Wharton advises public to ignore the KKK - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Wharton advises public to ignore the KKK

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

To make a moment relevant means to give it credence and support. The city of Memphis is very aware that this is what the Ku Klux Klan is banking on during their rally on Saturday.

Members of the Klan plan to protest downtown on the Shelby County Courthouse steps about the changing of the names of three city parks.

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Mayor A C Wharton says the best way to deal with Klan to turn your back and ignore them.

MORE: Police Director Armstrong presser on KKK rally

"Let them do their little thing and go on and show them we're bigger than that. We're much bigger than that," he says.

Wharton says in 1998, when the Klan came to Memphis, there was confusion, anger, tears and rioting downtown. The police were drawn into using pepper spray and tear gas to control the crowd. Wharton says this city has coordinated with various police departments to make sure this time will be different.

"We've discussed that and have ways of making sure that doesn't happen again," the mayor added.

Councilman Jim Strickland says Easter Saturday should be about family, peace and tolerance, not the Klan.

"They know they're a very small group in the society, they have very small minds, but they want the attention," Councilman Strickland said. "The best thing we can do is not give them the attention, if people show up down there and there becomes a scuffle, that's exactly what they want and they've won."

For those who are interested to just see what may or may not happen in and around the courthouse or on the steps Saturday afternoon, the mayor says there is no need to be a part of the spectacle to find out what happens.

"Just turn on the TV later and they will get it, some of you guys may be streaming it live," Mayor Wharton said. "You can watch it, get you a big screen, flat screen and watch it at home. You don't get anything more by coming down here. Nothing!"

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