Skip to comments.Group With KKK Ties To Set Up Booth At Mississippi State Fair
Posted on 09/23/2004 8:22:38 PM PDT by WKB
JACKSON, Miss. -- The Mississippi State Fair opens in two weeks, but it's already losing money.
A group with ties to the Ku Klux Klan, called the Nationalist Movement, is planning to set up an information booth at the fair -- a plan that's driving away some businesses and customers.
The group's leader, Richard Barrett, calls it a "pro-majority" group. The Anti-Defamation League calls it white supremacist.
Either way, the group's attempts to set up shop aren't sitting well with the fair commission.
"I've been here for three years and gone to the fair every year," said Ramie Mitchell. "This year, I think the tradition will end. I don't think we'll be there this year."
Mitchell said she won't be bringing her two boys to the fair if Barrett's booth is there.
Barrett said he wants to spread his group's message and honor the Rev. Edgar Killen, who was acquitted in the 1964 murders of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County.
Barrett said the booth is an extension of his First Amendment right to free speech.
"You have more freedom today because of what Richard Barrett has won for you in freedom of speech than you had yesterday," Barrett said. "Because of this exhibit and this preacher, you'll have even more freedom tomorrow."
The Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency doesn't want to get caught in the middle. It's pulling its $300 booth from the fair to avoid any association.
"The nature of what's going on over there could upset alot of people," said agency spokeswoman Dani Edmonson. "Aand if we're there, they may not be very happy with us being in the same vicinity of someone like that."
Both the fair commission and Barrett say they've received verbal threats.
"They say, 'I'm gonna find out where you live and stab you and kill you,'" Barret said.
But Barrett said the threats won't dissuade him.
As for Mitchell, she said she won't change her mind about staying away.
"I think it should be an embarrassment to the state," she said. "We ask for outsiders to come here, and it's a slap in the face."
Thank you for your support, onyx.
At this point, I think I will echo that wonderful
Southern Gentleman's sentiments...
"Frankly, my dear...I don't give a damn."
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