What was the name of the popular James Brown song? The big payback!
After a long, hard-fought legal battle, a judge in South Carolina ruled that a black church is the rightful owner of a store called The Redneck Shop that sells robes, hoods, and other KKK paraphernalia.
A circuit judge ruled last month that New Beginnings Baptist Church is the rightful owner of the building that houses the Redneck Shop, which operates a so-called Klan museum and sells Klan robes and T-shirts emblazoned with racial slurs. The judge ordered the shop’s proprietor to pay the church’s legal bills of more than $3,300.
Since 1996, the Redneck Shop has operated in an old movie theater in Laurens, a city about 70 miles northwest from Columbia that was named after 18th century slave trader Henry Laurens.
Ownership of the building was transferred in 1997 to the Rev. David Kennedy and his church, New Beginnings, by a Klansman fighting with others inside the hate group, according to court records. That man, according to Kennedy, was feuding with store proprietor John Howard over a woman and “developed a spiritual relationship” with Kennedy’s church, the judge wrote.
Although it isn’t clear if the judge’s ruling means The Redneck Shop must close, Rev. Kennedy has said in the past that he’d like to close the store and begin holding his church services in the building.
*Photo courtesy of the Associated Press