Klan Convenes the Powers of Hatred

We hear the same argument whenever the Ku Klux Klan convenes: Ignore them, they'll go away. That's the advice some people are giving for Feb. 7, when the Klan is scheduled to hold another of its hate confabs at Lawyers Mall near the State House in Annapolis.

We disagree.

We're not saying you need to show up that day. We are saying that it is important to always keep an eye on the Klan. Like disease, the Klan won't go away simply by ignoring it. When it seeps into society, we must point our fingers at it and sniff the air. We must try to understand it and, if we must, engage it.

Hardcore racism like the Klan practices is a sickness, not an intellectual choice. And it can spread if left untreated. Others are less likely to follow a dark path if they see that society doesn't accept it and does not willingly dispense licenses to hate.

It's a sad state of affairs. The Klan drags up the worst from the history of this country and parades it in front of us. Like a rotten fish on the kitchen table, it frightens some people and sickens others. All of us, no matter our color, are the victims when hatred rears its head.

We offer no more support to black separatists than we do to white separatists. We are in the midst of an information revolution, and this revolution is bringing our world closer together. Our progress is impeded by those who preach doctrines that break us apart.

More than our civic pride suffers when news dispatched around the country tells of KKK gatherings in Annapolis, Davidsonville, West River or any of the towns where they've convened. It's a breakdown in the community, a rip in the social fabric. People wonder where they've gone wrong for something like this to happen in their midst.

Fortunately, like yin and yang, hate inspires its opposite. Last August, amid threats of a KKK gathering, 400 people turned out at Community United Methodist Church in Crofton for speeches and song. The Klan meeting fizzled, but the counter-offensive was a success.

Let's hope that the Klan event Feb. 7 fizzles like the one last fall and that the cost to us is only a bit of aggravation and a lot of overtime pay for police.

The Klan has a right to gather - but only under our watchful eye.

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VolumeVI Number 3
January 22-28, 1998
New Bay Times

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