A group announces plans to hold a KKK rally in Drew county next month after sending a letter to the sheriff this week.
Tommy Daniels owns a repair shop in nearby Monticello. Daniels also serves as the NAACP president for his local branch.
“I’ve had a business here ever since 1978,” Daniels says.
He keeps tractors running and customers happy.
“I love Drew county,” Daniels says.
But, after word spread this week of a KKK rally planned for October… Many see hate threatening that love.
“It’s a damn shame that we have this,” Mark Gober, the sheriff of Drew county says.
The rally announcement came in the form of a letter Monday addressed to the sheriff: “Dear Mr. Gober…”
“They could have put something else on there besides that,” Gober says.
“Like we’re friends or something,”
Sheriff Gober says he did all he could to inform his community. He released copies of the letter, which included a man’s name, listed a location and a phone number.
“He really didn’t like that the letter got out,” Gober says of the man who sent the letter.
We called the number on the letter Wednesday. Our attempts to reach the suspected organizer were unsuccessful, but Raniesha Parker’s were not.
Parker posted a video to Facebook that showed she and a man behind the listed number having a conversation on the phone. Parker asks the man if he is for the KKK, and he replies “Yes, I am.” She then asks the man if he doesn’t like black people. The man replies by threatening to hang up the phone.
“I just wanted to see like, was this real?” Parker says in an interview Wednesday.
He rvideo has been viewed more than 6,000 times. She says the man was asked more than he answered.
“Really dodging my questions and dodging talking about it,”
We visited the location listed for the planned rally. A burned cross sits in the yard and ‘No Trespassing’ signs litter the front the gate.
“If you get upset or you want to hide now, you should of thought about that a long time ago before you joined this organization,” Gober says.
“They just divide people.”
Back at his shop, Daniels echoes the sheriff.
“We got more things to worry about than a rally,” Daniels adds.
“Instead of them out there trying to rally, and bring hatred, they need to wake up and smell the coffee.”
As community leades in Drew county hope to put a lid on any other bumps in the road oward progress.