Coon Praises the KKK
Coon Praises the KKK
Daryl Davis is the subject of this article… “Coon Praises the KKK” is a veteran blues pianist, but for decades now, he has also fostered deep personal relationships with members of the KKK. Daryl Davis cooning is nothing new to the Klan. This is a repost of his story in his book, Klan-destine Relationships, and he spoke to Brent Bambury from Washington D.C. – where he received a Common Ground Award for his work to fight racism earlier this week. Of course the award was provided by a racist organization.
Read as Daryl Davis, the coon praises the kkk.
Brent Bambury: You know the Klan. Are you surprised to see a Klan splinter group welcome blacks and Jews as members?
Daryl Davis: Actually, I’m not surprised. I’ve been approached, myself, to join the Klan group, and I’m black.
BB: You have built close friendships with members of the Klan, some of them even came to your wedding. Why do you do this?
They are human beings. They have a different way of thinking–one that I do not agree with–but through communication and the exchange of dialogue, we each get to learn something about one another. Many of them who’ve come to know me have ended up changing their beliefs altogether and ended up leaving the Klan.
You’re dealing with people saying hateful things, using very, very loaded symbols. Don’t those things make you angry?
That’s the whole problem. You’ve got to put the anger aside. Yes, they are very offensive. Yes, they are very destructive and very negative, but you know that going into the conversation. You realize that many of these people have not had the exposure and experiences that you’ve had. Therefore, they are at the disadvantage and you are at the advantage. So you set an example for them in the hopes that they will learn vicariously.
You’ve attended Klan meetings, you’ve been to cross lightings. Have you ever been threatened or attacked by Klan members?
Of course. I’ve put some in the hospital and put some in jail, but that’s not a frequent occurrence. It happens every now and then and it’s to be expected. After all, you’re dealing with some who absolutely hate you and want to remove you from the face of the Earth. Others don’t like you and don’t want to associate with you, but they’re not going to be violent.
How many Klan robes do you have hanging in your closet now?
I have a bunch of them. I probably have 15 to 18. It means that people can change. For somebody to give up their badge of honor, their uniform, to the very person they hated and despised, is a sign that they truly have rejected those beliefs.