police. After the two hour event, the streets of the small town were all but empty, but the memory will last in the air of the quiet Brantley County town for years to come.
There were representatives of the Georgia chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and about twenty white-robed members of the Georgia Knight Riders branch of the Ku Klux Klan and about twenty Klansmen from Alabama.
Ezekiel Holley, vice president of the Georgia NAACP, said “We are here to let people know that (the KKK is) still around, and they are here to spread hatred.”
The Klan sought a permit to rally stating they would focus on issues of punishing sex offenders, keeping youth away from drugs and protecting prayer in schools. However, its main message was unambiguous when Jeff Jones, imperial wizard of the organization, started with a simple statement “Wake up Georgia, and stop the Latino invasion now.”
Jones stated illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America were a threat to the nation adding racial slurs to his speech, suggested immigrants should serve in the armed forces before earning citizenship, was opposed U.S. aid to Haiti and other countries, and that English should be the only language spoken in America.
“Some of it’s true. There are a lot of illegal aliens in this country,” said a man watching the rally. Douglas Morse of Savannah was not so convinced stating “The Klan always gets big when the economy is weak, and they just pick someone outside of their group to blame.” Greg Givings, a forty-year-old soldier of Waycross, laughed mostly, but was concerned about children in the audience. He stated “In this day and age, I can’t believe people are teaching their children this.”
Brantley County Commission Chair Ronald Ham said he was happy it was over and that it ended without incident. “Let’s get back to normal,” he said. “My big frustration is these guys haven’t sold anything all day,” he said referring to the stores on Main street.
For more information, please see:
The Brunswick News – KKK rally uneventful – 22 February 2010
First Coast News – Mixed Opinions Mingle at Nahunta, Ga., KKK Rally – 21 February 2010
Jacksonville News – Cheers, jeers greet Klan rally in Nahunta – 21 February 2010