Black men have joined the KKK
By Earnest Crim III
Contributing writer for End the Lie
I remember when I first learned about the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) as a child. They were portrayed to me as a villainous White posse that went around killing Blacks after slavery to “put them in their place.”
I had so much disdain for this crew of cowards, especially when I would go on to learn, by way of my own curiosity, that often times White politicians and businessmen held high positions in this heinous organization.
In fact, the famous silent film entitled “Birth of a Nation” (originally “The Clansman”) centered around not only the promotion of Blacks as an inferior race also the portrayal of the Klan as some sort of patriotic group coming to rescue Whites from the Black race.
The Klan often came across as a fairytale creation to me, which was meant to scare Blacks much like Santa Claus is used to scare children into behaving appropriately. Their comical clownish outfits and propensity to burn crosses seemed so outrageously hypocritical that you would just assume they were crafted creatively by a writer of fiction. (In fact, I recently discovered that there was in fact a book entitled “Superman vs. the KKK” that although seemingly fiction, was based on actual events. Click here for more info on that.)
Although often times depicted as a protagonists to the White community, the Klan was without a doubt the antagonist to the Black community. In reality, the Klan was the enemy all Americans and a hindrance to experiencing the “freedom” that was eloquently written about in the Declaration of Independence. The true protagonist, in contrast to these thugs, would be courageous heroes such as Ida B. Wells, Malcolm X (and his father) and Marcus Garvey, to name a few.
[Editor’s note: It was reported in 1922 that Marcus Garvey met with the Imperial Wizard of the KKK, Edward Clarke. In Negro World (September, 1923), Garvey wrote, “I regard the Klan, the Anglo-Saxon clubs and White American societies, as far as the Negro is concerned, as better friends of the race than all other groups of hypocritical whites put together. I like honesty and fair play. You may call me a Klansman if you will, but, potentially, every white man is a Klansman, as far as the Negro in competition with whites socially, economically and politically is concerned, and there is no use lying about.”]
Fortunately, as time passed the efforts of these individuals would become exceedingly beneficial. Unfortunately, the Klan did not disintegrate the way we had hoped. See, the Klan does not exist aesthetically the same way they used to, but they still are an omnipresent force in Black neighborhoods nationwide.
The work of Black activists from the past did nothing more than cause the Klan to take a more tactical approach in their future proceedings. The new Klan’s resurrection had been imminent for a while and with the election of the first Black president it was no surprise that their presence made an immediate impact on the daily life of African Americans in urban areas.
One can assume that this amazing feat greatly infuriated them. How clever of them to then devise the tactical approach of continuing their malicious racial melee in the hometown of the president. Yet this time around they made the wise decision to go incognito. That tactic works significantly better than riding through Black neighborhoods in White sheets, I suppose.
The contemporary Klan is the reason that Chicago will probably amass 500 homicides by the end of the year. They are the reason that a seven-year-old named Heaven Sutton is dead. They are also the reason a ten-year-old child was shot while walking with her parents. Additionally, they are responsible for the 40-50 shootings that occur across Chicago every weekend.
This new and improved Klan has stymied the growth and development of the Black community far more than the Klan of the early 20th century. Ida B. Wells would be disappointed. Nathan Bedford Forrest would be proud.
The new Grand Wizards are your local gangbangers and wannabe thugs who feel the best way to resolve a conflict is never by peacefully coming to a resolution through discussion. Rather, they believe the best way to resolve a conflict is through pulling a trigger and ending the life of another in hopes of ending the eternal internal hatred conflict they harbor.
The Black men who are members of this neo-Klan are cowards. They are a pejorative force that must be stopped immediately. They even sometimes commit these odious acts without receiving prison time as a penalty, similar to the original Klan.
The people who are being killed had the potential to become scientists, politicians and entrepreneurs. In fact, the Klan members who pull the trigger are just as adroit, but that potential will likely never materialize.
The original Klan operated off of self-hatred coupled with an insidious hatred for Black people. This neo-Klan operates off of self-hatred and an insidious hatred for Black people. What is the difference? As far as I’m concerned there is none.
“Someone should do something!” is a phrase that is often uttered repeatedly during traumatic times such as these. Why not make that “someone” you?
If you have kids please raise them correctly and give them the love and attention they need. If you don’t have kids, mentor someone in your community (Big Brothers Big Sisters is an option). We can all start with children like Lil’ Mouse. Let’s work together to make sure that all aspects of the Klan are affectively extinguished from our nation.
Ernest Crim III is a high school social studies teacher on the south side of Chicago. He is passionate about encouraging (and participating in) social, political and intellectual activism in and outside the classroom while concurrently devising innovative ways to inspire the youth through relevant historical narratives. Additionally, he is a self-educated wellness advocate and an aspiring personal trainer. He can be reached at [email protected] and/or on Twitter at TwoPercent_EC
Edited by Madison Ruppert