KKK plans 'peaceful' rally at South Carolina statehouse

Members of the Ku Klux Klan wear hoods during a 1998 rally.

Credit: David J. Phillip/AP

Credit: David J. Phillip/AP

Members of the Ku Klux Klan wear hoods during a 1998 rally.

The Ku Klux Klan plans to hold a rally next month on the grounds of the South Carolina statehouse, despite the governor's condemnation of their plans.

The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan’s Pelham, North Carolina, chapter received approval from the state. Brian Gaines, a spokesperson for the South Carolina Budget and Control Board, said the state approves rally space at the statehouse site when space is available or is not previously reserved.

A member of the KKK group, James Spears, said they will protest "the Confederate flag being taken down for all the wrong reasons," adding, "it's part of white people's culture."

Spears is said to be the “Great Titan” of the chapter.

He said the group plans to hold a “cross lighting” at the end of the night.

Governor Nikki Haley said in a prepared statement: “This is our state, and they are not welcome.”

The event is planned for July 18. Up to 200 people are approved to participate in the rally.

"It should be a peaceful rally," Spears said. "We usually have pretty peaceful rallies. I mean, to me, it should be a peaceful rally. Like I said, it's for the Confederate flag.

During an interview with The Post and Courier, the "grand dragon" of the group, Robert Jones, indicated he believed Dylann Roof was misguided in his shooting to death nine people inside the Charleston church.

“He was heading in the right direction; wrong target,” Jones said. “He should have actually aimed at the African-American gang-bangers, the ones who are selling the drugs to white youth, the ones who are robbing and raping every chance they get.”