One of the things that was supposed to happen during the commemoration of the Selma march was a peaceful protest at a cemetery where Edmund Pettis, a KKK leaders, is buried and where a monument to Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of the KKK, can be found. But a bunch of neo-confederate assholes showed up to “defend” the monument against a peaceful protest, so it was canceled. And these people were everything you would imagine them to be.
There has been a growing campaign to rename Selma’s bridge given its association with the Confederate south, and dozens of students had planned a peaceful march to the cemetery. They quickly changed plans after discovering the neo-Confederates were waiting for them.
“‘March’ is a military term,” explained Todd Kiscaden, 64, who had traveled to Selma from his home in Tennessee to defend the memorial site. “In any military context, if you’re going to march on my castle, I’m going to man my barricades.”
Yes, you fucking idiot. And the next time you see a marching band, be sure to open fire on them over your inane semantic confusion.
Sunday’s aborted march to the cemetery was organised by Students Unite, the Selma-based youth group behind a viral online campaign to rename the Edmund Pettus bridge. They planned to march peacefully and respectfully to the graveyard, to draw protest against the Pettus bridge name and the existence of a monument to a white supremacist.
“We’re a non-violent group,” explained John Gainey, 25, executive director of Students Unite. “We didn’t want a confrontation.”
Pat Godwin, from the Selma chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy –which owns the confederate memorial site – conceded that the marchers had said they would be peaceful. “But on their website it said they were going to be protesting,” she added.
Kiscaden, who owns a coal mine in Kentucky, had an equally peculiar interpretation of history. He disputed that Forrest was a a founding member of the Klan, which he said played a positive role in bringing about law and order in the south when it was first conceived in the 1860s. (He distinguished the original Klan from the hate group of the same name that, he conceded, orchestrated lynchings.)
“The people in the south – the white people, who were being abused – organised a neighbourhood watch to try to re-establish some order,” he said of the nascent Klan. Slavery in the south was “a bad institution”, he said, but possibly “the mildest, most humane form of slavery ever practiced”.
“If you look at the wealth created by the slaves, in food, clothing, shelter, medical care, care before you’re old enough to work, care until you died, they got 90% of the wealth that they generated,” he said. “I don’t get that. The damn government takes my money to the tune of 50%.”
Kiscaden and Godwin insisted they were not racist. But they made plain that they hankered for a revival of some of the ideals most Americans believe were defeated in 1865.
“The Confederate government never surrendered,” Kiscaden said. “So are we still in operation? Maybe we’ll find out. I happen to think that our history from 150 years ago is about to catch us.”
No, we’re not racist, we just think slavery was a benign and “mild” institution and want to return the country to the 1850s. Nope, not racist at all.