Inside the KKK: New documentary shows how the hate group known for white hoods and cross burnings is still alive and well in the deep South:
A new documentary is lifting the lid on the notorious Ku Klux Klan as tensions surrounding the notorious hate group continue to simmer in Tennessee.
In March, about 75 members of the Ku Klux Klan wearing hoods and carrying banners with crosses descended on downtown Memphis to protest the renaming of Nathan Bedford Forrest Park.
A month earlier, the Memphis City Council voted to change the name of the park honoring the controversial Confederate general and one-time slave trader who went on to became the first Grand Wizard of the KKK.
The move had sparked an outrage among members and supporters of the extremist hate group, who decided to stage a protest against the council's renaming decision.
Journalists from VICE magazine traveled to Memphis in March and spent time interviewing clansmen as they were preparing for the rally.
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VICE ended up producing a three-part documentary called Triple Hate about racism in America, along with a long feature that appears in this month's issue of the magazine.
The documentary revolves around the rally that was staged on March 30 in downtown Memphis.
Klan members dressed in robes were bused to and from the protest and were relegated to a fenced-in section in front of the Shelby County courthouse. Some wore pointed white hoods and waved flags with the letters KKK on them.
Police said an anti-Klan rally located in another fenced-in area about 100 yards away attracted 1,275 people throughout the day. Some chanted ‘KKK, go away.’
The rally was peaceful, with no injuries or property damage and only one arrest for disorderly conduct, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said.
A North Carolina-based faction of the Klan came to protest after the City Council voted to rename Nathan Bedford Forrest Park, Jefferson Davis Park and Confederate Park.
Lt General Nathan Bedford Forrest has long been a polarizing figure in the South. While some people celebrate him as a Civil War hero who sought to uphold the region's independence, others count him among the most reviled racists in American history.
Besides his role as the first leader of the KKK, Forrest is perhaps best known for ordering his troops to massacre hundreds of African American Union soldiers who surrendered after the Battle of Fort Pillow in 1864.
Following the rally in Memphis at the end of March, the VICE filmmakers traveled with a white supremacist group called the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to attend a cross burning ceremony held in the woods of Mississippi.
'Anybody who doesn’t; think the KKK is alive and well today in America , I encourage you to go to the woods of Mississippi and see for yourself,' said VICE reporter Rocco Castoro while standing in a circle of hooded men gathered around a flaming cross.
'White power!' the clansmen could be heard yelling while giving the Nazi salute.
Ahead of the pro-Forrest demonstration in Memphis, the VICE crew filmed a small rally held by a clan offshoot in the town of Tishomingo, Mississippi.
The main speaker, a KKK leader dressed in a red robe, a matching hood propped on his head and mirrored aviator glasses, vowed to 'stand tall' for Nathan Bedford Forrest before going on a tangent against the NAACP and 'bohemian' music.
'If it weren't for the white man fighting for you, you'd still be picking cotton in the field,' the speaker hollered into the loudspeaker, with a small crowd of spectators, among them African Americans, watching across the street.
The reporters also got a chance to attend a backyard barbecue hosted by the Mississippi clansmen and their families, some of whom were eager to share their views on race relations and the park renaming decision.
‘I'm tired of all of the blacks and all of the Mexicans <who> think that they own America,' said clansman Michael Clayton.
When asked about the vote to rechristen the Memphis park named after the infamous general and KKK leader, Clayton said: ‘I think that it's just a bunch of… blacks that want to take all the white people's history away from them.’
In a particularly chilling moment in the film, uniformed members of the Mississippi hate group are shown preparing for a cross illumination ceremony in the woods when one of the men says: ‘Tonight, boys, we're gonna kill us some Negroes,' drawing laughter from the others.Video (1:49) & Article w/Pictures Link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2330006/In... Inside the KKK Video (16:30): http://youtu.be/E7e7vRFolQI Triple Hate Video Part 1 (8:39) & Part 2 (10:04) will play right after Part 1 finishes: http://www.vice.com/vice-news/triple-hate-part-1 Info & Pictures w/More extras than above link: http://www.vice.com/read/the-wizard-of-the-saddle-... Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest (picture link): http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/69...