This story is so weird but it offers great insight into the human condition vis-a-vis racism in America, and how to respond to distressing news. A retired black police officer moved to Arkansas from Cali and discovered that his new residence had problems with its interior. Looking for a lawyer, he checked the phone book and chose one as advised by his neighbor. The lawyer couldn’t take his case so he referred another lawyer, a colleague.
The case is worked out. One year later, however, Willie Brown’s neighbor tells him that the Knight’s Party, a branch of the KKK, is active in a nearby town.
From The New Statesman:
Willie looks it up. He learns that the Klan is a large, racist organisation famed for advocating white supremacy, white nationalism and anti-immigration, traditionally through terrorism. He also finds out that the Klan’s leader is called Thomas Robb. The name “Robb” rings a bell. Willie remembers Jason, the attorney he met last year. Further research confirms that Jason is Thomas’s son, as well as an active Klan member and the group’s lawyer.
Rather than freak the fuck out, Brown took a pragmatic view of the situation.
These are his quotes:
“I went into his office, I sat down and filled out the necessary paperwork. He wasn’t nasty and he didn’t refuse to speak to me; I would never have known he was a Klan member.”
“If you’re good at what you do, what does it matter?”
“If I had a legal issue and he was the best attorney around, of course I’d hire him. He never told me he doesn’t like blacks.”
“If he doesn’t like blacks, that’s on him. But I’m not going to go in there, harass him and not hire him because I’m black. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. If you know someone has a racial bias, why would you want to agitate that person? I’m not a troublemaker. As long as you don’t assault me, I couldn’t care less. You’re entitled to speak your opinion. That’s your right.
“I have a friend who hates Israel. Does that make me feel uncomfortable? No. I know blacks who hate whites. Does that make me feel uncomfortable? No. It’s their issue, not mine.”
What would you do?
More of this story here