White Camilia Knights hold rally in Conroe

Think racism is a thing of the past? Well you would not have had to look any further than Conroe this past weekend.

Members of the White Camilia Knights held a rally on the steps of the Montgomery County Courthouse in Conroe on Nov. 3.

Dressed in the traditional white hoods and robes and waving Confederate flags, the Klan denounced affirmative action, race mixing and the African American and Jewish populations.

“There is a conspiracy to destroy the white race and to pervert true Christian doctrine,” said Grand Dragon Charles Lee.

According to Lee, non-whites are uncivilized and have no

Constitutional rights.

“America was not made for them. God’s laws were not made for them,” he said to a diverse crowd of supporters, protestors, local residents and law enforcement officials.

Chants of white power, led by WCK members, were followed by an equally intimidating collection of “boos” made by those in protest.

“We can take it to the back,” challenged one resident who exchanged insults and threats with Klan supporters throughout the demonstration. However, with the large number of officers standing watch, no fights escalated.

SHSU students Kelli Harvey and Natali Rhymes were given the opportunity to speak out against the views of WCK supporter Paul Coward on KTRK Channel 13.

When Coward told the reporter he has no problem with what he calls the “true” black man but he doesn’t believe in race mixing,

Harvey and Rhymes interjected.

“My father is black and my mother is white. What do you think of me?” asked Rhymes. She also pointed out that her parents have been married for 34 years.

“Look at what happened on Sept. 11. It was not just an attack on whites or blacks. It was an attack on America. We should be together, not separated,” said Harvey.

Rhymes, Harvey and other members of Starting Together Achieving Resident Success initially attempted to organize a protest group. However, due to a lack of interest from other student organizations, they decided to attend the rally to observe, take pictures and collect footage.

“It’s ridiculous that this is going on in 2001,” said Rhymes.

Due to the level of unity and diversity on this campus, it was important to bring the story back to SHSU and prove racism still exists, she said.

The White Camilia Knights were formed in 1867 and continue to operate out of Cleveland, Texas, today. They originally scheduled to hold their lecture and demonstration inside City Hall on the top floor.

However, because they announced in their flyers that only the “white public would be allowed,” city officials refused to lease them the room.

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