SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — From an undisclosed location, Kathy Jenkins called the KOLR10 newsroom. Her mission: Publicly apologize for the “ugly” things she said in a now-viral video.
The video, which surfaced on Monday, isn’t long. It only runs about 35 seconds. In it, Jenkins sits and later stands on the bed of a pickup truck while holding and dancing with a Confederate flag.
“I will teach my grandkids to hate you all,” she says to someone off camera. She later raises her fist and declares “KKK belief.”
Since the video surfaced, Kathy says she’s been locked out of Facebook and fired from her job (a punishment she says she deserved). She says she’s been the target of a few threats and she says even her friends are being threatened.
When she called KOLR10 and Ozarks First, she wouldn’t even say where she was calling from; only specifying that she has left Branson, her home of six years.
All of this, a response to what she describes as a misunderstood portion of her day caught on video.
“I was chanting Black Lives Matter… and that’s not even on video,” she told KOLR10 reporter David Chasanov on Wednesday. “It’s like I blacked out. I don’t even remember.”
Jenkins says she was in the area as a spectator. She adds she was only there in the parking lot of Dixie Outfitters to observe the nearby Black Lives Matter protest.
“I’ve never been to one,” she told Chasanov. “I just wanted to see what the rally was all about.”
She says she watched from the other side of the street and was later handed a Confederate flag. She told KOLR10 she assumed it was a symbol of unity. She says she then sat in the bed of a truck belonging to someone she didn’t know.
Later, when she was approached by people from the other side of the street, she says she lost her temper.
“I hadn’t said anything until they came into my face…It’s like I blacked out. I don’t even remember saying half the stuff that I said.”
As for the part about holding the same beliefs as the Ku Klux Klan, she says she was mocking the people who approached her.
“I wasn’t saying I’m KKK or for the KKK. I was mocking them because I don’t like being called a racist,” she said.
Now she’s apologizing.
Along with vowing to never hold another Confederate flag, Jenkins is offering both lamentations and her time to the people she offended.
“I’m so, so sorry,” she said Wednesday.
“I mean, if it would help for me to stand with Black Lives Matter, I absolutely would do that.”
Below you can read a full apology written by Kathy Jenkins:
As many of you know I am Kathy. I just wanted to start with saying that I am truly deeply sorry for what I said. This isn’t who I am as a person. I obviously cannot take back what I said. I can only learn from this. I want to make it clear. I am not teaching my children or grandchildren to hate anyone. No one. Ever. I’ve always taught them to respect and love anyone no matter the race. I’ve always taught them to treat people with the same respect as they would want to be treated. My words and actions have been a learning experience. Not only did I learn from this, but I hope this message helps others that they cannot take back what they have said. Again I am so so sorry because that is not who I am. I would never ever want to see anyone hurt and I don’t care who they are.”-Kathy Jenkins
One of the organizers of Branson’s Black Lives Matter protest responded to Kathy’s claims and apology:
“She knew exactly what she was doing. She was there from the start on the counter-protesters’ side shouting obscenities and hateful words at our protesters. I think her claims to not know what the confederate flag is and what it represents are absurd and lies. She proudly shouted “KKK belief” in front of all of us. Her apology does not make sense as she’s trying to state she didn’t realize she was on the opposing side. How do you not realize that if you’re on Dixie Outfitter’s property holding a confederate flag along with the other counter-protesters that are facing us? She never once shouted ‘black lives matter’ along with us. This woman is lying and apologizing because she’s sorry she got caught in her acts of racism.”Faith Pittser, protest organizer
While originally identified as Kathy Bennett by the Springfield News-Leader on Sunday, June 21st, the woman in this interview is Kathy Jenkins. KOLR10 received a call from Kathi Burroughs Bennett, who also lives in Branson. She says she’s received numerous threats and inappropriate messages on Facebook from people who think she’s the ‘Kathy’ in the Dixie Outfitters video. However, that is not the case. Kathi Burroughs Bennett is not the woman in that video. The News-Leader reports that Kathy Jenkins gave a false name to protesters on June 21st.