A Maryland branch of the Ku Klux Klan has announced that it plans to hold a meeting in a government building this month and begin formulating a plan to impeach US President Barack Obama.
The Confederate White Knights advertised they would hold the meeting in a Cecil County administration building Friday. The group is only two years old, but its website makes clear that the members are affiliated with the KKK, the notorious white supremacist group that terrorized African-Americans throughout the US in the first half of the 20th Century.
Richard Preston, the imperial wizard of the group, told the Cecil Whig that the meeting will center on illegal immigration and Obama’s removal.
“Barack Hussein Obama is an illegal president,” he said. “He needs to be removed from office. We also want Obamacare shutdown. It’s against citizen’s rights.
“On top of that, we want the laws toughened on immigration,” he continued. “We’re flooded with illegal immigrants and our people can’t find jobs.”
The Knights make clear on their website that, in order to join, an applicant must “be of European heritage, be an American Citizen born and raised, cannot be a MUSLIM, cannot be a JEW,” among similar requirements.
The rules also prohibit members from having mixed-race relationships.
Yet Preston insisted that Friday’s meeting, and his hatred of the first black US president, have nothing to do with skin color.
“It’s not about race. It’s about America. It’s time for the American people to stand up,” he said. “Just because we’re a certain way in our group doesn’t mean we hate other groups. I think the people that do come will be surprised.”
Maryland State Police 1st Sergeant Jimmy Russell said the local police have been warned about meeting from the FBI, although the meeting is not expected to lead to any serious problems. He said that a police presence will be on hand Friday night.
“They said to expect from 40 to 200 people,” Russell told the Cecil Whig. “They are not worried about [Preston]. They are more worried about the people that could show up.”
The Confederate White Knights previously tried to organize a rally at Gettysburg National Park, where one of the most important battles of the US Civil War took place, only to have that plan nixed by the federal government shutdown. A September rally that did happen took place at Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg, Maryland, although only eight people showed up.
Al Wein, the director of administration for Cecil County, said that he granted the group access to the building because of the First Amendment.
“The First Amendment also prohibits local government from discriminating against an organization’s right of free speech and peaceable assembly on public property, no matter how offensive the message may be,” read a statement from the administration office.