A field representative for Americans for Prosperity’s Arkansas chapter (AFP-AR) has been promoting a rally being organized by members of a neo-Confederate group.
Kenneth Wallis lists himself as an AFP-AR representative and independent contractor on his public Facebook profile and was reported to have represented AFP-AR as a field representative at a Little Rock City Board meeting in 2016. For about a week, Wallis has been promoting a rally set to be hosted on May 25 by the Hiwaymen, a neo-Confederate group whose members have traveled throughout the nation in support of keeping Confederate monuments erected in cities where citizens have demanded their removal.
Earlier this year, the Hiwaymen rallied alongside members of the neo-Nazi group Shieldwall at the Arkansas state capitol, but the rally appeared to be a flop. Members of the group are also deeply Islamophobic; a photo uploaded by the group on May 6 shows Hiwaymen activists eating bacon outside of a mosque in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Islamic law forbids the eating of pork.) There is little indication that Wallis aligns himself with the specific ideology espoused by Hiwaymen members, but Wallis’ proximity to AFP-AR leadership makes his outreach efforts notable.
The Hiwaymen rally is scheduled to take place later this month at a convention center in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to deliver a keynote address to the 2019 graduating class of the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts. The Hiwaymen rally, simply titled “Lock Her up!!!!!” on a Facebook event page, is billing itself as an “opportunity to let Hillary Clinton know how Arkansans feel about her getting away from an FBI investigation.” Wallis described it as “the big event” of the weekend in Hot Springs.
Of the event, Wallis said in a Facebook livestream, “There’s a possibility of white supremacists showing up. There’s a possibility of antifa showing up, the LGBT crowd, the illegal alien crowd may show up, so anything could happen there.”
In another video, Wallis notes the same possibility of white supremacists attending the rally, but said, “Anything could happen but it’s a really important event to have as many conservatives up there as possible.”
Right Wing Watch emailed AFP-AR seeking clarification on Wallis’ role in the organization. As of press time, we had not received a response.
(Update: 5/14/19): After the publication of this article, a spokesperson for AFP-AR responded to our previously unanswered inquiry.
“Americans for Prosperity-Arkansas advocates policies with the goal of bridging divides and uniting all Arkansans behind a positive vision to take on and solve society’s biggest challenges. Wallis has been a grassroots volunteer in the past, but he is not an employee and does not represent the views of AFP. Any groups that seek to sew hate and division are the antithesis of what we stand for,” the spokesperson said.