Arkansas Lawmaker Says He Attended KKK Rally (While Blasting Former Colleague For ‘Racism’)

wilkins-butchRep. Butch Wilkins (D-Bono) admitted in a Facebook post last week that he attended a Ku Klux Klan rally in the 1960s.

According to Wilkins’ post last Sunday, “very much the same words” that were used at the KKK rally were used in a recent guest column in the Jonesboro Sun. That day, former State Rep. Jon Hubbard was the only guest columnist in the local paper. Hubbard is presumably who Wilkins was referring to:

wilkins kkk 2 (1)

The post has since been deleted from Wilkins’s page.

After reading Hubbard’s guest column, I contacted Wilkins for further comment. Hubbard’s article only made one mention of race and it was actually a statement against racism, calling for unity across racial lines. Wilkins initially confirmed that his statement was in reference to Hubbard. “Yeah, more or less, yeah,” he said. So, what specifically did Hubbard say that, according to Wilkins, were “very much the same words” used at a KKK rally?

I don’t know. I don’t really know. I never named Jon Hubbard. I don’t really know what it was now. I went to a KKK thing when I was probably…my first year out of high school. It was north of Jonesboro. It’s been a long time ago. But I don’t know specifically..it’s the whole hate thing, I think, that seems to be talked about more and more by some of these guest columnists in the Jonesboro Sun. The Agenda 21 stuff and all that kind of stuff. It’s just racist to me, a lot of it. And that’s where I stand on it.

Criticizing Agenda 21 is racist? That’s news to me — and it’s hard to see how that’s quite as racist as (just for instance) the KKK. Wilkins continued:

I don’t even know that I completely read Hubbard. I don’t read much of his stuff. It’s the same old crap over and over.

Wilkins then modified his initial claim that he was talking about Hubbard:

It was general. It wasn’t necessarily Hubbard. It’s just a lot of the hate stuff seems to be going on now.

I asked Wilkins how it came about that he attended a Klan meeting. Wilkins said:

Oh, I was a teenage boy and I had no idea what was going on. Somebody said ‘let’s go,’ and I said, ‘Let’s go.’ You know I never was involved in anything like that. I seen a few of their rallies over here. I spent…or, their demonstrations later on in law enforcement. We had to show up a lot of times where they were supposed to be and all that kind of stuff. That was…I was probably 19 years old, so it’s nearly been 50 years ago. So that’s a long time. But I didn’t have no interest in it. I just happened to go with another guy.

Just “happened to go” to a KKK rally? Oh, that makes sense: I mean, who hasn’t?

I will say, in fairness, Rep. Wilkins would be far from the first person in the world — or even in “the early 1960s” — to make incredibly stupid or offensive choices at the age of 19. But accusing a newspaper columnist of sounding just like a KKK speaker is, for multiple reasons, a mistake as well (even if you do have first-hand knowledge of what’s said at those meetings). It’s not a mistake that was made by a 19-year-old, but by a senior citizen who is a third-term member of the state House of Representatives. It’s especially a mistake if the newspaper column in question said nothing racist at all — and it’s not a mistake that Rep. Wilkins can defend himself against by invoking his own youth and inexperience.

Comments

  1. Typical Democrat! Say one thing, do another! If their mouth is moving they are probably deceiving you, me and anyone else they can! (Hesitated saying “lying”)! I will have to give some credence to the fact it occurred in the 60’s, he was just “young and dumb” back then, Or at least that is what he will tell~!

  2. I’m sure the deceased Senator/Klansman/Grand-Cyclops Robert Byrd would be proud of Rep. Wilkins. I wonder if good ole boy Butch wore his bedsheets when he “just happened to go” to the local Klan rally.

  3. Straining rather hard to bring forth some (self) righteous indignation, aren’t we?

  4. “Accidentally” attending a KKK meeting is when you take the wrong turn as you are going down the highway, you stop at the barn with the big bonfire out front to ask directions, you see all the folks in white sheets, and you turn around and leave and hope they don’t follow you. Maybe this century it is taking a wrong turn in a community center hallway and ending up in the wrong meeting room by mistake. Somebody saying “Let’s go to a KKK meeting” and you saying “Let’s go!” is the antithesis of accident. This reminds me of Dr. Laura’s views on “accidental” pregnancies.

    • K C Jenkins says:

      Well spoken, Scott. It may have been something he regreted later, but it was not an accident, it was a choice. To accuse someone of ‘sounding like a KKK speaker’ is a serious charge, and in this case clearly not appropiate in the example he gave. So his lack of judgement in making such a charge is what I would judge him on.

  5. Timothy Simmons says:

    To tell you the truth, I have personally been witness to ole Butch speak and have followed his facebook rantings and the fact is he’s not the sharpest tack in the box. Truth be known, those close to him expect the guy’s in white coat’s to show up anytime with one of those coat’s with the long arm’s .

  6. sensible amos jones says:

    I did some stuff at age 19 that in no way define who I am now. HOWEVER, Wilkins did the typical Dem/Lib hatchet job on Hubbard, then when pressed admitted he didn’t even read the whole column. That’s exactly what they did during his last campaign — either took isolated statements out of context, or didn’t read and thus didn’t know the context — to paint him as some reactionary. Seen in context, I certainly agree with him, both in the stated quotations during the campaign and in his latest Sun column. Wilkins really should just zip it and go to the house.

  7. Conservative gal says:

    Not to sound mean, but Mr. Wilkins sounds dumber than two rocks. The term “Useful Idiot” comes to mind. It seems incredible that the people of his district would vote him back in when they had a smart conservative as an alternative in this last election cycle. A lot of us have suspected some hanky panky at the ballot box. Can we say Hudson Hallum?????
    Can anyone make sense of Wilkins’ last paragraph? The liberal Democrats are not only dumbing down the voters, they are dumbing down their own politicians!

Trackbacks

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