The Missouri woman who went viral for waving a Confederate flag, praising the Ku Klux Klan and vowing to teach hate to her grandchildren while at a Black Lives Matter protest in Branson is apologizing.
“I’m so, so sorry,” Kathy Jenkins told Ozarks First. “I mean, if it would help for me to stand with Black Lives Matter, I absolutely would do that.”
Jenkins said she “blacked out” during the event and doesn’t remember what she said as anti-racism protesters gathered outside a store that sells Confederate merchandise.
However, the moment was caught on a widely shared video as Jenkins ― decked out in a “Make America Great Again” cap and draped in a Confederate flag ― told the protesters she would teach her grandchildren to hate them.
“I’m teaching them to fuckin’ hate all of you people,” she said, then she raised a fist and called out “KKK belief.”
Jenkins said she does not support the KKK.
“I wasn’t saying I’m KKK or for the KKK,” she told Ozarks First. “I was mocking them because I don’t like being called a racist.”
She also said she lost her job and left Branson over the incident ― and promised to never wave a Confederate flag again.
“I didn’t understand that the Confederate flag meant hate,” she told Ozarks First. “I don’t understand the whole history of the Confederate flag, but I’m learning.”
At least some of the protesters aren’t buying her apology.
Mental health advocate Kenidra Woods said on Twitter that Jenkins’ vow to teach hate “hurt me to my core.”
Protest organizer Faith Pittser was similarly unimpressed.
“She knew exactly what she was doing,” she told Ozarks First. “She was there from the start on the counter-protesters’ side shouting obscenities and hateful words at our protesters.”
Dixie Outfitters, the store at the center of the demonstrations, called the protesters “thugs” who “hate our country.”
The store is owned by a couple with a history of KKK support.
Anna Robb told the Springfield News Leader in 2015 that she had attended Klan events “years ago” but that it’s “not even something that comes up anymore.”
Husband Nathan Robb, the newspaper said, is the son of KKK leader Thomas Robb. Anna Robb said at the time that they hadn’t spoken with him in years.
City leaders in Branson, a major tourist hub, have had a mixed reaction to the events.
The Associated Press reports that the city’s aldermen were asked to denounce the KKK at a meeting on Tuesday. Two did so, two were silent and one responded by saying police need more support.