Ocean Springs mayor calls KKK 'racist, coward terrorists'

Ocean Springs mayor calls KKK 'racist, coward terrorists'
This is a screenshot of a video allegedly posted by a Mississippi branch of the KKK. The video was sent to Mississippi Rising Coalition, who held a press conference Wednesday to discuss it. (Source: YouTube)

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The mayor of Ocean Springs has responded after the KKK sent a video to a Gulf Coast civil rights group this week.

In a statement released Thursday morning, Mayor Shea Dobson said, "The KKK is a bunch of racist, coward terrorists. Their actions should be rebuked by everyone, regardless of party affiliation or political beliefs. This Gulf Coast community is made up of the most compassionate and loving people there is, regardless what others may say."

Dobson's comments come after a press conference was held on the steps of Ocean Springs City Hall Wednesday to address the video, which was sent to Mississippi Rising Coalition and targeted the civil rights group's president Lea Campbell.

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. It was originally posted March 25 on YouTube by the United Dixie White Knights, who confirmed Wednesday in an exclusive statement to WLOX that they posted the video. It was removed from YouTube Wednesday morning.

Mississippi Rising, along with the Jackson County NAACP, have been fighting to remove the state flag, which is once again flying over Ocean Springs City Hall after being taken down by Mayor Dobson. The board of aldermen later voted to put the flag back up.

The mayor has come under criticism from both organizations following that decision.

"It's appalling, very appalling," said Curley Clark, president of the Jackson County NAACP. "We feel like the action that the mayor and board took would embolden these hate groups and it appears it has come to fruition."

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