When we met with Memphis City Councilman Myron Lowery, ironically he was working on a film project of his own...the details of which he'll release in due time. But, it's his cameo work in a newly released Internet documentary that may have more than a few tongues wagging. "Triple Hate" purports to, in 34 minutes, delve into the complicated racial divide in the Bluff City against the backdrop of the downtown Klu Klux Klan rally in late March.
"I arrived in Memphis six days before the scheduled Klan rally to reveal the hard truths about a city that has struggled with racism since it was founded in 1819," part of the film clip said.
"Vice dot com called me a few months ago when they heard about the controversy over the parks naming," Lowery said. "They told me they were producing a documentary on this issue and asked me if I would like to be included with my thoughts and my reasons for adding the name of Ida B. Wells to the park and I agreed."
"No one is trying to change history. We're only trying to add on to history," Lowery said in the video.
Lowery and his Council colleague, Janis Fullilove, who relates to the interviewer the alleged death threats she received on the parks issues, take a backseat to the rest of the film's rather uneven content. Much time is spent focusing on the activities of an unidentified Klan outfit organizing somewhere in Mississippi we assume before the rally. Nothing appears to be filtered.
"Tonight, boys, we're gonna kill us a Negro," a clip of the film says.
Also recruited for the film was former avowed Klansman, now anti-hate group activist, Scott Shepherd, who feels Memphis has nothing to be embarrassed about in the way the city handled the Klan invasion.
"The Klan wanted to use renaming the parks as an excuse to come to stir up trouble for recruitment purposes," Shepherd said.
"With Memphis having the racial history that it has and racial problems it has for years and years and years, it shows that this community did come together and it stood up against the Klan," the film says.
While it is well-shot there is no real conclusion drawn. Although he admitted to us he hadn't seen the whole video, Lowery decided to forward it on to his Council colleagues and staff for their perusal.
"I'm responsible for what I said in the documentary and not for the total outlook of the documentary. So, I'm not expecting any adverse reaction from anyone. Everyone knows my feelings about the park and I stand by those," Lowery said.