APtn 07/03 1533 Klan Opposition MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) -- Representatives of a civil rig
APtn 07/03 1533 Klan Opposition
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) -- Representatives of a civil rights
group and the Ku Klux Klan have agreed to persuade their
supporters to maintain peace when the two groups confront each
other during a planned July 4th Klan parade.
Davidson County Rainbow Coalition co-chairman the Rev. Enoch
Fuzz and state Klan director Henry Ford spoke to each other
Friday during a 45-minute conference telephone call planned by a
Nashville Banner reporter.
"We each just want to get our message out. We're not here to
intimidate anyone," Ford said.
The Klan plans a 10 a.m. CDT rally, held in response to a
march in April honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Fuzz helped
organize a counter-demonstration, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. CDT,
by the Rainbow Coalition and the Rutherford County Racial Harmony
Both Ford and Fuzz also agreed to meet along with leaders of
their organizations after the demonstration.
During their conversation, the two leaders defended the
beliefs of their two groups, describing the other as unloving or
misguided. Both leaders admitted the possibility of violence
during the march, but said it was not encouraged by them.
"It hurts me to hear you speak of this organization (the Klan)
and be so far off base about what life is about," Fuzz said.
"I practice love. I love the Klan and I pray to God that the
Klan will be let go of their hatreds and they will no longer be
blinded by Satan."
Ford said the white race is God's chosen race. "We feel like
all different races are descended from the Satanic seed," he
Fuzz told Ford that all Christians are God's children and will
go to heaven.
But he said he believes Buddhists, Muslims, and those of other
faiths will not be welcomed to heaven unless they accept Christ
as their savior.
Ford insisted his organization is spiritual and does not
condone or practice violence or harassment, but Fuzz said he had
received threatening telephone calls from Klan members.
Ford countered by accusing members of the Rainbow Coalition of
trying to intimidate his family with night telephone calls.
Ford said "90 percent" of the people who would start trouble
with counter-demonstrators would "probably come from old
Murfreesboro Police Commissioner Bill Jones said will have
about 60 officers on duty. But he advised Murfreesboro residents
to stay home.
"My advice is to ignore the people on the (town) square," he
said. "The best thing for citizens to do is to stay home. If
they come to watch on the square they could get involved in an
Jones said Klan members only plan to wear their robes at the
town's central square, and that's where he predicted the most
tension would occur.
"I feel like if there will be any trouble it will happen
there," he said.
The march is to be followed by wreath-laying ceremonies at
Earlier this week, Fuzz promised to disrupt the Klan march,
and called on pastors and congregations in Middle Tennessee to
join the counter-demonstration.
Fuzz predicted about 600 members of his coalition will meet
the Klan marchers when they arrive at the courthouse square.
Coalition members are to wear armbands to differentiate
themselves from other demonstrators, Fuzz said. "If there is
violence or disorderliness, then those armbands will help to show
that it was not our people," he said.
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