Racism and Thought Police

On the one hand, this guy has a great point -- and he's quite right about Twain's work.

On the other hand, just yesterday I saw a residence here in Georgia openly flying a Ku Klux Klan flag. You may not know what a Ku Klux Klan flag looks like, as it's been decades since anyone openly flew them except while wearing hoods to mask their identity. It looks like this.

Now, I don't want to suggest that the state should enforce laws against such display -- laws that would be unconstitutional, as well as a form of thought policing. I only want to say that I liked it better when Klansmen were ashamed to broadcast their affiliation. We don't need the Klan back. It has nothing to offer us that we're going to want in any conceivable future.


Texan99 said...

My paternal grandfather attended Klan meetings, to judge from a family anecdote I can remember, in which my grandmother marched in, recognized his pant cuffs and shoes, and dragged him home in disgust. I took his participation to be the classic sort: he was a dismal failure, a drunk who never got reliably employed again after the beginning of the Depression, and he badly needed to believe there was some class of people even more degraded than himself. Many people will do almost anything to explain away the shame of failure--and yet my grandmother, facing the same circumstances, knuckled down and got herself and her kids through very long, hard times, taking in sewing, growing vegetables, encouraging the kids all to find work to help support the family, and generally doing anything and everything that was necessary to keep the wolf from the door honorably.

jaed said...

This is what happens when you exact the death penalty for stealing any animal; people who are inclined that way but might have hidden their inclinations for fear of opprobrium begin to figure you might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb, and let it all hang out.

Plus the contingent that enjoys defiance of Mrs. Grundy. Now that Mrs. Grundy needs her smelling salts over such offenses to racial propriety as failing to show at least 20% black people among the British at Dunkirk, or demurring being kicked off campus for a day because of your race, it becomes more tempting to some personalities to really give her something to faint about.

Grim said...

I imagine this is a poor family, powerless and ignorant, and unable to effect any important change on the world. The Klan flag isn't something to fear, just to despise.

But clearly last week or last month they decided that it was OK to put that flag up, whereas before they never did. Even if they aren't important themselves, and more to be pitied than made an object of concern, it does strike me that there's work to do on this front as well as the other.