Friday, March 26, 2010
THE KLAN IS RECRUITING....SO WHAT?
By: Deric Muhammad
Recently the Ku Klux Klan made headlines when residents in a local area of Houston noticed their neighborhood was leafleted with flyers encouraging them to join the Ku Klux Klan. Honestly, I yawned when I saw the coverage.
There have been KKK recruitment drives in the not so distant past and I doubt they have produced a surge in their ranks. I always thought the Klan needed to hire an image consultant; you know, do something about those awful uniforms. Young people these days would never trade their skinny jeans and skateboard sneakers for low thread-count white sheets and lit crosses. It’s a new day and the KKK needless to say appears to be struggling for relevance.
But, then I thought about the countless times that I’ve been in court rooms and witnessed white judges hand out huge sentences for small crimes to Black youth. Then I remembered that the uniform changed a long time ago. It is not the white supremacist dressed in white sheets and dark boots that we should watch out for. It is the white supremacist in white shirts and dark suits that now poses a threat to the freedom of Black people.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and those in the civil rights movement faced vehement opposition from the Ku Klux Klan, The White Citizens Council and other overtly organized bodies of hate that sought the annihilation of Black people. Too many of our youth are unaware of the cold-blooded murders that took place at the hands of the KKK during the civil rights movement. It is a history that we must teach our children.
However, during the latter years Dr. King came to be less concerned with the KKK. He became more concerned about the “White Moderate” who he said may have been Black people’s greatest threat in the stride toward liberation. King said that the white moderate was more interested in the absence of tension than the presence of justice. In my opinion Dr. King realized that an “in your face” KKK member was less dangerous to our struggle than a “slicker than soap” con artist who would march beside you one day and plot against you the next.
I believe that the KKK’s new recruitment drive is worthy of note, but that’s about it. There was a time when these groups sought to kill Black people wholesale. But the KKK no longer holds the title of champion killer of Black people. We do. Truth be told it does not matter how much they recruit; they will probably never catch up with us when it comes to the killing of our own people in urban America. This makes them no longer the boogey man that they once were. Our worst enemy is looking back at us in the mirror; not under a Wal-Mart- bought white sheet.
My suggestion is that we join the KKK in the quest for recruitment. Those organizations that exist to lift our people must recruit today like never before. Since the Klan no longer holds the crown of chief murderer of our people, Black men must unify and recruit like never before to fight Black on Black violence and murder.
The NAACP, Black United Front, SCLC, New Black Panther Party, Urban League, Nation of Islam and all organized bodies that seek the salvation and liberation of our people should join forces for mass recruitment. We should go into deprived and underserved neighborhoods as a unified community and extend the hand of brotherhood and sisterhood to our suffering people. Our youth, especially, have a strong desire to belong to something; to have something to call their own. If we as a community don’t reach out to them, the gang leader will.
There is a saying that goes “there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” I contend that the idea of the KKK has come and gone. White sheets are out; black robes are in. So we need not be overly concerned about their recruitment drive. We must be more concerned about our own. Let us unify to lift our people from self-hatred and ignorance. The KKK will take care of itself.