How a black pastor changed a KKK member's life

Ken Parker as a Ku Klux Klan member.
Ken Parker as a Ku Klux Klan member. Photo credit: NBC

An ex-KKK member has completely changed his radical 'white is right' views, just a year after he marched with the American neo-Nazi political party National Socialist Movement (NSM) in Charlottesville.

The violent race rally famously led to the death of lawyer and civil rights activist, Heather Heyer.

Former white supremacist Ken Parker recalls the moments that he begun to change his perspective on race, the first being during the Charlottesville rally.

This is where he met filmmaker Deeyah Khan, who was making the Emmy-nominated film White Right: Meeting The Enemy.

"I pretty much had heat exhaustion after the rally, because we like to wear our black uniforms, and I drank a big Red Bull before the event. And I was hurting and she was trying to make sure I was okay," he told NBC.

In the film, Mr Parker clearly harbours racist beliefs - but over the coming months, after meeting Khan, he begins to doubt his own beliefs.

He then befriends a neighbouring African-American pastor, one who is open to discussion and questions with Parker. A few months later and after much discussion, pastor William McKinnon III invited Mr Parker to his church's Easter service.

Shortly after that, he decided he'd had enough of his Klan life and was ready to testify in his new church, six years after joining.

"I said, 'I was a grand dragon of the KKK, and then the Klan wasn't hateful enough for me so I decided to become a Nazi' - and a lot of them, their jaws about hit the floor and their eyes got real big," he told NBC.

In July, he was baptised and has begun work to get his swastika and Klan symbol through laser treatment.

Now instead of recruiting members into the hate movement, he tells them to take his path instead.


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