A Ku Klux Klan leader, appearing at a hearing in Greensboro, S.C., was defiant in his characterization of deadly events 25 years ago in which he was a key player, reports that city’s News-Record. Virgil Griffin, the imperial wizard of the Cleveland Knights of the KKK, was one of seven people who spoke on the second day of hearings by the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The independent panel is investigating the Nov. 3, 1979, Klan-Nazi shootings at a rally in the city’s Morningside Homes community.
Griffin criticized anyone studying the events. He stood firm in his claims of self-defense. He placed blame for fatal shootings 25 years ago at the feet of those killed. An his answer to how his men survived a deadly encounter with communist demonstrators in 1979: “Maybe God guided the bullets.” It was Griffin who led a caravan of Klansmen and Nazis to a “Death to the Klan” march that morning, organized by the Communists Workers Party and promoted by fliers that challenged the Klan to a showdown. Five people were killed and 10 injured when gunfire interrupted the march. Several Klansmen were acquitted of murder charges in a subsequent trial.