KKK pipes in on game

Published 7:06 pm Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A local affiliation of the Ku Klux Klan has played the race card in a mother’s attempt to rent a now-vacant Decatur County school’s gymnasium for her son’s basketball team.

Mae Arsenault of Bainbridge has attempted to rent for two days a week the gymnasium at the now vacant West Bainbridge Middle School on Dothan Road.

In a Letter to the Editor that was published in The Post-Searchlight on June 13, Arsenault wrote that Coach Lee Thomas and the Bainbridge Dynasty AAU basketball team wanted to continue to rent the gymnasium at the school, but a request to do so was turned down by the Decatur County school system.

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She says her 14-year-old son and the other kids on the team just want to play basketball, and she is flabbergasted with the reception she’s received in what she says is a simple request.

“I can’t believe it myself when all it is is kids wanting to play basketball,” Arsenault told The Post-Searchlight Monday.

But in the letter signed by Gregg Wolf, the grand dragon of the Georgia Knight Riders, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, “We understand that you are very concerned about the poor little Black (sic) basketball team, ‘Not (sic) having an air conditioned gymnasium To (sic) play in” (sic),” the letter states, then states further in the letter: “You are not a Martin Luther King nor do you have ties to Jesse Jackson. So why do you feel that you must become a great Civil Rights Leader (sic)? Aren’t you White (sic)? If you want to be remember (sic) as a great savior of the Black Race (sic) we suggest that you build them a several million dollar Arena (sic) for them and you have your name placed on a granite corner stone. Have the building name (sic) after you but either raise the money to build it or pay for it yourself.”

Wolf concludes his letter, “We really don’t like your politics and at this point I don’t think we like you either.”

The Knight Riders Knights of the Ku Klux Klan has been listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Intelligence Project,” which monitors extremist activities and tracks more that 800 hate groups throughout the United States.

School Superintendent Ralph Jones said there were various reasons, including liability, expense and available staff for not renting the gym to the AAU team.