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SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK



I rarely use the term “moron” for any group of people. Because it’s prejudice, you see – you shouldn’t tag an entire segment of the population with a specific character trait. I’m reminded of a line from a movie I once watched (I’m paraphrasing):

“You’re the most annoying person on earth.”

“Well, that’s just silly – have you met everyone on earth?”

I don’t know everyone on earth. I don’t even know everyone on American Idol, so I can’t really saddle any group with a character trait.

In the case of the Klu Klux Klan, however, I’m willing to make an exception.

The Boys in/of White visited Albion during the Chain O’ Lakes Festival, with their cheerful message of hate and intolerance. You could say they skulked around, since no one seems to have actually seen them placing flyers on cars across town. However, since Albion is mostly white, you can see how they’d be able to blend in. Very few people of color join that organization, despite the KKK’s decent health insurance and really nifty dry cleaning policy.

Now, let’s be fair to the Klan. All they want is to provide a safe, free society for themselves and everyone else who’s exactly like them. Isn’t that what all hate-blinded bigots want? Really, how are they any worse than the Nazis, or the Nation of Islam? (Don’t give me that look – go check out their web page.) It’s all in your perspective: Hitler was nice to animals, and Saddam Hussein used to sing lullabies to small children before having their parents tortured.

Besides, this particular flyer targets only homosexuality and illegal immigration, so hey – I guess nobody else has anything to worry about, huh?

In some ways, the flyer’s not too different from many others you might find under your windshield wipers. There’s an invitation to subscribe to their newsletter, “Thoughts Under the Hood”, for the low, low rate of $16 a year:

“How to find a good home in an all-white neighborhood! A guide to throwing great parties without letting the riff-raff in! Part 3 of tips for removing blood stains from white clothing!”

Let’s hope no one mixes that newsletter up with “Thought IN the Hood”, which is an entirely different animal. Talk about embarrassing.

There’s also a request for donations, because “We’re not funded by the government” (finally, the government does something right). They need extra money for hair gel. No, seriously – two hours of burning crosses on a hot night can give a person a serious case of hat hair.

The flyer declares: “Notice there is family morals that need to be brought back to our family.” Family morals, but apparently not grammar. How sad – and they give such powerful speeches, too. Well, they say Abraham Lincoln was a lousy speller.

Um, maybe this would be a bad time to bring up Lincoln.

The flyer also exhorts us to teach our children Christian morals. Christian morals! Those people wouldn’t know Christian morals if a church fell on them. They’re Christianity’s version of Muslim fundamentalists – people so warped by their own hatred, so uncaring of the rights of others, so ignorant of the rest of the world, that they don’t even realize how much they’re going against their own religion. While the rest of us can take those Bible passages that seem to promote intolerance in context, they look at their own version of the Bible, where other passages need not apply.

And yet, some other parts in the flyer actually made me chuckle, in that ironic way I have just before throwing small objects across the room. The KKK, of all organizations, actually mentions the Pledge of Allegiance? You know, the one that says One Nation – Indivisible – With Liberty and Justice for All? What’s more divisive than the Klan?

Okay, the Presidential race, but otherwise what? Oh, sure, college basketball – could we get back to the point?

Then – and I’m actually quoting – the flyer says to tell your children “the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God”. Seriously, it’s a wonder these people don’t spontaneously burst into flames. If the truth will set you free, they’re in solitary confinement at Sing-Sing.

But here’s the part I like the best. This KKK flyer, which is dedicated partially to an anti-gay rant, starts with “The Cape Crusaiders rides once again in the state of Indiana.”

Come on. Everybody knows Batman and Robin were flaming homosexuals. Whoever wrote this thing was having some fun with their Klan buddies, maybe making little hints about what he thinks they should really be doing under the sheets.

Look, I always thought the civil union idea, in which gay couples would get all the rights of marriage with just a change of terminology, would be a fair compromise. I understand those who feel otherwise in both directions, but compromise is all I can bring to the table. My general opinion of homosexuality is that they be given every one of the rights everyone else has, no more and no less.

Otherwise, everyone knows I’m against illegal immigration, everyone knows I’m a
patriot, and everyone knows I think our children should be taught family morals. I’m just like those Klan guys in so many ways, including a poor grip on grammar, with one little exception: I think –

No.

I KNOW -- that every single person should be judged on their own merits. Their accomplishments, their failings, their crimes, their contributions to or damage to society. If I changed the color of my skin (and I’m told that’s now possible), I’d be the same person. Except darker. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to understand the common sense of that.

Or, in the case of our Men in White, a brain donor.

Speaking of skin color, I find it highly ironic that, at the top of the KKK flyer,
is a colored picture of the American flag – along with the words, “These colors will never bleed”.

Ironic. And sad, because these brain donors don’t see the irony.

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
synaptikchaos
Jun. 16th, 2006 09:21 am (UTC)
However, since Albion is mostly white, you can see how they’d be able to blend in.

XD

I'd actually be interested in their newsletter.

Come on. Everybody knows Batman and Robin were flaming homosexuals.

*snerk*
ozma914
Jun. 16th, 2006 09:40 am (UTC)
You can laugh -- I'm the one who has to sleep with one eye open and a .38 under my pillow! Those people don't take criticism well. :-/

Yeah, I'd kind of like to see the newsletter too ... but I'm unwilling to give them any money. Besides, it would just piss me off.

synaptikchaos
Jun. 17th, 2006 05:54 pm (UTC)
You know, I was just thinking... even in a super small town like Albion, with its super small town mentality, the KKK is the one thing that's pretty much taboo everywhere it goes. (Except maybe the deep south, but I couldn't vouge(sp?) for that.)

And that gives me (a very small sliver of) hope.
ozma914
Jun. 17th, 2006 06:07 pm (UTC)
taboo goons
Personally, I think the problem has moved out of many small towns. Racism was caused there by fear of the unknown -- but thanks to cable TV, satellite and such, we're exposed to other peoples and cultures much more than just 20 years ago. Nobody's shocked to see a mixed race couple, because they see it on TV all the time.

That's my theory, and I'm sticking to it.
kazzy_cee
Jun. 16th, 2006 11:36 am (UTC)
Please tell me that's Charlie and The chocolate factory that you've quoted from because it's driving me crazy!!

KKK - I just have no words for the fact they still exist, really....
ozma914
Jun. 16th, 2006 12:29 pm (UTC)
It's lucky for you I happened by on my way from one errand to another:

"Two Weeks Notice"! It's an exchange between Sandra Bullock's and Hugh Grant's characters. I was never a big Hugh Grant fan until I saw that movie -- he was so charming and disarming, and I loved their verbal sparring.

The KKK will exist as long as small minded, ignorant people exist. Here's an aspirin for your head.
kazzy_cee
Jun. 17th, 2006 08:01 am (UTC)
Oh yes! THAT'S the film - I knew I'd heard those lines. That was a fun movie wasn't it? I loved Sandra Bullock's "I can twist like a prezel" (I've just realised that's probably not how you spell prezel...pretzel?)
ozma914
Jun. 17th, 2006 09:05 am (UTC)
Pretzel. (Heh -- I looked it up)
Sandra Bullock twisting like a pretzel is the high point of some of my favorite fantasies -- she used to be a cheerleader, you know. But yes, it was a fun movie! They had great comic chemistry.
elizalavelle
Jun. 16th, 2006 12:13 pm (UTC)
I love the angle you took with this, it was a great piece to read, entertaining but the point never got lost.
ozma914
Jun. 16th, 2006 12:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks ... I must confess, I sometimes lose my point while trying to be entertaining in my columns. Okay, often.
sunshine_tears
Jun. 16th, 2006 05:19 pm (UTC)
hahaha, I drink to that *holds up one of her new goblets*

Dude, I'm interested to see how the town in GENERAL (like the older group) takes this article... lol.

You know that Mark Souder's gonna be at your door and be like "Mr. Hunter, you do know that it's not the KKK that has cooties, but the GAYS, right?!" lol.

Love it. Going to post a link of it to my journal. teehee.
ozma914
Jun. 17th, 2006 07:03 am (UTC)
I wrote against the Klan before and never got much response one way or the other. The real test of this town's reaction on similar issues came in november, 2001, when I packed up my girlfriend and moved her from New York to here. She's black, and I don't mean blended -- I mean REAL black (she was a 911 call taker for the New York City Fire Department.)

Much to my surprise, virtually everyone was very accepting -- I think a lot of people around town liked her more than me. :-) The only exception was my stepmother, who wrote me a letter saying I was thrown out of the family because the Bible says races shouldn't mix. This gave me the opportunity to completely wipe that mean, vindictive, narrow minded woman out of my life, something I shall always be thankful to my now ex-girlfriend for.

But as I said, other than my stepmother, my girlfriend was completely accepted. It just goes to show that people can open their minds -- even in Indiana.
sunshine_tears
Jun. 17th, 2006 12:52 pm (UTC)
w00t. Yah, the town's changed a LOT since I was "a kid." I remember when the few dark kids was seen as odd because they were darker than other kids (I won't mention names, lol)... and now, there's families from all over in our lil town *tear* hehe.
ozma914
Jun. 17th, 2006 04:45 pm (UTC)
When I was in elementary school, there was exactly one kid of color in the entire school system -- and he was mentally challenged. (Or maybe he went crazy from feeling so different, I don't know.) We're not exactly a rainbow town, here, are we? I remember the moment I first saw our female Japanese exchange student, when I was a Freshman. Stopped dead in my tracks, and I've been attracted to Asian women ever since.
sunshine_tears
Jun. 17th, 2006 06:22 pm (UTC)
hahaha. We have a few asians now too.
ozma914
Jun. 18th, 2006 08:40 am (UTC)
Well, there's the family running the Chinese Restaurant right across the street from me, and the International Adoption Agency up the street, and my coworker has a black teenage daughter -- we're definitely coloring up here in Albion. I believe it's a very good thing for us.
sunshine_tears
Jun. 18th, 2006 08:51 am (UTC)
me too. Heck, I remember when *I* was in highschool, and we had a german exchange student... who had some very very... "traditional" (for a Nazi or a KKK member) beliefs... and he tried to get everyone to hate one of our few colored students. Like wtf?

That student ended up "leaving" for the semester... and the colored student ended up at West Noble before the end of the year. Sorta makes ya wonder. :(
ozma914
Jun. 18th, 2006 09:02 am (UTC)
The Germans, of all people, ought to know better. Racism completely destroyed their country once already, and here they are still blaming everyone else for what they did.
sunshine_tears
Jun. 18th, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC)
yep!
redwolf
Jun. 16th, 2006 09:47 pm (UTC)
Do let us know if you get any angry letters to the editor of this one. I'd like to see them accidentally out themselves in a moment of indignation.
ozma914
Jun. 17th, 2006 06:55 am (UTC)
Outing themselves
It could happen! Or you might stop hearing from me, and for the next several years pieces of me might turn up all over the area.

I'm voting for the former.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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