WNCCEIB Letter to Franklin Press dated May 5, 2000
May 5, 2000The Editor
Re: H.K. Edgerton's Connections With White Supremacists Very Strange
To the Editor:
It doesn't get much stranger than the spectacle of an African-American former President of the Asheville Branch of the NAACP carrying a Confederate Flag in front of Franklin High School just as the KKK has done. Yet that is what Franklin residents have seen in recent weeks.
For us in Asheville who have known H.K. Edgerton for years, that spectacle has moved beyond strange to a kind of pathetic side show. Two years ago Edgerton's hanging out with area white supremacists was the final straw for an NAACP chapter that had dwindled to almost nothing in response to Edgerton's ineffective leadership. Even the Asheville Citizen-Times called for him to step down.
The State NAACP came in, suspended Edgerton, and reorganized the chapter into what is now one of the most active and vibrant in the State.
Meanwhile Edgerton has become "Chairman" of the Southern Legal Resource Center (SLRC) which describes itself as a civil rights organization for the Confederate Flag. The real force behind the SLRC is Kirk Lyons, its "Chief Trial Attorney."
Kirk Lyons was named one of the ten national leaders of the white supremacy movement in 1991 by the Southern Poverty Law Center. He organized a demonstration in Washington at the dedication of the Holocaust Museum and has spoken at Holocaust-didn't-happen type conferences here and in Germany. He has spoken of Hitler as the greatest "fuhrer" of the twentieth century and said that "democracy is a farce and a failure, I don't believe in democracy."
When asked in a 1992 interview what he thought of the KKK, Lyons told Volkstreue, a neo-nazi skinhead magazine in Germany: "I have great respect for the Klan historically, but sadly the Klan today is ineffective and sometimes even destructive. ....It would be good if the Klan followed the advice of former Klansman Robert Miles:'Become invisible. Hang the robes and hoods in the cupboard and become an underground organization.' This would make the Klan stronger than ever before."
Having monitored Lyons' activities since he moved to western N.C. in 1992, our organization concludes that Lyons appears to be trying to live up to that advice with his "Southern heritage" work. H. K. Edgerton, having been rejected by nearly every segment of the Asheville community, appears to have turned to white supremacists for comfort and they appear only too willing to use him for their purposes.
Readers may learn more about the H. K. Edgerton/ Kirk Lyons relationship and read the entire neo-nazi interview with Lyons at our web page: www.main.nc.us/wncceib/
Monroe Gilmour, CoordinatorBack To Hate Activity Summary