A Ku Klux Klan leader named Edward, who goes by the title “KKK Exalted Cyclops,” is promising the “largest” rally in Memphis history after the city decided to remove Confederate names from three parks.
In an 9-0 vote on Tuesday night, the Memphis City Council approved temporary names for three Confederate-themed parks. Forest Park will become “Health Sciences Park,” Confederate Park will be called “Memphis Park” and Jefferson Davis Park will get the name “Mississippi River Park.”
On Thursday, the KKK Exalted Cyclops told WMC-TV that his group had started planning its response before the City Council even voted.
“You’re going to see the largest rally Memphis, Tennessee has ever seen,” he promised. “It’s not going to be 20 or 30, it’s going to be thousands of Klansmen from the whole United States coming to Memphis, Tennessee.”
The KKK’s rally is expected to be held in the newly-renamed “Health Sciences Park.” Confederate Army lieutenant general Nathan Bedford Forrest, for whom the park was originally named, was elected to the post of KKK grand wizard after returning from the war.
The Memphis City Council acted quickly to change the park names because two state lawmakers have proposed the “Tennessee Heritage Protection Act of 2013,” which would prevent local governments from changing the name of any “statue, monument, memorial, nameplate, plaque, historic flag display, school, street, bridge,building, park preserve, or reserve which has been erected for, or named or dedicated in honor of, any historical military figure, historical military event, military organization, or military unit.”
Watch this video from WMC-TV, broadcast Feb. 7, 2013.