The NAACP has a simple message to the Ku Klux Klan chapter hosting a rally July 8 in Charlottesville: this action is not tolerated.
“We wanted to respond to the Klan’s rally,” Loudoun NAACP President Phillip Thompson said. “The Klan is based on intimidation and we are not going to be intimidated.”
The Abemarle-Charlottesville chapter of the NAACP has organized a counter-rally the same day from 2 to 5 p.m. at Jack Jouett Middle School on 210 Lambs Lane. The NAACP will not participate in opposing action at the scene of the KKK demonstration, Abemarle-Charlottesville NAACP president Janette Boyd Martin said in an email to members.
“The NAACP will be alive and rallying to the cause of justice,” Boyd Martin said in an email.
The rally will feature music, refreshments and speakers, including Thompson. NAACP members and concerned people from all over Virginia have made plans to attend and share in the unified theme “Steadfast and Immovable.”
Thompson said his remarks will focus on what the Confederacy really stood for. The KKK rally stems from a debate about removing Charlottesville’s Robert E. Lee statue. Thompson said that while some may say the Civil War was about state’s rights, this history is revisionist and there are documents that clearly state the Confederacy seceded over the issue of slavery.
The city of Charlottesville has also been planning activities for July 8 to limit the public attention on the KKK demonstration, Boyd Martin said. She said the NAACP has coordinated with police to learn law enforcement’s plan to keep people safe.
“Charlottesville is doing all it can to keep this from becoming a spectacle,” Thompson said.