Media Attention Spurs Interest in Ku Klux Klan Auction

By: E&P Staff Thanks to all the press attention, Gary Gray expected a large crowd, protestors, and a nice profit on Saturday when he held his latest auction featuring Ku Klux Klan memorabilia. Among his offerings: seven KKK robes, uniforms, and KKK-engraved knives.

The robes sold for up to $1,450 and a KKK knife drew a $400 bid Saturday night.

Many of the people who bought items at the auction didn't want to give their names, according to the Associated Press. One person in attendance was seen wearing a KKK pin and another wore an arm band with a Nazi swastika.

About 10 protesters chanted "No Nazis, no KKK" as their attempts to enter the auction house where rebuffed. About 25 other people gathered outside the auction house in silent protest.

The auction originally was scheduled for Jan. 15, but was delayed after Gray learned it was the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

The small town of Howell, Mich., was once home base for a KKK leader but has few African-Americans living there.

Local media first reported on the event earlier this month after Mona Lindsay, co-owner of a New Age shop across the street from Gray?s auction house, noticed a Klan robe in its window.

Soon, thanks to the media exposure, the collection had grown, and now long tables carry books, movies, and recordings, and silver pocketknives engraved with "KKK -- God, Duty, Honor." Political campaign buttons endorse George Wallace and David Duke. One card read "Join White Power Today or Live Under Jewish Communism Tomorrow."

"This goes against everything we've tried to accomplish," Victor Lopez, a Hispanic accountant from Howell and president of a diversity council, told The Associated Press.

Howell was once home to Robert Miles, a KKK leader convicted of conspiring to burn school buses during an integration battle in Pontiac and in the tarring and feathering of a school principal.


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