Ilia Calderón recently came face to face with an imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
The Afro-Colombian journalist interviewed Christopher Barker, the leader of the Loyal White Knights, as part of Univision’s Sunday show “Aquí y Ahora.” During the news program, producer María Martínez explained she had told Barker “a Hispanic woman of color” would be conducting the interview and he accepted.
Calderón stayed behind in the car while her crew set up for an interview somewhere on Barker’s property in Yanceyville, North Carolina. Martínez said the KKK leader was shocked when he first saw the Afro-Latina journalist and said that he expected a lighter-skinned Latina.
“I’d never felt so much hate, so much contempt in my life,” Calderón said of the encounter. “I volunteered to do the interview because what I represent is everything they hate.”
During the interview, Barker told Calderón that she was the first black person to ever set foot on his property.
“I’m upset that I’ve seen you,” Barker told her. “I mean, I see you every day — all your type. I’ve been here over 20 years, and we’ve never had a black person or whatever you wanna call yourself, you’re a mongrel to me.”
When Calderón defiantly asked if he was going to chase her off the property, he responded by saying: “No, we’re gonna burn you out.”
Barker called Calderón a racial slur, which she calmly told him she found “offensive.” At one point he also told her: “Look at your eyes and look at my eyes. I’m way more superior than you’ll ever be.”
Calderón asked both Barker and his wife, Amanda, if they were part of a hate group ― both rejected the idea and described themselves as a Christian organization. Barker also said he wasn’t a racist and that he thinks “everyone has a right to live.”
Amanda, however, warned that KKK members would turn to violence if they felt white people’s history was threatened.
“We want our history preserved and left alone,” she said. “But they keep taking our stuff away. If you keep taking our stuff away, white people are gonna just — going to result in violence because they’re gonna see no other option.”
Watch the full news program, in Spanish, via Facebook here.