UPDATE, 2/26/16, 4:20 P.M.: The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Ku Klux Klan rally in Anaheim we reported earlier this week is for reals. Anaheim Police Department spokescop Daron Wyatt told reporter James Queally that the Klukkers told them that about 20 planned to show up TOMORROW at 10 a.m. in Pearson Park (however, Anaheim PD says 1:30—read below). Sources tell the Weekly that a "White Lives Matter Too" sign has already been found at the park, and that the Klan is fearful a bunch of Mexicans are going to show up and kick their asses—hence, the Invisible Empire squealed to the cops.
The Anaheim PD also tweeted out 1:30 p.m. Our suggestion? Get there at 10, grill up some carne asada, and wait. If the KKK shows up then, protest; if not, enjoy some tacos and wait for the fun.
As a reminder to Weekly reader and a history lesson to new readers, the reason the OC KKK is choosing Pearson Park for their rally is because Anaheim and the park holds a special place in their dark, dark hearts. The Anaheim City Council was infamously taken over by the KKK in the 1920s, and they held a big rally at Pearson Park. From my 2012 cover story on the defeat of the KKK in OC during the 1920s:
Two days later, the Klan held another large rally near La Habra's Mexican citrus camp. It was all a buildup to July 29, when the Klan organized an initiation ceremony attended by more than 30,000 at what's now Pearson Park in Anaheim—to this day, it remains one of the largest KKK rallies in American history. A 30-foot cross was lit, and biplanes flew above, lighted from underneath so that they appeared as crosses floating in the sky. The 1924 presidential elections were approaching, and the Klan was planning again to run candidates, both openly and in secret. The rally shocked county citizens into action—but already, [Orange County District Attorney Alexander Patrick] Nelson was planning.
New readers are also invited to read my 2013 cover story on all the streets, schools and buildings named after OC pioneers who were Klan members. Learn your OC history!
Alright, counter-protestors: You know what to do. Protest PEACEFULLY. Let the racist pendejos have their say. Do NOT try to beat them up and feed into their victim narrative. Let them lynch themselves with their own words, and let the carne asada grill wonderfully, with just a touch of Tecate to tenderize properly. See you there!
ORIGINAL POST, 2/24/16, 8:16 A.M.: Some time in December, I received a voicemail by a guy who claimed he was the California Grand Dragon West Coast King Kleagle of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan—a really precious way of saying he was head of OC's own KKK. The voicemail claimed the Klan had just done a successful rally at Pearson Park in Anaheim.
Research proved homeboy wasn't lying: there really is a Will Quigg (or, at least a person who goes by that name), he really is in charge of the KKK from Texas to California, and he's based in Orange County. Further research showed his organization were the people who've been terrorizing multicultural OC communities over the past couple of years by leaving bags filled with fliers, rocks and candies. And even further research showed there was a KKK rally in Pearson Park (cite of an infamous Klukker rally back in the 1920s that attracted over 10,000 people) late last year; all of three people showed up to pass out fliers, according to my sources at the Anaheim Police Department.
I reached out to Quigg, who told me the Klan planned another rally at Pearson Park this Saturday, Feb. 27 complete with speakers and more fliers. He also told me a bit about himself—said he's an OC native, that he was there when legendary white supremacist Tom Metzger created White Aryan Resistance, even sent me pictures of him in his red Klan robe. How sweet!
Quigg was interested in the Weekly doing a story about the modern KKK in Orange County, saying he was a fan of our paper, so we tried to negotiate something. I vowed to not have anything to do with the story, since I'm a not a White man and would have obvious biases, and I have capable White men as freelancers. He wanted full approval over the story, which I declined; I suggested a long Q & A that would ensure we wouldn't change a single word of his. I offered anonymity or pseudonyms for him and his Klansmen, just like we did for our recent feature on OC motorcycle clubs, which Quigg had been a fan of. He said we couldn't be present during their cross-burnings, since the "Cross Lighting is a Religious Ceremony," according to his email. WTF: is the Klan now Mormon?
Is it bad form to do a feature on the Klan? Not really. Throughout the Weekly's history, we have prided ourselves on not only outing hate groups, but giving them the rope upon which they could lynch themselves. It's not by having a bias against them, but rather letting them have their say—you know, reporting. Besides, I find it fascinating that in this day and age, where OC has been majority-minority for almost 15 years, people still think the Klan can do anything to stop the Reconquista—joining the GOP is far more effective, you know?
Alas, our readers won't have the chance to learn more about Quigg and his merry band of robe-wearers, 'cause they're they're now mad at us and don't want to talk anymore.
Shortly after I wrote a story about Quigg's Knights leaving fliers attacking the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. in an Anaheim neighborhood, he wrote a whiny email claiming we had disrespected them by calling them "Klukkers," "pendejos," then linking to a parody song of the Klan. I wish I could find that email, but it ain't showing up in my archives right now. What IS showing up, though, is an email from Monday in which Quigg cried again that we called his group "Kindergarten Playground names" and that we "tried to make the Klan out as a joke."
Damn, who knew the Klan was so sensitive? You, good sir, are an insult to the memory of Klan founder and Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest.
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Anyhoo, the KKK is planning their rally for this Saturday in Anaheim. Quigg never told me what time, but I'm assuming in the morning, and you can always hope he starts tweeting again. Good citizens of OC, you know what to do: let the Klan have their say, protest peacefully, and Instagram away!
And Bill? I'll be waiting for your call. And finally? Per OC Weekly style guidelines, no KKK story can end without the following song. Wake up, White people!