This man convinced over 200 people to leave the KKK by befriending them

Narjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Monday 09 January 2017 09:15
(picture: Accidental Courtesy/YouTube/screengrab)

When you are instrumental in influencing over 200 members of the Ku Klux Klan to shed their racist views, the first question you will, no doubt, find yourself answering, is how?

“Donald Trump is the best thing to happen to America”, Blues musician and author, Daryl Davis tells Aljazeera, “ a residual effect of the election all these racist people are coming out and making themselves known”.

picture: Accidental Courtesy/YouTube/screengrab(picture: Accidental Courtesy/YouTube/screengrab)

Davis finished filming a documentary about the Ku Klux Klan, called Accidental Courtesy, about his conversations with Klan members on the subject of race relations and white supremacy.

Talking with KKK members helped Davis to locate the origins of the racist ideology - a combination of ignorance and a deeply ingrained hatred towards black people. Through conversation, he unravelled the hate, which prompted 40 people to quit the KKK, and influence an additional 200 to do the same.

In the course of his travels, which took him across the US, he met with members of the KKK, and opened conversation with a simple question: “How can you hate me, if you do not know me?”

Davis said:

If you sit with your worst enemy for five minutes, you will find out you have something in common and if for 10 minutes, you will discover more similarities.

If you build on those commonalties, the things you do not have in common matter less and friendship can be formed...When two enemies are talking, they are not fighting.

Of the members he spoke to, he would ask why they joined the Klan, what they wanted, and their educational background. He found members from different layers of society - from those who had dropped out of university, to professionals like lawyers and doctors.

Davis even made friends with the leader of KKK Maryland, and not only did he eventually quit the organisation, but so too did his top aides, forcing the group to disband.

Not everyone supports Davis' decision to give racists a platform, and he has faced criticism from African American Black Lives Matter activists who call his endeavour nothing more than a "fetish".

He continues to receive emails from members of the KKK who have either heard him speak, or read his book, prompting further conversations.

HT Aljazeera

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