|Updated: 2/14 9:18 pm
||Published: 2/14 9:18 pm
For the first time, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton is talking about a planned Ku Klux Klan rally in the city.
The KKK is coming to Memphis because its members are upset about the city's decision to rename Forrest Park. The group even called Memphis city leaders the 'N-word'.
Mayor Wharton told abc24.com the city will be ready.
"We will maintain the peace in this city. Am I going to say they're welcome? No, they're not welcome. I'm not going to try to be gentlemanly on that," he said.
"We do not welcome anybody who stands for hatred or anything other than a peaceful co-existence. But again, if they come, their rights, even though we don't like it, they still have rights. This is America. And we will see that their rights are protected. But more importantly we are going to se that the rights of the citizens of Memphis are protected."
Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong, then an undercover officer, helped protect the Klan during their last rally in 1998, which ended with violence.
Armstrong is worried about the upcoming march because members warned they would be armed.
The KKK has not released the date of the protest.