Ilia Calderón (Univision)

KKK leader threatens life of Afro-Latina journalist during interview

"We killed 6 million Jews the last time. Eleven million is nothing," said the KKK's Chris Barker


Alessandra Maldonado
August 18, 2017 5:58PM (UTC)

Ilia Calderón, an afro-latina reporter, feared for the safety of herself and her crew after being threatened by a KKK leader during an interview.

Calderón, an immigrant journalist for Univision of both African and Colombian descent, agreed to meet the grand wizard of Loyal White Knights faction of the KKK Chris Barker on his property in North Carolina in July.

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After watching Barker conduct a ceremony with his fellow KKK members dressed in robes and yielding torches, she sat down with the leader and his wife for an interview. Things escalated quickly as Barker questioned why the journalist didn't "go back" to the country she was born in. "We have nothing here in America; ya’ll keep flooding it," he said. "But like God says – like Yahweh himself says – we will chase you out of here."

Barker continued to say that he and his fellow white supremacists would "burn out" all of the immigrants in the country. After Calderón questioned exactly how that could happen, he responded saying, "We killed 6 million Jews the last time. Eleven million is nothing."

Later on in the interview, Barker refers to the journalist as a "mongrel" and a "n*****," then proceeded to claim he isn't racist because he was part of a Christian group and not a hate group.

"My team told me that I would be insulted, and I knew, but I never imagined the level," Calderón told Univision. ". . . At that time I was really felt very afraid for my safety and the safety of my team."

"As part of the editorial meetings we were discussing the incidents of hate that had been presented, and how, from 2016 to here, these people and these groups feel entitled to raise its highest voice – perhaps backed by a President who speaks very weakly about it," she said.

The "Christian group" had a lot to say about the riots in Charlottesville last weekend. The Loyal Knights praised James Fields — the man who drove his car into a sea of protesters that ended in the death of one women — for "running over nine communist anti-fascists."

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"When a couple of them die, it doesn’t bother us," Barker said. "They’re always attacking and messing with our rallies."

The full interview will air August 20th on Univison.


Alessandra Maldonado

Alessandra Maldonado is an editorial intern at Salon. You can find her on Twitter at @alessamberr

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