A viral video turned heads this week, showing a White woman holding a Confederate flag at a Black Lives Matter protest and telling demonstrators: "I will teach my grandkids to hate you all." According to a report by The Hill, the video was taken at a march in Branson, Missouri, in a parking lot outside of a Dixie Outfitters. The woman in the video has now issued a public apology.
The woman sat on the tailgate of a pickup truck in the video, with a man sitting on the toolbox behind her. She held a Confederate battle flag in her lap while another was draped over the cab of the truck, and a third was flying from a flagpole staked in the truck bed. When she realized she was being recorded, the woman began shouting over her music defiantly at the protesters. More Confederate flag-clad counter-demonstrators were visible in the background, while a police officer stood between the two groups.
“I will teach my grandkids to hate you all” pic.twitter.com/f2IO0awyjg— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) June 22, 2020
Protesters were reportedly gathered outside of the store because the owner had a history with the Ku Klux Klan. While about 65 Black Lives Matter supporters were there, another 50 people showed up to counter-protest, including the woman in the truck, who proudly identified herself as Kathy Bennett, a Branson local.
"I'll teach them to f—ing hate all of you," she said. "I will teach my grandkids to hate you all. Suck on this. KKK belief."
The video picked up traction online after it was posted on Monday, especially after Law & Order: SVU star Ice-T retweeted it. According to a report by local outlet Fox 8, the woman in the video is now showing remorse. She told journalists that she has been fired from her job and locked out of Facebook since her video went viral. However, she now says that she deserved these punishments.
"I was chanting 'Black Lives Matter...' and that's not even on video. It's like I blacked out. I don't even remember," she said. She added that she only showed up intending to observe the protest, saying: "I've never been to one. I just wanted to see what the rally was all about."
According to Bennett — or Kathy Jenkins, as she is identified by Fox 8 — she was just watching until someone handed her a Confederate flag. She claims that she did not even know what the battle flag represented but assumed it was a symbol of unity. She said that she did not know the person whose truck she was sitting in either and that the moment caught on video was an out-of-context moment of her losing her temper.
"I hadn't said anything until they came into my face... it's like I blacked out. I don't even remember saying half the stuff that I said," she claims. "I wasn't saying I'm KKK or for the KKK. I was mocking them because I don't like being called a racist." The woman has published a full written apology, though many activists online are not buying it. The protest itself ended peacefully.