KKK fliers are a chance for ed­u­ca­tion


In re­sponse to the re­cent ar­ti­cle re­gard­ing KKK in­for­ma­tion dis­tri­bu­tion in western Ce­cil County, I be­lieve we can be­gin a di­a­logue to dis­cuss hate groups, race re­la­tions and the First Amend­ment.

Af­ter read­ing Mon­day’s ar­ti­cle and ex­am­in­ing the flier, there are sev­eral is­sues to note. The ar­ti­cle was very thought-pro­vok­ing, but even more so was the flier which is fraught with gram­mat­i­cal er­rors. The au­thor used the pos­ses­sive “your” in place of the con­trac­tion “you’re” when at­tempt­ing to say the phrase you are. They also need a comma be­tween the words “God” and “race”as it is an item­ized list. On first glance, these seem to be sim­ple gram­mat­i­cal er­rors that even the most sea­soned writer over­looks on oc­ca­sion. I be­lieve, how­ever, that these cler­i­cal er­rors ex­pose deeper is­sues and the true na­ture of sep­a­ratist and hate groups. Even the man­ner of the flier’s place­ment (un­der the cover of dark­ness) ex­poses the de­cep­tion and fraud­u­lence of the Ku Klux Klan.

The Ku Klux Klan at­tempts to por­tray them­selves as no­bil­ity, fight­ing for the rights of an op­pressed group. When in re­al­ity, white (es­pe­cially male) chil­dren are still half as likely to ex­pe­ri­ence poverty and hunger, one-third as likely to end up in the pe­nal sys­tem and have a 20 per­cent higher chance of grad­u­at­ing col­lege. There is no war race war, there is no white dis­en­fran­chise­ment and there never has been.

Since its found­ing 151 years ago, the KKK has been re­spon­si­ble for mur­ders, ar­son, rapes, tor­tures and voter in­tim­i­da­tion among other ne­far­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties. They are an ex­treme vi­o­lent, sep­a­ratist or­ga­ni­za­tion, but have en­gaged in re­brand­ing them­selves as a “white civic or­ga­ni­za­tion. ” Let’s be clear, racism is ex­trem­ism and is in no way mod­er­ate; nei­ther is the Ku Klux Klan. When con­fronted with the facts of their crimes the Klan still can­not openly ad­mit to them. When they wish to dis­sem­i­nate their ma­te­rial they do so at night, as not to be seen, to re­main anony­mous. They chose to wear hoods to con­ceal their iden­ti­ties and even chose to pro­claim them­selves the “In­vis­i­ble Em­pire.”They want us to be­lieve that their mis­sion is overt and clear, but their ac­tions show oth­er­wise.

They are sub­ver­sive, ig­no­rant and un­e­d­u­cated. This lack of ed­u­ca­tion is ap­par­ent in their flier, but it il­lus­trates the na­ture of racism. The def­i­ni­tion of the word ig­no­rance is to have a lack of knowl­edge or in­for­ma­tion. It is from this point that racism is born. No chil­dren are born to hate, they are taught, forced or per­suaded by forces who will­ingly close minded.

In this na­tion, we are pro­tected in our in­de­pen­dent speech, thoughts and be­liefs by the First Amend­ment. The 14th Amend­ment also guar­an­tees us as cit­i­zen’s equal pro­tec­tion un­der the law re­gard­less of race, sex, na­tional ori­gin or sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion. There­fore, these rights even pro­tect un­pop­u­lar speech and the speech and opin­ions of big­ots too. We have to tol­er­ate their xeno­pho­bia, their anger, their mis­in­for­ma­tion and big­otry pre­cisely be­cause we have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to teach them that in­tol­er­ance of any kind is un­ac­cept­able.

It is up to the mem­bers of this com­mu­nity to say no to these ex­trem­ists. They may work by night, choos­ing anonymity and con­ceal­ment, but the forces of right­eous­ness choose to make a stand by light of day. Stand up Ce­cil County, and say “no” to the Klan. In say­ing no, we can still tol­er­ate them and al­low them their opin­ions, but choose to ed­u­cate them, and love them (not con­done or like them) we can choose ig­nore that flier and choose jus­tice over ret­ri­bu­tion. The only way to break of the mind­less men­ace of vi­o­lence is to tol­er­ate them and for­give them — for they know not what they do.

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