A former member of the Tacony Town Watch in Philadelphia is claiming that he was removed from the watch because of his “religious belief” in the superiority of the white race.
William Walters, the Grand Dragon of Ku Klux Klan-affiliated group East Coast Knights of the True Invisible Empire, toldPhiladelphia that the organization is “a Christian group,” and on his Facebook page, he regularly argues that his racist beliefs are religious in origin:
Walters said he plans on suing the Town Watch and the 65th Ward for his dismissal as soon as he finds a lawyer who will take his case. The American Civil Liberties Union already rejected him, and he has yet to hear back from the Philadelphia Bar Association.
“My rights were infringed upon,” he said. “I can’t believe in what I want to? This has infringed on my First Amendment rights. It’s reverse discrimination.” Such discrimination is another of his favorite discussion topics on Facebook:
He also insisted that the Klan is no longer a hate group.
“I know we have a bad name, but it’s not that way no more,” he said. “When was the last time a black or Hispanic got hung on a tree?”
Town Watch President Joe Nicoletti toldPhiladelphia that he was not removed for his beliefs, but because he was using his position as a member of the Town Watch to proselytize.
“We received information that Bill had been distributing flyers in the neighborhood trying to recruit new members,” he said.
In the meantime, Walters vowed to start his own town watch with his fellow Klansmen.
“We’re basically the same thing as the town watch,” he said. “We want to try to get rid of the trash coming in.”
[Image of William Walters via Bill Perry on Facebook]
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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