Just heard about this interesting documentary the Discovery Channel did on the “New KKK” and their efforts to portray themselves as a bit more philanthropic.
Give me a break.
Check out this short excerpt from the show.
Something very strange is going on at Oberlin College. Why someone is targeting Oberlin, of all places, since it is one of the most progressive colleges in America, is hard to figure out. According to a Yahoo News story:
Oberlin College canceled classes on Monday after a person wearing what appeared to be a KKK outfit was spotted on campus, sparking a police investigation at the Ohio school.
“Early this morning, there was a report of a person wearing a hood and robe resembling a KKK outfit between South and the Edmonia Lewis Center and in the vicinity of African Heritage House,” Oberlin President Marvin Krislov wrote in an email to the school’s 2,800 students, faculty and staff. “This event, in addition to the series of other hate-related incidents on campus, has precipitated our decision to suspend formal classes and all non-essential activities for today, Monday, March 4, 2013, and gather for a series of discussions of the challenging issues that have faced our community in recent weeks.”
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, nearly 500 students, staff and community members gathered at the center of campus Monday afternoon for a planned unity rally. Other events, including a “solidarity dinner” at the African Heritage House, were scheduled throughout the day.
The Oberlin Student Senate issued its own email, which read in part:
This has been another event in a string of several reflecting a terrible pattern of racism, prejudice, queerphobia, anti-semitism and other bias attacks that are happening on Oberlin’s campus. At this time, advocacy, support and solidarity are necessary emotionally, physically and spiritually.
According to the Oberlin Review, the latest string of hate-related incidents began in February:
Feb. 9: Vandalism in the Science Center included the replacement of “Black” with “Nigger” on Black History Month posters, drawings of swastikas, damage to the “Year of the Queer” posters and reported destruction of the Chinese calendar.
Feb. 12: LGBTQ Community Coordinator Lorena Espinoza found a note in the Multicultural Resource Center that read “Nigger + Faggot Center.”
Feb. 16: Students found a number of offensive notes written around Burton Hall. “Whites Only” was written above a water fountain, “Nigger Oven” was written inside the elevator and “No Niggers” was written on a bathroom door.
Feb. 17: The Office of Safety and Security released a Special Alert of a strong-arm robbery of a student near West College Street and Cedar Street. The student reported that he was approached by an individual who made a derogatory remark about his perceived ethnicity and then physically knocked him to the ground.
Feb. 26: Posters were defaced in King including those advertising “Year of the Queer” and the Affirmative Action panel, at least one of which had a swastika drawn on it.
Feb. 27: A swastika drawn onto the outside window of West Lecture Hall in the Science Center was seen being removed by custodial staff.
The liberal arts college, founded in 1833, was the first in America to educate women alongside men,according to its Website. The New York Times notes it was “one of the first to admit black students,” and that “before the Civil War, it was an abolitionist hotbed and an important stop on the underground railroad.”
Kudos to Oberlin for taking a stand immediately. I doubt this is a large group of people causing this trouble, but rather one or two individuals who are in the wrong place for this sort of thing.
This week, a group of hockey fans in North Dakota raised eyebrows after they showed up at a game apparently dressed like members of the Ku Klux Klan, according to several media reports.
The three fans, who were photographed in the stands at the state high school semi-final game between Grand Forks Red River High School and Fargo Davies on Friday, were seemingly dressed in typical Klansman regalia — white robes and pointed hats covering their bodies and faces.
What were these kids thinking? And why did no one, any adult, or fellow student for that matter, point out to them while it was happening that this was in no way cool or funny.
Read more on story here.
I have to say I wondered about this when I first read about it. I don’t know why, but for some reason it seemed fishy to me, which is why I didn’t write about it.
From an article in The Huffington Post:
Tuesday afternoon police reported that they now believe Louisiana woman Sharmeka Moffitt’s story about being lit on fire in a race-related attack was fabricated. Police now believe that she wrote “KKK” and “n—er” on her car and lit herself on fire.
The Franklin Sun reports that Moffitt’s fingerprints were found on the cigarette lighter and lighter fluid recovered in the wooded area near the crime scene. The writings on the car, written in toothpaste, were linked to female DNA.
Police Chief Lester Thomas said that regardless of the outcome, this tragic event is still a heavy burden, according to The Franklin Sun. Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb added: “Although I think what she did was wrong and had major consequences not only for her, but throughout our community and our country, there’s something wrong here, and we need to help individuals like this. In the same way our community came to support her as a victim, I still hope the community will support her emotional and physical recovery.”
When I first read about it, I thought immediately of the Tawana Brawley case in New York, which I did write about when I was living in New York years ago. That too was a case of a black woman who was purportedly attacked by racist whites and had a racial epithet scrawled on her body. Turns out she did it to herself. Even Al Sharpton got caught up in what was a huge story at the time.
Neither of these incidents means that ugly racism doesn’t happen to people. In fact this kind of fraud is rare. As are the cases when whites have done bad things and blamed fictitious blacks. But it sure is a horrible thing to do because it really does make the many real charges of ignorance and discrimination questionable to some.
Maybe this woman has a mental problem, because who else would want the pain of burning, but if she does not, she should be arrested for wasting the police’s time with this false report, and morally for the damage to real racism claims.
This is such a sad and convoluted story. But it goes to show just how deep the scars of racism can be. Another irony of this story for me is that I grew up only miles from this town where this all happened and remember well that it was a hotbed for the KKK. Oh memories.
But a battle was already underway, especially between two men: the police chief standing in the back and the white mayor sitting up front, preparing to oust him.
Both felt they were acting against racism. Both took the struggle personally. Fourteen years earlier, both had witnessed the aftermath of a hate crime that would long define their town. And both had hoped Jasper had moved beyond that awful time.
In the wee hours of June 7, 1998, three white men in a pickup traveling a road at the edge of town offered a ride to a black man headed home on foot.
Later that morning, the mangled remains of James Byrd Jr., 49, were found strewn along a 1 1/2-mile stretch of blacktop.
When Rodney Pearson, then a 32-year-old state trooper, first heard a report of body parts on Huff Creek Road, he figured somebody must have dug up a grave. Pearson recalls walking the road with Jasper County’s sheriff, following a trail of blood to a discarded tool etched with the name of a local man, Shawn Berry.
Pearson, the first black highway patrolman in Jasper, got a cold, cold feeling.
A local reporter was also on the scene that day. Mike Lout, then 42, covered the story for KJAS, the radio station he ran out of his house. He was the first to report that Byrd had been alive when he was chained to the truck and dragged, and that the killing was racially motivated.
“That set the world on fire,” Lout said.
You can read the full story here.
I had a feeling that strangely though President Obama’s election was historical and a major step forward, that it seemed to me, we were experiencing more ethnic stupidity than ever. It’s a combination of the Internet and the anonymity it affords and a backlash of sorts. But a new report in The New York Times backs the gut feeling I was having.
Fed by antagonism toward President Obama, resentment toward changing racial demographics and the economic rift between rich and poor, the number of so-called hate groups and antigovernment organizations in the nation has continued to grow, according to a report released Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The center, which has kept track of such groups for 30 years, recorded 1,018 hate groups operating last year.
The more we move ahead, the more we move back it seems. Here is the full article and report.