TIME U.S.

Watch This KKK March Get Trolled By a Man and His Tuba

"I didn't really know how to show my opposition, so that was my way of doing it," Matt Buck says

South Carolina has long been a crucible of racial friction, a truth tragically brought to light last month when 21-year-old Dylann Roof murdered nine African-Americans at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. In the weeks since, these muted tensions have amplified, with a number of Confederate apologists loudly and defiantly standing by a heritage marred if not defined by prejudice.

The great thing about America, though, is that for every pack of cringeworthy contrarians, you have someone able and eager to call their bluff. In this case, the contrarians are members of a contemporary incarnation of the Ku Klux Klan, and their most vocal opponent is a sousaphone-playing young man named Matt Buck.

Last week, as the Klan revival group waved their Confederate flags through Columbia, South Carolina, Buck marched alongside them, huffing into his sousaphone (a version of the tuba modified for the marching band).

“I didn’t really know how to show my opposition, so that was my way of doing it,” he told the Charleston City Paper. “My goal was to embarrass them, and I think I did a little bit.”

TIME 2016 Election

Donald Trump Heaps Insults on Lindsey Graham, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Other Foes

Unrepentant, unleashed, on attack

A triumphant and unrepentant Donald Trump launched a barrage of personal attacks and name-calling on his campaign rivals Tuesday, most notably calling South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham an “idiot” and handing out Graham’s cell phone number to the whole world.

He dismissed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as “weak on immigration,” and mocked Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s glasses and Hillary Clinton’s hand wave.

“What a stiff, what a stiff, Lindsey Graham. By the way he has registered zero in the polls,” Trump said, at an appearance in Bluffton, S.C. “A total lightweight. In the private sector, he couldn’t get a job.”

Earlier in the day, Graham called Trump a “jackass.” In response, Trump called Graham an “idiot” and held up a card that included Graham’s personal phone number, then asked his supporters to call Graham. “I don’t know, give it a shot,” he said.

Graham’s campaign manager, Christian Ferry, said in a statement that Trump “continues to show hourly that he is ill-prepared to be commander-in-chief.”

“Because of Trump’s bombastic and ridiculous campaign, we aren’t talking about [President] Obama’s horrible deal with Iran or Hillary Clinton’s plans to continue Obama’s failed national security agenda,” Ferry continued.

Trump’s rambling address found several other targets. “Bush said my tone is not right,” Trump said about another rival. “I said, ‘Tone, we need tone, we need enthusiasm, we need tone.'”

“I’m not a fan of Jeb Bush,” he went on. “Jeb bush is in favor of Common Core and he is weak on immigration. . . . Who would you rather have negotiating with China. Trump or Jeb? Or Trump or Hillary?” When he mentioned former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he waved his hand to pantomime her approach to diplomacy.

There were others that played the role of Trump targets, including the senior Senator from Arizona. “John McCain is totally about open borders and all of this stuff,” he continued, describing his anger against the Arizona senator who called some in Trump’s crowds “crazies.” “I know crazies. These are patriotic Americans.”

“I think Rick Perry is probably smarter than Lindsey Graham. But what do I know?” he said, after mocking Perry’s new glasses—”He’s got the glasses, oh oh oh.” Trump previously tweeted that Rick Perry should have an IQ test before getting on the debate stage, a comment he repeated in South Carolina. “I think Rick Perry is probably smarter than Lindsey Graham. But what do I know?” he said.

“The reason they are hitting me in all fairness,” Trump continued. “When you are registering zero in the polls, you’ve got nothing to lose.”

He repeated many of the central themes of his campaign, planning to change American leadership and make the country great. “If you can’t get rich dealing with politicians, there is probably something wrong with you,” he said. “These politicains they run and they run and they win and they lose. . . . They don’t do anything when the get there. I know better than anyone.”

As it now stands, Trump leads the national Republican primary polls. A Washington Post poll, completed late last week, found that 24% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents supported Trump’s candidacy. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker held second place with 13% support.

The speech started and ended with bluster. “I don’t use tele-prompters,” he said, when he came out on stage. “I don’t like. They’re too easy.”

Read next: Like It or Not, Donald Trump Is News

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TIME South Carolina

See the Moving Photo of a Black Cop Helping a Man at KKK Rally

Confederate Flag Rallies leroy smith
Rob Godfrey—AP Police officer Leroy Smith helps a man wearing National Socialist Movement attire up the stairs during a rally on July 18, 2015, in Columbia, S.C.

The most memorable image of a Ku Klux Klan rally in South Carolina Saturday undercut the group’s mission.

When the North Carolina-based Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan rallied at the steps of the South Carolina statehouse to protest the removal of the Confederate flag, one older protester was affected by the heat.

A photographer captured what happened next: Police Officer Leroy Smith, who is black, helped the protester, who was wearing a National Socialist movement T-shirt, up the stairs and out of the heat.

The photo, provided to the Associated Press by photographer Rob Godfrey, went viral Saturday night. Godfrey is the deputy chief of staff for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who pushed for the flag to be removed from the Capitol after a shooting at a Charleston church.

Read Next: Watch the Emotional Speech That Helped Bring Down the Confederate Flag

TIME South Carolina

KKK Rallies for Confederate Flag in South Carolina

columbia south carolina kkk
Erik S. Lesser—EPA A man displays a Confederate battle flag during New Black Panther Party and Ku Klux Klan rallies on the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol in Columbia, S.C. on July 18, 2015.

A dueling "Black Unity Rally" was held as well

(COLUMBIA, S.C.)—A sea of Confederate flags held by screaming Ku Klux Klan members were waved in front of the South Carolina Statehouse Saturday, just as a counter rally featuring African flags on the other side of the Capitol wrapped up.

The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, based in North Carolina, vowed to protest the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse last week — and made good on that promise.

About 50 members descended on the Capitol steps waving the rebel banners — at least one of which included a Nazi symbol — and immediately began shouting at

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME South Carolina

KKK to Protest Confederate Flag’s Removal From South Carolina Capitol

Membership in the KKK is shrinking

The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan calls itself the largest Klan group in America. But it doesn’t take much these days to claim that mark.

The Knights, who on Saturday will rally at the steps of the South Carolina Capitol to protest the removal of the Confederate battle flag, claims a few thousand active members nationwide, a figure that researchers say is exaggerated but remains a tiny fraction of the 5 million Americans who were on the rolls of Klan chapters 90 years ago.

Now the Loyal White Knights says the Klan is poised for a return…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Crime

Accused Charleston Shooter Dylann Roof’s Trial Date Set

Dylann Roof
Jason Miczek — Reuters Police lead suspected shooter Dylann Roof into the courthouse in Shelby, North Carolina, June 18, 2015.

He will remain in jail until the trial next year

Dylann Roof, who was charged with murdering nine people in a historically black church in Charleston, S.C. in June, will go on trial in July of 2016.

Roof had his second court appearance Thursday morning, where his trial was set for July 11, 2016, ABC reports. Roof’s defense attorney says he is competent to stand trial and is not seeking bond, meaning that Roof, 21, will remain in jail until then.

On the evening June 17, Roof entered the Emmanual AME Church in Charleston, a church with a deep history. Roof, who is white, then opened fire on a Bible study group, killing nine people. Given the nature of the crime and some posts on Roof’s Facebook page, police treated the shooting as a hate crime. Roof had been arrested previously on drug charges, but was able to buy a gun based on an error in the jail’s database.

The shooting ignited debate over the Confederate flag, which Roof had posed with in photos taken before shooting and which still flew on the grounds of the South Carolina State Capitol in the days after the massacre. Three weeks after the shooting and following hours of debate, the South Carolina legislature voted to take down the flag.

TIME Crime

Jail’s Error Allowed Charleston Shooting Suspect to Buy Gun

Dylann Roof
Jason Miczek — Reuters Police lead suspected shooter Dylann Roof into the courthouse in Shelby, North Carolina, June 18, 2015.

Correction on Dylann Roof's record was not sent to the authorities on time

(LEXINGTON, S.C.) — An employee at the Lexington County jail entered the wrong information into a database of South Carolina arrests, allowing the man charged with killing nine people at a Charleston church to buy the gun authorities say was used in the attack.

Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon told The Associated Press on Monday the wrong information about which agency arrested Dylann Roof on a drug charge was corrected two days after his Feb. 28 arrest. That correction wasn’t sent to the State Law Enforcement Division, which maintains the records that the FBI checks.

When the FBI did its check in April, an examiner called Lexington County deputies, who said the arrest took place in Columbia. Before the examiner could find the report, the waiting period expired and the gun was sold.

TIME South Carolina

South Carolina’s Confederate Flag Comes Down

The flag was removed from the Statehouse where it has flown for more than a half-century

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — The Confederate flag was lowered from the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse to the cheers of thousands on Friday, ending its 54-year presence there and marking a stunning political reversal in a state where many thought the rebel banner would fly indefinitely.

The turnabout seemed unthinkable before the June 17 massacre of nine black parishioners — including a state senator — at a Charleston church during a Bible study. Dylann Roof, a white man who was photographed with the Confederate flag, is charged in the shooting deaths, and authorities have called the killings a hate crime.

The massacre reignited calls to remove Confederate flags and symbols across the South and around the nation.

The crowd chanted “USA” and “hey, hey, hey, goodbye” as the flag was lowered by an honor guard of South Carolina troopers during a 6-minute ceremony. Gov. Nikki Haley stood on the Statehouse steps and did not speak, though she nodded in the direction of the crowd after someone shouted: “Thank you governor.”

Two troopers rolled the flag and tied it up with a string and handed it to a black trooper who brought it to the Statehouse steps. When the trooper handed it to a state archivist, the governor clapped.

President Barack Obama tweeted minutes after the flag was down, saying it was “a sign of good will and healing and a meaningful step towards a better future.” Obama delivered a eulogy at one of the funerals, for state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, who was also pastor of the church where the killings took place.

A van was to take the flag to the nearby Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum. There, it eventually will be housed in a multimillion-dollar shrine lawmakers promised to build as part of a deal to get a bill passed removing the flag.

South Carolina’s leaders first flew the battle flag over the Statehouse dome in 1961 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Civil War. It remained there to represent official opposition to the civil rights movement.

Decades later, mass protests against the flag by those who said it was a symbol of racism and white supremacy led to a compromise in 2000 with lawmakers who insisted that it symbolized Southern heritage and states’ rights. The two sides came to an agreement to move the flag from the dome to a 30-foot pole next to a Confederate monument in front of the Statehouse.

Many thought it would stay there. Now, even that flagpole will be torn down, but no timetable is set on that.

People who supported removing the flag chanted “take it down” before the ceremony and vastly outnumbered those who were upset about the move.

“It feels so good to be out here and be happy about it,” said Ronald D. Barton, 52, a pastor who also was at the ceremony in 2000.

Haley did not answer questions about the upcoming ceremony, but earlier Friday on NBC’s “Today” show, she said: “No one should ever drive by the Statehouse and feel pain. No one should ever drive by the Statehouse and feel like they don’t belong.”

The flag came down 23 days after the massacre at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Haley signed the bill with 13 pens. Nine of them went to the families of the victims.

On Friday, artist Ernest Lee came to the Statehouse with a framed portrait of all nine victims. He said he’s been invited to the Charleston church on Sunday to present his artwork. He said he wished more people would turn to art for inspiration.

“If they did, there wouldn’t be so much hate and violence,” he said.

It's as good as down, folks. #OneSC #ConfederateFlag #ColumbiaSC

A video posted by CJ Lake (@cjlake) on

TIME South Carolina

South Carolina Governor Signs Bill to Bring Confederate Flag Down

The bill requires the removal of flag to happen within 24 hours of governor's signature

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill into law Thursday that will bring down the Confederate flag outside the Statehouse, a move that seemed unthinkable only a month ago in this Deep South state that was the first to secede from the Union.

The law requires the battle flag to be gone within 24 hours; her staff said it would be removed during a ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday and relegated to the state’s Confederate Relic Room.

“The Confederate flag is coming off the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse,” Haley said. “We will bring it down with dignity and we will make sure it is stored in its rightful place.”

The flag first flew over the Statehouse dome in 1961 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Civil War and was kept there as a symbol of official opposition to the civil rights movement. Mass protests decades later led to a compromise in 2000 with lawmakers who insisted that the flag symbolized Southern heritage and state’s rights.

They agreed then to move it to a 30-foot pole next to a Confederate monument out front. But even from that lower perch, the historic but divisive symbol remained clearly visible in the center of town, and flag supporters remained a powerful bloc in the state.

The massacre 22 days ago of nine people inside their historic black church in Charleston suddenly changed this dynamic, not only in South Carolina but around the nation.

Police said the shootings inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church were racially motivated, and by posing with the Confederate flag before the shootings, suspect Dylann Storm Roof, who has not yet entered a plea to nine counts of murder, re-ignited a debate over the flag’s history as a symbol of white superiority and racial oppression.

Haley moved first, calling on South Carolina lawmakers to vote the flag down, and very quickly thereafter, other Republican lawmakers who have long cultivated the votes of Confederate flag supporters were announcing that other Civil War symbols no longer deserve places of honor.

“These nine pens are going to the families of the Emanuel Nine,” Haley said after signing the bill into law. “Nine amazing individuals who have forever changed South Carolina history.”

South Carolina’s flag removal bill passed easily in the Senate, where state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor gunned down at the church, had served, but was stalled by debate in the House as dozens of amendments were proposed. Any changes to the Senate bill could have delayed the flag’s removal by weeks or months, perhaps blunting momentum that has grown since the massacre.

House members deliberated well into the night, amid anger, tears and shared memories of Civil War ancestors.

Supporters of the flag talked about grandparents passing down family treasures. Some lamented that the flag had been “hijacked” or “abducted” by racists.

Rep. Mike Pitts recalled playing with a Confederate ancestor’s cavalry sword while growing up. He said that for him, the flag is a reminder of how many dirt-poor Southern farmers fought Yankees, not because they hated blacks or sought to preserve white supremacy, but because their land was being invaded.

Black Democrats, frustrated at being asked to honor the Civil War soldiers who also fought to preserve slavery, offered their own family histories as a counterpoint. Rep. Joe Neal talked about tracing his ancestry back to four brothers who were brought to America in chains. A slave owner named Neal bought them, changed their last names and pulled them apart from their families.

“The whole world is asking, is South Carolina really going to change, or will it hold to an ugly tradition of prejudice and discrimination and hide behind heritage as an excuse for it?” Neal said.

Rep. Jenny Horne, a white Republican who said she is a descendent of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, scolded her party members for stalling.

“I cannot believe that we do not have the heart in this body to do something meaningful such as take a symbol of hate off these grounds on Friday. And if any of you vote to amend, you are ensuring that this flag will fly beyond Friday. And for the widow of Sen. Pinckney and his two young daughters, that would be adding insult to injury and I will not be a part of it!” Horne screamed into the microphone.

The bill ultimately passed 93-27 in the House — well above the two-thirds supermajority needed to make changes to the state’s “heritage” symbols. Some lawmakers hugged, cried and high-fived, while others snapped selfies and pumped their fists.

TIME South Carolina

Watch the Emotional Speech That Helped Bring Down the Confederate Flag

An emotional speech by a descendant of Jefferson Davis Wednesday helped convince the South Carolina House to remove the Confederate flag from the Capitol grounds.

“I cannot believe that we do not have the heart in this body to do something meaningful such as take a symbol of hate off these grounds on Friday,” Rep. Jenny Horne said. Horne’s ancestor, Jefferson Davis, was the president of the Confederacy.

“For the widow of Sen. Pinckney and his two young daughters, that would be adding insult to injury,” she yelled, fighting back tears.

Pinckney, a state senator, was one of nine victims in a racially-motivated shooting at a black church in Charleston on June 17. The shooting set off a contentious debate about the role of the Confederate flag in modern society, specifically about its place at the South Carolina State House. The state House voted at 1 am Thursday morning to remove the flag.

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