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Racial Issues Divide Moore County Town

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CARTHAGE — Now a small town in Moore County, about anhour southwest of the Triangle, is caught in the middle of a racialdivide that seems like something out of the 1960's.

Larry Caddell is a small town mayor with a big time dilemma. A fewweeks ago, a Ku Klux Klan member came to Carthage and filed paperworkto hold a rally on the courthouse steps a week from Saturday.

In their application, Klan members requested special police protectionand electricity for loud speakers, which would violate a town ordinance.They even want the town to accept liability if a Klan Member is hurt. Mayor Caddell says 'no way'.

Sam Kelly is a retired Carthage police officer and member of thetraditionally black Masonic Lodge in Carthage. Every year, they hold afish fry to raise money for orphaned children. This year, the Klan willrally on the courthouse steps the same day as the fish fry.

The KKK has been around since just after the Civil War, and thosewho watch hate groups say the organization is in the middle-ground in it'sactivity cycle.

Retired Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest helped found thegroup, which started as a so-called social club. The first meeting was in1865 or 1866 in Pulaski, Tennessee. Membership has varied through theyears. The most current estimate says there are 6,000 active members -- down slightly since the late 1980s.

Photographer:Robert Meikle

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