Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Klan Coverage

Over the last week, there have been multiple threads about the Ku Klux Klan and blog coverage of the group.

Daniel F. Barrett issued a press release claiming he leads a non-violent faction of the KKK. Roch Smith called Barrett to verify the authenticity of the release, the existence of this supposed faction, and to learn any other details Barrett would share. Roch reported his conversation, and I think his decision to do so was a good one.

Mr. Sun has argued that we should collectively deny the Klan any chance of publicity by refusing to discuss press releases or other information about the Klan. Some of Mr. Sun's comments make me think he believes some bloggers have bought in to Barrett's philosophy, but I have not read anything to make me believe that.

Roch offered no endorsement of Barrett or the Klan, and neither did Chewie. I think they believe that we can discuss the Klan without being sucked into their vortex.

The Klan operated and flourished in secrecy for a long time. People did not talk about the Klan publicly for fear of reprisals. And apparently, that allowed some people to believe the Klan had gone away. Chip Atkinson wrote "The KKK in 1979 was barely alive." Uh, no, Chip - that is just flat wrong. The Klan was not at its peak in 1979, but it was still active and at times very visible in Guilford County.

I have absolutely no use for the KKK in any form. They stand for hate, and they stand for violence (until they demonstrate otherwise for a long time). But I believe ignoring the Klan is not a good strategy all the time. Sometimes, you have to shine a light on a roach colony to scatter them.


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