Steven Howard gave his young daughters "pretty wrapped packages" that included "the distinctive pointed hoods of the Ku Klux Klan." "Giving my girls my legacy," he said while putting the garments on their heads during filming for what was supposed to be an eight-part documentary, "Generation KKK," on A&E that was scheduled to begin airing on Jan. 10. The New York Times article described the scene as "chilling." Iíll bet.
But what's really chilling is the blow back the series received before it even aired. The network has since canceled it because of nominal payments producers made to some of the participants. Of course, one can easily surmise it was canceled because of the blow back, not because of a practice many networks use in one fashion or another to get controversial figures to speak openly and honestly on camera.
Critics of the show were afraid it would normalize the Klan. But the show didn't have to normalize the Klan.
The KKK has committed atrocities on our soil that would make ISIS blush. The Klan carried out thousands of lynchingís, of black men and women, Jewish people, white too - anyone else who dared ally with the push for racial equality.
Theyíve committed some of the worst violence - out in the open with the full knowledge, and sometimes direct participation, of authorities. They were easy to spot. Now, itís not so easy.
That's why it does no good to push them back into the shadows. That's why we need more depictions of the group in the 21st century. The Klan can't lynch people in the public square any more. Theyíre harder to see.
Steven Howard's daughters were born into a household motivated by misplaced pain and hatred of the other. Those of us lucky enough to have not been born into such situations have been privileged in a way Howard's daughters have not been.
Hating him is not going make our lives better. Better understanding him -- even while fiercely opposing his dark philosophy -- just might.
Thatís why itís so important for A&E to show this docuseries in all its ugliness.
Agree or Disagree, the KKK needs to be exposed. Period.
Posted at 1:30pm on December 27, 2016 by Matt Monks