Nov 24, 2009, 10:05 AM EST
Can you really call it a rally if only 11 people show up? That was the turnout for the big Ku Klux Klan demonstration on Saturday at the University of Mississippi, as the group tried to protest the university removing the song “From Dixie With Love” from their marching band repertoire. For added fun, the gathering was planned for the same day as the Ole Miss-LSU football game. Wackiness, but no violence, ensued.
In fact, about 150 counter-demonstrators showed up and drowned out whatever the Klan was trying to say.
Then some Mississippi fans who were tailgating nearby were attracted by the hubub, and joined the counter-protesters, swelling their ranks for about 300. But it was all over in about 15 minutes, the Klan led away by a police escort.
The KKK members, in full red, white and black regalia, including hoods that covered the faces of all but one member, silently waved Confederate battle flags and the KKK flag as they stood in front of the Fulton Chapel while a mostly student crowd called the members “white trash,” among other insults.
Klan leaders had said they were holding the rally to support fans’ free-speech right to shout, “The South shall rise again.”
The crowd did not see things that way.
“Go to hell, KKK, go to hell,” the group shouted in unison.
Shane Tate of Tupelo, the grand titan of the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, apparently shouted something in response, but he could not be heard over the crowd noise.
So the university is looking pretty good at this hour: By allowing the rally to take place on campus, it showed a healthy respect for free speech. Yet because the Klan’s turnout was so small and their demonstration so pitiful, the hate group only succeeded in making itself look foolish.
So, a win for Mississippi? Yes, but it did little to help the university in the BCS standings. The Klan’s RPI ranking is so weak that it’s hardly worth the effort to put them on your schedule: It’s like Alabama playing Tallahassee Junior College. A big rally with all this publicity and they can only get 11 people to show up?
Well to be fair, a couple of guys couldn’t come because their robes were at the cleaners and they lost their ticket.
Students shout down Ku Klux Klan prior to Ole Miss game [The Commercial Appeal]
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