Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hate crimes

I remember when I was...probably 7 or so, maybe younger, my dad took me to downtown raleigh. Usually, trips to Downtown when I was little meant a learning experience. Because dad works for Durham County government, he would sometimes have to go to the courts in Wake County, and I'd occasionally go with him so I could see what a court case was like, and see how not to act when I got older. Several times, dad took me late at night to see candlelight vigils for people protesting the death penalty the night an execution took place. We'd ride to the capitol if there was a rally going on to see different types of people protesting. But the one experience that most sticks out in my head was when my dad took me to view a KKK rally. Even to this day, I can remember the utter hate I felt as soon as I approached the area. The chants of white supremacy. The white robes, the covered faces. The cross that was burning. The horror of this shocked me. Because I was a history lover, particularly of civil war, I knew what the Klan was. But I had no idea the Klan was as horrifying as it is. I can remember crying after we left, asking dad why someone could hate anyone so much? Why white supremacy mattered to so many people? Why he brought me to see this? And I remember his answer was so that I could be aware there are people like this in real life. History's not just history. It's still alive today. The Klan was originally started to protect the South against reconstruction. But quickly, it changed to being something horrible. I'm all for the confederacy. Heck, I think the South will rise again. But I hate how this image is so associated with the South. And I hate how people can still be racist today. I was looking through bumper stickers on facebook tonight while I had some extra time on my hands, and I came across one that was about the Klan and White supremacy. Yes, on facebook, not even 15 pages into the list. And yes, people had added the sticker. I guess, I don't understand why racism is so prevalent. Closet racism is one thing...but hate crimes? That's taking it to a whole new level. Just some thoughts before I hit the sack.