KKK does not at all rep­re­sent Amer­i­can val­ues

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

This let­ter is in re­sponse to the let­ter ti­tled “We’re wit­ness­ing the rise of an id­iot cul­ture” in the Fri­day, July 29, edi­tion of the Mar yland In­de­pen­dent news­pa­per. The author stated that “Peo­ple should read the plat­form of the KKK. It re­flects Amer­i­can val­ues.” The author also de­scribed the KKK as a “cher­ished or­ga­ni­za­tion with his­toric ties to our state.”

On be­half of all of the mem­bers of the Charles County NAACP, we find this dis­turb­ing on many lev­els. We sug­gest that we look at some of the ac­tions of the KKK over the years to see what val­ues they hold. KKK groups bombed the houses of civil rights ac­tivists. Ac­cord­ing to a re­port from the South­ern Re­gional Coun­cil in Atlanta, the homes of 40 black south­ern fam­i­lies were bombed dur­ing 1951 and 1952. Among the more sin­is­ter mur­ders /bomb­ings by Klan mem­bers:

• The 1951 Christ­mas Eve bomb­ing of the home of Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for the Ad­vance­ment of Col­ored Peo­ple (NAACP) ac­tivists Harry and Har­ri­ette Moore in Mims, Fla., re­sult­ing in their deaths.

• The 1963 as­sas­si­na­tion of NAACP or­ga­nizer Medgar Evers in Mis­sis­sippi. In 1994, for­mer Ku Klux Klans­man Byron De La Beck­with was convicted.

• The 1963 bomb­ing of the 16th Street Bap­tist Church in Birm­ing­ham, Ala., which killed four African-Amer­i­can girls. The per­pe­tra­tors were Klan mem­bers Robert Cham­b­liss, convicted in 1977, Thomas Ed­win Blan­ton, Jr. and Bobby Frank Cherry, convicted in 2001 and 2002.

• The 1964 mur­ders of three civil rights work­ers, Chaney, Good­man and Sch­w­erner, in Mis­sis­sippi. In June 2005, Klan mem­ber Edgar Ray Killen was convicted of man­slaugh­ter.

• The 1965 Alabama mur­der of Vi­ola Li­uzzo. She was a white mother of five who was vis­it­ing the state in or­der to at­tend a civil rights march.

• The 1965 at­tack, weeks af­ter urg­ing a Mis­sis­sippi school board to ac­cept de­seg­re­ga­tion, Ge­orge Met­calfe, NAACP leader in Mis­sis­sippi, sur­vives a car bomb that leaves him se­ri­ously in­jured. No one is ar­rested, but the crime is later linked to a lo­cal klans­man.

• The 1966 fire­bomb­ing death of NAACP leader Vernon Dah­mer Sr., 58, in Mis­sis­sippi. In 1998 for­mer Ku Klux Klan wizard Sam Bow­ers was convicted of his mur­der and sen­tenced to life.

• The 1966 Milwaukee NAACP branch bomb­ing, where win­dows were blown out and a door was torn off of its hinges. No one is in­jured, as the of­fice is empty at the time of the at­tack. Sev­eral Klan mem­bers are later ar­rested for the bomb­ing. The Milwaukee of­fice was bombed again a year later.

• The 1967 mul­ti­ple bomb­ings in Jack­son, Miss., of the res­i­dence of a Methodist ac­tivist, Robert Kochtitzky, and those at the syn­a­gogue and at the res­i­dence of Rabbi Perry Nuss­baum on Old Can­ton Road were ex­e­cuted by a Klan mem­ber named Thomas Al­bert Tar­rants III who was convicted in 1968.

The KKK has a his­toric ha­tred of African-Amer­i­cans, Jews, Catholics and Protes­tants who op­pose their ide­ol­ogy, and many other groups. That is why they are listed as a hate group by the South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter. Are the above ac­tions truly rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Amer­i­can val­ues?

Jan­ice Wil­son, Wal­dorf Arthur Ellis, Wal­dorf

The writ­ers are the pres­i­dent and com­mu­ni­ca­tions chair of the Charles County NAACP, re­spec­tively.

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