On Sunday April 24th, CNN premiered its new series with African-American comedian Kamau Bell called United Shades of America.
The first episode, released with much anticipation, has Bell meeting with various leaders of the KKK in Arkansas and Kentucky. The KKK is re-branding itself out of necessity because it is no longer as able to get away with violence and intimidation with institutional support (police, local government, court system, etc.) The KKK is no longer the force it once was, and they are struggling for survival. Bell discusses how this “re-branding” still holds on to the beliefs of the old Klan, and the only thing that’s changed is the fact that their influence is far weaker.
The episode allows the KKK leaders to explain their vision and their message, albeit reported and edited through the lens of Kamau Bell. They welcomed Bell to visit with them as an attempt to speak to a national audience. They insisted that they are not “racists”, and they are simply interested in protecting their own white race, which they believe is threatened.
Bell did a great job of asking questions and allowing these KKK leaders to try and explain their beliefs. The beliefs of the KKK speak for themselves. They clearly are missing fundamental understanding of the world around them. The more they talk, the more ridiculous stuff comes out of their mouth.
Bell also talked with citizens living in the communities nearby KKK compounds and found that the citizens want to get rid of the KKK from their area and are fighting back as best they can.
While most of what the KKK believes is gibberish, they have points that need to be addressed.
First, they believe race mixing is bad. Of course, race mixing is an inevitable part of globalization, and it is a perfectly natural, and good thing. Mixing races helps to end racism itself.
Second, they believe their white race is threatened due to the increasing populations of minorities. They believe they cannot go to a black community and be welcomed. As if they want to go to a black community? One KKK leader commented that he could not bring his daughter to a playground in a black neighborhood because she wouldn’t be welcomed and could be subjected to violence. But honestly, have you ever heard of a black-only country club? Neither have I. If the KKK wants to maintain the white population, they better start making babies.
Finally, they say that blacks cannot govern themselves. The KKK believes that black communities are rife with crime and dysfunctional because they are filled with black people. Of course, these communities live under a legacy of racism and poverty. Many poor blacks who wanted to work the land in rural areas were driven out by, you guessed it, the KKK. And many African countries were exploited by wealthier countries, and those wealthier countries installed leaders who kept the people in poverty.
I encourage you to watch this episode because it is an excellent piece of journalism.