White Boys in the Hood

The Dangers of Defending the KKK

Though he's always for free speech, Siegel has straddled both sides of the emotional debate. "I've also told [West Side assemblyman] Scott Stringer that if the city does not give him the right to hold a counterdemonstration, we will go to court for him too."

Two weeks ago, Siegel stood outside the Brooklyn Museum as protesters— pro and con— aired their grievances over an exhibition that Giuliani has denounced as offensive to Catholics and as an inappropriate use of tax dollars.

"The vision I have is that on Saturday there will be a demonstration by the Klan, and there'll be hundreds of counter-demonstrators saying that they don't want this hate speech in New York," Siegel said. "It will be peaceful and the First Amendment will do its thing. And if the Giuliani politicians stay out of it, New Yorkers can handle this thing. It only [creates tension] when they interfere."

Additional reporting: Danielle Douglas and AP

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