grist for the mill

A not-so-secret research cache

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

DESIREE COOPER: Gentler? Kinder? It's still the Klan: "The Mystic Knights, according to Lawson, was formally organized in 1999 with chapters in Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia. Lawson would not say how many members there are nationally or locally. But because the men and women come from all walks of life, he assured me that 'you've probably spoken to other Klansmen and didn't know it.'"

"The old ways of the Klan don't work anymore," he said, adding that the Mystic Knights do not condone violence -- including lynchings or burning crosses on other people's property. All members are subject to police background checks, he said. "We are in some ways a more politically correct Klan," he said. "The problems we face in this country are a lot bigger than race. We are more concerned with morality."

But the Mystic Knights' Web site reveals a more traditional Klan mindset. It dubs Martin Luther King Day as a day of protest. White Christians were exhorted to fly Confederate flags rather than honor the "womanizing, promoter of race mixing," who was "100-percent Communist."

It also urges a boycott of McDonald's for its commitment to black history and for not having a scholarship or career program for whites despite the fact that "whites are currently the minority in 48 major cities."

It's these people that vex me more than the "old style" Klan. It's all about parsing, spin. Couple it with our culture's collective attention span/historical memory of a Jack Russel Terrier on Crank and, well... it's.... troubling... - Barry

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