OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - A video released by the Ku Klux Klan has members of the NAACP and Mississippi Rising Coalition concerned about a rise in racism in South Mississippi.
According to Mississippi Rising, the group received a link to a ten-minute YouTube video posted by United Dixie White Knights. The video, which was posted Sunday, was removed from YouTube Wednesday morning. United Dixie White Knights admitted to sending the video and promised more in an email.
WLOX News received a copy of the video, which showed a series of still photos, including one showing six men standing in front of a burning cross, all wearing hoods and robes.
Mississippi Rising held a news conference Wednesday in front of Ocean Springs City Hall to discuss the video which directly addresses MRC President Lea Campbell and vows to fight efforts to remove "our flag."
Campbell said, "We believe you sent this to us with the intent, not only to intimidate but in the hopes that we would react publicly. You get your wish. We are eager to confront you, your hateful bigotry, white supremacy and your allies publicly."
The man speaking in the KKK video identified himself as "Reverend Smith" and said that his message was not a physical threat.
"Y'all aren't going to take down our flag. We gonna fight," said Rev. Smith. "This ain't no threat, nothing physical but we gonna fight through the court system. We gonna fight through the legal way, the proper way."
Jackson County NAACP President Curley Clark told WLOX News Now the video is a form of intimidation.
"I think that we have to be on guard because it may not have been intended to be a threat but there may be some weak-minded individuals out there who may be emboldened by what they've put out there and that may lead to violent actions and that's what we are afraid of," said Clark.
According to Clark, that's the kind of hate action he has feared with the ongoing battle over the Confederate emblem on the state flag.
"We are concerned, very concerned," said Clark. "We feel like (the video) is a validation of our concern about the possible increase in hate initiatives as a result of the board's position to put the flag back up in Ocean Springs."
Clark continued: "It's appalling, very appalling. We feel like the action that the mayor and board took would embolden these hate groups and it appears it has come to fruition."
"The issue is, by the mayor and board taking the position on the flag they took, we are seeing a resurgence of hate groups," said Clark. "We are fearful that more of these actions will encourage right-wing hate groups to come forward."
Mayor Dobson told WLOX News Now he did not want to comment on the KKK video.
The video has since been removed from YouTube by Youtube