It might seem ironic, but it took a Jewish guy to protect a member of the Ku Klux Klan from at least 30 angry counter protesters this past weekend when his fellow Klansmen abandoned him.
Six members of the white supremacist group had showed up for the planned anti-immigration rally on the “white lives matter” theme, according to Anaheim Police Dept. Spokesperson Sgt. Daron Wyatt. Several were wearing navy blue uniforms, with a patch of the Confederate flag sewn on the sleeve.
The Klan leader knocked to the ground was Will Quigg, national leader of the group, as the scuffle quickly became a beat-down. The Klansman was taking the worst of it when Prof. Brian Levin stepped in.
Levin is the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino.
“The protesters were going to tear these guys limb for limb,” he told Guns.com . “I don’t know how long I could’ve held them back.” Levin was there to witness and record the KKK, which he has been doing for several years. But police had not yet arrived, and violence had started.
“I’ve seen this before,” Levin said. “You don’t want a hostile crowd with a stationary target on the ground. Once you get a crowd going, it doesn’t stop.”
Wyatt said Klansmen stabbed three protesters, including one who was stabbed with “the decorative end of a flagpole” and rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition. A total of five people were injured, including two from the hate group.
Police had not expected the counter protesters would become violent. “The KKK, as reprehensible as it may be, is protected by the First Amendment,” Wyatt said. “They have a right under the Constitution to say what they want to say.”
Levin made it clear he was not protecting the Klansman on philosophical grounds, but rather to ensure that no one was killed in the violence. He later asked the KKK member how it felt to have his life saved by a Jewish man. “I thank you,” the Klansman replied. “I thank you.”