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.