LEOMA, Tennessee –
Imperial Wizard William Sanders, of the Tennessee Chapter of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, attempted use his Klan membership card in order to receive a discount at a local grocery chain for a large order of bleach he was purchasing for his local chapter’s use.
“He came up to the counter with a shopping cart all filled up with bleach bottles,” recalls cashier Trelaine Mumford, “and he asked me if I could give him a discount since he was buying so many.”
The store was running a “buy one, get one free” special with a limit of 1 offer per person, explained Mumford. “The manager set that up, and I couldn’t go against the policy. He [Sanders] handed me a card and I thought at first he was showing me his bonus points savings card, but it was a membership card to the Klan instead. He asked me if it would work to get a discount for the bleach, and that’s when I had to go ask the manager.”
“I talked to the store manager who I knew from around town, but he’s not part of our Klavern,” said Sanders. A “Klavern” in KKK terminology, is a local branch or meeting place for members of the controversial organization, classified as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“He denied me the discount,” Sanders said, “and right then and there I felt discriminated against. My rights were violated as a pure American customer and public citizen.”
“We have to look our best,” continued Sanders. “Our whites have to look bright. The economy’s real bad around here these days, so I try to save money everywhere I can, just like everybody else does. I don’t think it’s fair to deny something to one group just because you don’t think the same way they do,” he added.