Thursday, October 16, 2008


Fuck the Klan

After the DVR was finished with Cesar Milan: Dog Whisperer (which is an awesome show and if you own a dog or want to own a dog you should be watching it. He knows dogs and as he says he rehabilitates dogs and trains people. Exercise, discipline and affection will keep you and your dog happy. Thanks Cesar!) it left the TV on the National Geographic channel.

The next show coming on was KKK: Inside American Terror. As someone who fights injustice,will possibly be bringing a mixed race child into this world, and a Southerner, I found this show very interesting. It did some brief history, which you can read on the wiki page, and then got into what they're currently up to with its estimated 3,000-8,000 members scattered around the country. The strangest part (okay, one of the strange parts) was that even within the KKK there is arguing. Some associate with neo-Nazi groups and want a worldwide effort towards white supremacy, other groups want to get more political and shy away from violence. That last bit was the other strange part. David Duke started to get more political and now claims he is not a white supremacist but is a white nationalist. This sect of the KKK shies away from the violence, promotes community and Christian values and (I'm assuming) segregation, since that is the only way for them to not see non-whites without killing them or shipping them back to their home lands. The new area of focus is now on illegal immigrants and Hispanic community. Yes they still hate Jews and Blacks and Orientals and Race Mixers, but their main focus is Latinos now. Thomas Robb is the leader of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and a Baptist preacher. His group claims that other cultures are threatening their white culture and they don't hate other cultures they just REALLY like their culture. It's the kinder gentler face of the KKK. Peace Love and Bigotry, if you will. Oh also when they say they hate immigrants, I of course assume that they don't hate white immigrants since white people can go wherever they want. So the fact that the Indians were here first doesn't matter because they weren't white. I also wonder how they address the fact that there was a time when there were no white people, that we evolved from darker skinned people by moving away from the equator and lost our melanin.

What really hurt the Klan was their own actions. On March 20, 1981 in Mobile, Alabama, the Klan had a rally and burnt a 3 foot cross on the lawn of the Mobile County Courthouse. That night, the son of the 2nd highest ranking official in the Klan in Alabama, Henry Hays (26) and James Knowles (17) drove around looking for a black person to lynch. Michael Donald was walking back from the store after buying his sister some cigarettes when Henry and James drove up next to him. They beat him with a tree branch, slit his throat and hung him from a tree across from his house. Michael was 19 years old. Photo of what the KKK did to Michael. The police chalked it up to a drug deal gone bad, but with some national pressure, the FBI started investigating and finally James Knowles confessed to the crime. Henry Hays was convicted and was executed by electric chair on June 6, 1997. James Knowles is serving a life sentence without parole.

This story does have a small happy ending though. Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, brought a wrongful death suit on behalf of Beulah Mae Donald, Michael's mother. They won their suit and were awarded $7 million, which forced the Klan to sell all its assets including their national headquarters in Tuscaloosa.

Also while watching this I realized that I myself am a bigot. I hate people who hate others based on something they can't control. You can't hate someone because of their skin color, or the language they speak, or any birth defects, because it isn't their fault. There was no choice in the matter. I didn't choose to be white, I am white. Trig Palin didn't choose to have Downs Syndrome, he just has it; no choice.

We must be ever vigilant.

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