A “family values” candidate from Arkansas says he’s really, really, really sorry about dressing up in a KKK robe and hood 20 years ago, saying it was just a Halloween costume and he’s definitely not racist. Because how could he be when he’s a Christian?
Republican Charles Beckham III is currently challenging Democratic Sen. Bruce Maloch for his seat in the Arkansas State Senate. According to a damning new report published by Arkansas Times, five of Beckham’s former high school classmates have come forward to accuse him of being garbage.
According to the classmates, during his senior year in high school, Beckham terrorized a girls’ dormitory at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science by barging in with two other students dressed in full KKK regalia and storming up and down the halls.
Arkansas Times reports:
Victoria Brown, a Black woman who now lives in Suffolk, Va., remembers that the men weren’t “skipping” or acting playful. They were marching, projecting a “commanding presence.” She remembers Beckham, a formidable figure, in the lead. She remembers thinking later, “Did I see what I just saw? Gee, they just have these [outfits] at home? Do they do this on the weekend?”
“I just remember being petrified to the point of tears,” Brown said. She said Klan outfits were supposed to “strike fear” and they did that night.
Alana Nichols, a Black woman who now lives in Birmingham, remembered it the same way and said women rushed out of the dorm in terror.
All agreed that the men didn’t behave in a jocular fashion, as if it was a prank. “He was serious,” Nichols said.
Safira McGrew, a Black woman who lives in Antioch, Calif., additionally remembered Beckham as others did, for his big red pickup with a Confederate flag decal in its rear window. They said he also displayed a Confederate flag in his dorm room, as did his girlfriend, who had a Black roommate.
After initially denying the allegations, calling them “baseless,” “false,” and “disgusting,” 37-year-old Beckham later admitted to the whole thing after the receipts were shown.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette obtained a copy of a 2001 lawsuit filed by Beckham’s parents after he was expelled from the school for, wait for it, dressing up in KKK regalia. Documents from the case corroborate almost everything his former classmates have said.
The suit was eventually dismissed.
After being exposed for being a racist and then for lying about being a racist, Beckham issued a statement of apology.
“I do sincerely apologize for any angst or grievances that I have caused anyone as a minor, as that is not the man that I am today,” he said.
“I continue to unequivocally denounce the KKK and any like-minded hate groups and the rumors that I am or have ever been part of the KKK are absolutely ridiculous.”
Um, except that he literally ran up and down the halls of a public building dressed in KKK regalia.
Of course, no denial of racism and bigotry would be complete without mentioning one’s Christian faith.
Continued Beckham, “I am a Christian, a husband to my loving wife of 8 years as well as a father of two and am proud of the life that we have built-in McNeil, Arkansas.”
Beckham is currently locked in a dead head against Maloch.
Seven days until the election, folx.