Alabama state lawmaker resigns as pastor after attending party for KKK leader

Alabama state lawmaker resigns as pastor after attending party for KKK leader
CBS 42

Republican State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) of Alabama is making more being-a-racist news. On Thursday, Dismukes announced he would be stepping down as pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Prattville. This comes after days and weeks of controversy surrounding the Alabama state representative and his relationship to race and racist organizations in the state.


The most recent controversy comes after Dismukes attended and then gave the invocation at the annual birthday party for first grand wizard of the KKK and Confederate general traitor Nathan Bedford Forrest on July 25 in Selma. The event coincided with ceremonies honoring the late U.S. representative and civil rights activist John Lewis’ passing. Rep. Dismukes posted about the event on his Facebook page the following day, writing: “Had a great time at Fort Dixie speaking and giving the invocation for Nathan Bedford Forrest annual birthday celebration. Always a great time and some sure enough good eating!!”

Very quickly, Alabama Baptist officials distanced themselves from Dismukes’ attendance of the event. Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, told Alabama Baptist Media: “We are saddened and grieved to learn of the recent Facebook post by state Rep. Will Dismukes. … In the wake of tremendous controversy we reaffirm our opposition to any kind of racism.” Subsequently Dismukes was contacted by other Baptist officials in the state, with whom he met and decided to resign from his post as pastor. According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Dismukes says he has no plans to leave his position in state government.

Back in June, Dismukes came under fire for his support of state funding for a Confederate memorial park in Alabama, as well as his membership in a local Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter in Prattville. At the time, Rep. Dismukes told reporters that he didn’t support “slavery in any fashion,” but just “because I want to protect our history doesn’t mean I’m all of a sudden glorifying the days of slavery or anything of that nature.”

Dismukes’ Facebook page is filled with the kind of thinking about race and activism and flags that you might expect from someone who believes speaking at the birthday celebration for the founder of the KKK is patriotic and godly in some fashion. It’s a lot of why are people kneeling during the national anthem, and criticisms of Dr. Anthony Fauci, and questioning the need to wear masks.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.