When I was growing up–gosh, I already sound like somebody’s grandpa–the KKK was everywhere. I didn’t take any pictures of them because I thought that would sully up my camera. More than once, I’ve thought of downloading some KKK pix and putting them into a post called “Why I Write the Novels I Write.”
Thing is, those pictures make me physically ill. I’d probably end up in the hospital before I finished my post if I filled it full of Klan pix. I feel the same way when I’m watching the news and suddenly here comes a video of some white supremacists who look like cretins who’ve never taken a shower and were disowned by their families back in grade school.
If the white supremacists are parading around as though they’re the best the White race has to offer, they’re failing big time. I live in the South. That means a lot of people in the “social” media assume I support the Klan and wish the South had won the Civil War. Nope, because I can’t tell the difference between a Klansman and a cockroach.
When I was little, I hoped the day would come when racism would no longer be an issue. Apparently, I was more naïve than I suspected because years later, today’s news is filled with it. I keep hoping there will be a breakthrough, a person all races can respect who comes along and stops the shouting and the violence. Politics makes it difficult for such a person to arise because the powers that be love polarization. So, we yell and scream at each other rather than seeking common ground.
During the past months of pandemic and violence, a lot of writers are looking for the right words to write, some essay or op-ed that cools down the violence and the rhetoric and focuses all of us again on the loving democracy where we thought we lived. I’m not wise enough to write that essay, but surely there must be somebody out there who can write it, who can bring us back together, who can stop us from pointing fingers, who can fill us with empathy and compassion instead of the fears that lead people to support extremes.
We need, I think, to rally around the ideals on which this country was founded instead of looking for weeds in the personal and political lives of our founders and saying this country is a country of flaws. There’s a lot to fix, but I just can’t bring myself to see eye to eye with those who think they can fix the U.S. by destroying everything we hold dear because that “everything” isn’t perfect.
We can honor what our Founding Fathers intended, given the thinking of their times, and build on the best of it.
2 thoughts on “I promise not to show you any KKK pictures”
Unfortunately, our founding fathers didn’t intend for slaves to have the same rights as white men. In fact our constitution was written to guarantee rights to well -off-land -owning white men and ONLY well-off-land-owning white men.
Fortunately, we have managed to extend those rights to everyone. Women, children, and people of every race.
Unfortunately, not everyone is on the same page, and it’s time we woke up to the fact that there is still racism and discrimination, and we need to stop ignoring it and hoping folks will catch on and start punishing acts of overt discrimination. These are crimes, and must be treated as such.
If the Founding Fathers hadn’t made provisions for slavery, the Constitution probably never would have been signed. Pragmatic then, but nonsense today. What bothers me is that people don’t know why the Constitution has provisions they don’t like; in fact, they love pointing them out and using them as excuses to throw out the entire document rather than passing more amendments when we find those things that we wish weren’t there—or in some cases, things that aren’t there that should be there. I agree. We need to get everyone on the same page.
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