Black church awarded KKK shop

Spencer Platt / Getty Images / AFP
Spencer Platt / Getty Images / AFP

If you find yourself outside of Columbia, South Carolina and need to purchase any neo-Nazi memorabilia, you better act fast. The future of Laurens, SC’s Redneck Shop — and its inventory of KKK robes and even its backroom “Klan Museum” is in doubt.

That’s assuming, of course, that the owner of the building will follow through with plans to pull the plug on the mid-Atlantic’s number-one destination for confederate flag woven patches and “Racial Purity is America’s Security” bumper stickers. Given that ownership is now officially in the name of Rev. David Kennedy, a civil rights hero that leads the predominantly black New Beginnings Baptist Church, chances of walking into his building and purchasing a Robert E. Lee switchblade might soon be slim to none.

Rev. Kennedy helped lobby to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse dome in South Carolina and protested against a county that wanted to not recognize Martin Luther King Day. One of his longest battles, however, has been with the Redneck Shop, a kitschy repository of racial hatred in the small town of Laurens. The shop has been located in the site of an old local movie theatre since 1996, but in 1997 the ownership of the building was transferred to Red. Kennedy after the former owner, an ex-Klansman, had a dispute with his hooded brethren and seceded from the sect.

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