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Volume 71, Issue 137, Friday, April 28, 2006


Forum Friday: Hanging Around

Should the KKK be allowed to rally at Antietam?

The World Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are planning to flock to the historic Civil War battleground to honor fallen Confederate soldiers. Does the First Amendment have their back?

Rally shows how far we still need to go 

As distasteful as it is, the KKK has the First Amendment right to free speech. We should be grateful of this opportunity to be reminded of the hatreds that have poisoned our country since its inception. Let them speak, and be reminded of how far we have come, and how far we have to go. 

Endless arguments could be written countering the hate the KKK will spew in their day in the sun, but sometimes, the best words are the ones that have already been written:

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose ?
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath ?
America will be!

-- Langston Hughes

-- Denise Hewitt

This is not what the First Amendment had in mind 

There will always be hatred toward those who are different. The KKK has always taken this concept to the extreme; not even when America is engulfed by hatred from foreign enemies can they settle the differences that separate them from the rest of the population. 

On June 10, a small group that represents today's KKK will congregate at the Antietam National Battlefield under the protection of the First Amendment to honor the soldiers of the Confederacy. This rally is as random as any protest involving racial hatred today. The Confederacy never had an agenda of racial discord, yet the KKK hides under its identity to historically justify its actions.

Under the First Amendment, this group has every right to be present during the commemoration of the battle. We cannot expect to enjoy free press or free speech or any of our other liberties for ourselves if we do not grant those freedoms to all citizens. The law should be black and white; it is our humanity and consideration for others that should dictate when our actions are justified and worthy, even if they fall under our rights, but in the case of extremism, that is too much to ask. -- Daniela Carpio

Don't give them the light of day and they will go away

Whethere they should be allowed to rally is immaterial. Of course they shouldn't. However, we have this thing called the Constitution and it keeps governments, states and the rest of us from becoming a mob rule, or a dictatorship on the other extreme. 

It is free speech, albeit harmful speech in all likelihood. All of us can get as emotional as we please, but in today's litigious society, the best we can do is have someone else, like the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People or the American Civil Liberties Union, get a group of folks out there to intimidate the intimidators and hold their own counter-protest against the KKK. 

One thing is for sure: As long as we keep allowing ignorant bigots to push our buttons and get a rise out of us, tempers flaring and passion ignited, they will continue to thrive because they have attention. The media will be there and, therefore, will stick it in all of our faces because it's sensational and it will keep people tuned in to that station. 

So, are you going to be manipulated? That is the true question. 

I say ignore the ignorant and they will become irrelevant, and the KKK definitely qualify as ignorant. So, ignore them or find some other way of getting rid of them. 

As of now, the rally at Antietam will take place and it'll be another day where the media and the KKK waste the time of those who choose to let their time and concern to be usurped by the worst of humanity ? people who hate other people based on a created sociological myth camouflaged by religion and class.

As for me and my house, we know there is a God and that there is no white and black heaven ... only us ? all of us. If we keep allowing black and white hate groups to divide us, what does that say about us as intelligent, informed and college-educated people? 
-- Joshua Delano

KKK reminds us to never let history repeat itself

In my heart, I wish that the KKK would be banned from every public event, but we have to allow all groups access to some public forum no matter how thoughtless and heinous their words are. It is very trite to say "but the First Amendment was designed to protect the speech we hate the most." 

If they make threats to harm people however, as they often do, then they should be arrested. But it's important to give these ignorant people a forum to speak. 

Whether it is a hatred of someone's ethnicity or sexual orientation, it is important to showcase these people in public so we can all see what can happen to those who become so consumed by their own insecurities and inner turmoil that their only outlet is to attack others for contrived deficiencies ? deficiencies that they see in themselves everyday, but are afraid to recognize. 

We must view these people not only to help them realize their own problems, but to make sure we never go down the same road. -- David Salinas

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