Inside The Time Dolly Parton Was Targeted By The KKK

The United States is a complex place. We have national treasures like beloved singer-songwriter Dolly Parton. Alternately, we have hate groups like the 164-year-old Klu Klux Klan, whose ire has evolved over the years from murderous racism against Blacks to now include Jewish people, immigrants, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center

Both Parton and the KKK hail from Tennessee, which further illustrates the dichotomy of the nation.  

So, maybe it was only a matter of time until the group that professes hatred and supremacy over others and Parton, who tweeted on her most recent birthday in January about putting more love into the world, clashed. 

It was back in 2012 that Parton told ABC's Nightline that since she started hosting Gay Day at her Tennessee theme park, Dollywood, in 2003 (via South Florida Gay News), she'd regularly received death threats from the KKK. 

Parton said, "When it first started there were people giving us threats, I still get threats. But like I said, I'm in business. I just don't feel like I have to explain myself. I love everybody."

Some want to replace a KKK leader's statue with a Dolly Parton statue in Tennessee

In 2011, The Guardian reported that the KKK has even held demonstrations at Dollywood to protest the park's annual Gay Day. 

"God tells us not to judge one another, no matter what anyone's sexual preferences are or if they're Black, brown or purple," Parton said. "And if someone doesn't believe what I believe, tough s—."

Another more recent situation in which Parton was pitted against the KKK had nothing to with either entity, but rather from the public with the help of Republican member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, Jeremy Faison. 

In 2019, Faison suggested a statue of Parton should replace the current bust that sits in the state Capitol of Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and a confederate general, according to the Tennessean

A petition, which has garnered nearly 26,000 signatures in favor of replacing all the Confederate statues in Tennessee with statues of Parton, says, "Let's replace the statues of men who sought to tear this country apart with a monument to the woman who has worked her entire life to bring us closer together."