A woman in Branson, Missouri, was captured on video at a Black Lives Matter protest earlier this week waving a Confederate flag and yelling at protesters “I will teach my grandkids to hate you all.” She also called out “KKK belief.”
Kathy Jenkins told local news station KOLR10 that since the video went viral she’s lost her job (a punishment she says she deserves) and has left Branson, her home of six years.
Jenkins claims, however, that she “blacked out” and doesn’t remember making those racist statements to BLM protesters assembled outside a store that sells Confederate merchandise. She does, however, say she remembers chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’ along with the protesters.
According to Jenkins, she was watching the protest from the other side of the street and was handed a Confederate flag. She says she thought it was a symbol of ‘unity.’
“I didn’t understand that the Confederate flag meant ‘hate,’” explained Jenkins. “I don’t understand the whole history of the Confederate flag, but I’m learning.”
Jenkins says she wasn’t yelling at the protesters but a pair of neighbors who were heckling her and calling her a racist for waving the flag.
“I wasn’t saying I’m KKK or for the KKK,” she told KOLR10 reporter David Chasanov on Wednesday. “I was mocking them because I don’t like being called a racist.”
“I’m so, so sorry,” Jenkins told KOLR10. “I mean, if it would help for me to stand with Black Lives Matter, I absolutely would do that.”
But Faith Pittser, one of the Black Lives Matter organizers, disagreed with that version of the story. She told KOLR10 in a statement:
“She knew exactly what she was doing. She was there from the start on the counter-protesters’ side shouting obscenities and hateful words at our protesters. I think her claims to not know what the confederate flag is and what it represents are absurd and lies. She proudly shouted “KKK belief” in front of all of us.
“Her apology does not make sense as she’s trying to state she didn’t realize she was on the opposing side. How do you not realize that if you’re on Dixie Outfitter’s property holding a confederate flag along with the other counter-protesters that are facing us? She never once shouted ‘black lives matter’ along with us. This woman is lying and apologizing because she’s sorry she got caught in her acts of racism.”
Here’s the original video (over 13 million views so far) that went viral.