Ku Klux Klan Allowed To Hold Rally In Downtown Dayton | WOSU Radio

Ku Klux Klan Allowed To Hold Rally In Downtown Dayton

Feb 25, 2019

The city of Dayton is asking a group associated with the Ku Klux Klan to reconsider its request for a permit to rally in the city.

The out-of-state group, called the Honorable Sacred Knights of Indiana, is planning to hold a rally on Courthouse Square on Saturday, May 25.

The group’s Facebook page describes the organization as a nonprofit Christian group. The group is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Honorable Sacred Knights originally submitted its permit request using fake names, Montgomery County officials say.

After requesting that the organization resubmit its request using verifiable names, and after consulting with Miami County law enforcement agencies, as well as the FBI, and attorneys, the county is allowing the group to hold its rally. 

In an emailed statement, Montgomery County Administrator Michael Colbert said, "we are legally obligated to provide access to public spaces where individuals can exercise their freedom of speech and right to assemble.”

“More importantly, we will continue to work with our local law enforcement and community organizations to ensure public safety before, during, and after the planned event,” Colbert said.  

The Dayton City Commission also weighed in, saying Dayton condemns, "all forms of racism, prejudice, bigotry, and hate. Dayton is a community that welcomes all people."

The statement continues: 

"The foundation of our community is that we believe that everyone deserves to be treated equally, with dignity and respect. Regardless of race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, place of birth, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status, or disability- you have a home in Dayton. These protections are not without cost. The Freedoms of Speech and Assembly, that guarantee these protections, mean we must also allow space for those we disagree with to speak hatred, bigotry, and racism. Although it is painful, doing so ensures that our rights will not be restricted. It is in times like these that we are reminded that these freedoms give all communities, regardless of their beliefs or viewpoints, the ability to vocalize their opinions. It guarantees the right of civil rights leaders to protest racism, the LGBTQ+ community to host Pride; women to hold the Women's March; scientists to hold climate change rallies; students to protest gun laws; and advocates to call out injustice at the border. We invite the applicants to reconsider their decision to hold their rally in our community. Hate is not a Dayton value."