Rally Provokes Old Memories

By: Mike McCarthy
By: Mike McCarthy

Knoxville (WVLT) -- One fact is indisputable, Channon Christian and her boyfriend Christopher Newsom, were white.

The four suspects charged with kidnapping, beating, raping, and killing them, are black.

Prosecutors and police have insisted that the crimes aren't racially motivated, but again today, outside groups of white separatists and supremacist rallied downtown, protesting that it was a hate crime, that demands national outrage.

For many, the rally was an undesired trip back in time.

"We're white people!, said Pastor Ken Gregg who organized the rally. "We founded this land and we're not going to take it!"

Deja vu in downtown Knoxville.

"You animals, you better crawl back in your hole," Gregg said.

"Knoxville doesn't want you, go home!" came the shouts from counter protesters.

Outside the city-county building it was white supremacists declaring their belief in "white pride" against the counter protesters.

"I'm a Knoxvillian," said Gloria McDonald, firmly against the rally, "We don't stand for this."

"This is about black on white crime," said Pastor Gregg.

Specifically the murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, which is the reason Pastor Ken Gregg organized this second go-around.

"Yahweh, who's our God, inspired our people to stand-up because our people are being murdered all over the world."

He read's each sign, and shout's to show the young couple's murder was "a hate crime.

For veteran protester Gloria McDonald, it's tough talk to handle.

"I marched with Martin Luther King," McDonald said. "I marched with Malcolm X."

Today's sights and even the sounds were an unwelcome trip back in time.

"We did this in the 60s, McDonald said, "I did this in the 50s, I'm retired. I went somewhere for nice climate. I came down here and I ran into this."

But the hatred's is new for some.

"I wanted to see the manifestation of the hate in world and learn how to deal with it," said Whitney Simpson who attended the rally.

Police say today's rally was peaceful, but the future remains uncertain.

"I believe in white power," said protester Tim Pratt.

"History," Gloria McDonald said, "it will repeat itself."


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  • by Don Location: Jacksonville on Jun 27, 2007 at 11:44 AM
    Torture and murder:= not hate. Protest torture and murder:= hate. What kind of pretzel logic is this?
  • by Walt Location: NC on Jun 20, 2007 at 10:50 AM
    Recently - May 18 - an off duty NYC cop named Raphael Lora shot and killed a black cabby from Honduras named Fermin Arzu. A few days later in NYC, a Sikh teen named Vacher Harpal got his hair cut by some Muslim punks. Would the press that ignores the savage murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom in Knoxville also ignore these two NYC "hate" crimes? Like hell. I established Google Alerts using the names Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, Knoxville's white victims, and George Thomas, Letalvis Cobbins, Lemaricus Davidson, Eric Boyd and Vanessa Coleman, the five black suspects. I also asked to be alerted any time the names Raphael Lora, Fermin Arzu and Vacher Harpal came across the Internet. I wanted to see if the press would dismiss the NYC "hate" crimes as it has dismissed Knoxville story. As you can guess, that Sikh haircut "hate" crime has been picked up by papers from Ireland to South Africa to Australia, literally around the world, including India, of course, and Vancouver, Chicago and the International Herald Tribune in Paris, inter alia. The press overwhelmingly ignores the Knoxville torture murders and jumps all over the "hate" crime of the hair cut. Sikh talking heads are all in the news to educate Americans about the importance of Sikh hair. Although it was covered by some American papers and the International Herald Tribune, and Black Entertainment Television, the black cabby's death is not as widely covered as the Sikh haircut. However, the shooting is being called a hate crime by many, and Al Sharpton brought out the cast of his mobile street theater for the funeral of the cabby. The Honduras diplomatic staff is also outraged and making demands. Absolutely no one in the press has called Sharpton a black supremacist, nor were the Honduran protestors called "hispanic supremacists." The concept of racial supremacy is reserved by the media only for white people. It is a glaring double standard as the Duke lacrosse horror proves.

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