People are confused why this Ku Klux Klan man has dreadlocks

Ku Klux Klan protesters on July 8. The KKK is protesting the planned removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, and calling for the protection of Southern Confederate monuments. (Getty)
Ku Klux Klan protesters on July 8. The KKK is protesting the planned removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, and calling for the ‘protection of Southern Confederate monuments’ (Getty)

A photograph of a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) supporter sporting dreadlocks has provoked mockery and disbelief online.

The image from a rally by the extremist group in Charlottesville, Virginia, went viral after being posted on Twitter.

Fifty members of the white supremacist group were met by protestors numbering 1,000, who shouted “Shame! Shame!”.

About 500 of the protesters marched through town singing We Shall Overcome, a key anthem of the Civil Rights Movement.

The KKK were protesting the removal of a statute of the Confederate general Robert E Lee from Emancipation Park.

Among the group was the man, sporting both KKK imagery and dreadlocks, who was photographed by DeVanté Cunningham.

Cunningham, a recent graduate from the University of Virginia, told the BBC that he and his friend were in “disbelief” at the man.

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“We really couldn’t believe we had just seen a klansman with dreads,” Cunningham told BBC Trending.

“We’re looking at the KKK here, and dreadlocks are basically a symbol of African culture. It was really weird to see.”

He tweeted the image with the caption: “ONE OF THE KLANSMEN HAD DREDS…

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Another user wrote: “Yo, nobody tell the #KKK about were [sic] #dreadlocks come from.”

Last year, a viral video of a black student chastising a white student for wearing dreadlocks sparked a debate about cultural appropriation.

The hairstyle is strongly associated with black culture, and was largely brought into mainstream culture through the success of Bob Marley.

Ancient civilisations are believed to have worn knotted hair, but in a modern sense, the style is related to Rastafarianism, which emerged in the 1930s.

The Loyal White Knights of the KKK, formed in 2012 and based in North Carolina, said the rally was called to “support Southern heritage”.

The group describes itself as “non violent”, but is styled after the original Ku Klux Klan, which historically used terrorism against various groups.

At least 23 people were arrested during the march, city officials said.

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