An Afro-Latina journalist said she feared for her safety and the safety of her crew after a KKK leader spewed violent threats during a sit-down interview with her earlier this year.
Univision Nightly Newscast anchor Ilia Calderón, who is of African and Colombian heritage, agreed to meet with KKK leader Chris Barker on his wooded North Carolina property in late July, where she endured racial slurs and threats on her life. Calderón was the first Black person to ever set foot on the property.
After watching Barker lead a Klan meeting, during which participants dressed in hooded robes lit a cross on fire, the two finally sat down for a one-on-one interview.
“To me, you’re a n—-r,” Barker, grand wizard of the Loyal White Knights faction of the KKK, told Calderón. “That’s it.”
The Independent reported that the group participated in the violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend that left one woman dead and 19 others badly injured.
“I find that offensive,” the journalist rebutted. “And I don’t think you should go there. Because my skin color doesn’t define me.”
At the onset of their encounter, Barker almost immediately asked why Calderón, who is an immigrant, why she did not “go back” to her nation of origin. He even referred to her as a “mongrel.”
“We have nothing here in America; ya’ll keep flooding it,” he said. “But like God says — like Yahweh himself says — we will chase you out of here.” He briefly stopped to correct himself, adding, “No, we’re going to burn you out.”
— Aqui y Ahora (@AquiyAhoraShow) August 14, 2017
Calderón then asked the grand wizard how he planned to “burn out” 11 million immigrants, to which he responded, “We killed six million Jews the last time. Eleven million is nothing.”
Despite his hateful comments, Barker maintained that he isn’t a racist and that the KKK is a Christian organization. The contentious interview ended abruptly after Barker got up and walked out.
“Don’t go!” the journalist is heard saying. “Don’t go!”
Reflecting on their meeting and how she felt having a racial slur directed at her, Calderón said she didn’t expect the level of hate and vitriol she received that day.
“My team told me that I would be insulted, and I knew … but I never imagined the level,” she told Univision. “At that time, I really felt very afraid for my safety and the safety of my team.”
The full interview is scheduled to air on Univision on Sunday, August 20.