You are not only full of hate but you don't know squat. The Klan's reason for wearing a hood is to hide their coward's face so they won't be caught murdering people. |
Now go ask Ms. Ruth about that.
Seamstress Works Hard Making Outfits for KKK
By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Aug 16th 2010 11:03AM
Filed under: News, Politics, Race and Civil RightsComments (14)
MotherJones.com recently caused a stir by publishing a photo essay about a woman named Ms. Ruth. The old woman spends up to 12 hours a day, five to seven days per week, putting together outfits for members of the Ku Klux Klan. She blesses each outfit after its done and uses the money to take care of her 40-year-old handicapped daughter.
The story about Ms. Ruth is certainly interesting in that it appears that she is not necessarily a bad person. She simply believes in the KKK and thinks that what the organization does is good for America. Obviously, she lives on the side of ignorance, but the story is interesting primarily because it shows a side of the KKK that is usually closed off to the general public. Personally, I found myself thinking, "So THAT'S where they get their robes made!" It's not as if they pick them up in the Aryan Nation section of the local Wal-Mart.
The story about Ms. Ruth might also be interpreted as a reflection of how hate continues to exist in America. Our country has made significant progress since the civil rights movement, but there is much work left to be done. Organizations like the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the NAACP, the National Action Network, the Rainbow Push Coalition and others will continue to be needed in America for at least another 100 years.
One other interesting side effect of the story about Ms. Ruth and the KKK is that it shows the humanity of those who've been stung by the pain of learning to hate another human being for no reason. Most of the time, when we are angry toward others, there is an underlying cause of that anger. The same way the schoolyard bully was probably abused by a parent, many of those who carry this kind of anger feel that they are actually an underdog defending their territory. Some whites, especially those who worship the words of men like Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly, feel a strong sense of entitlement, which leads them to believe that the country they own is being taken over by others. Of course, they are wrong, since America belongs to no one. But the racism we see in corporate America, academia and other institutions is typically driven by those who expect that their way of doing things is the only way to do them.
What's also interesting is that while some of us wish to demonize Fox News viewers for being the only self-righteous, divisive people in America, this is clearly not the case. I receive e-mails on a regular basis from African Americans who have views that are just as tainted and mean-spirited as members of the KKK. These opinions might involve immigrants or any group that is different from our own, and sometimes they carry the same venom I hear from members of the klan. Fighting for your people is one thing, but fighting for true equality is another. Many of us never figure out the difference.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and a Scholarship in Action resident of the Institute for Black Public Policy.