KKK does not at all represent American values
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.