Five Reasons I Might Join the Ku Klux Klan

Dec 3, 2014

By Herb Silverman

Groucho Marx famously said, “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” I’m thinking about joining a club that I thought would never accept me as a member. A Ku Klux Klan chapter is now accepting Jews.

My only public comment about the KKK, in 1987, was supportive — sort of. When the Charleston City Council in South Carolina, where I live, asked for citizen comments about whether to grant the KKK a parade permit to march, I said, “The Ku Klux Klan has done hundreds of horrible things, but I don’t want to deny them the one appropriate thing they do — use their free speech right to demonstrate for a cause.” The Klan was allowed to march, and it was especially ironic that the KKK Grand Dragon had to listen when our black, Jewish police chief, Reuben Greenberg, read him the permit rules and regulations.

So why would a liberal Jew like me even consider joining a hate group like the Ku Klux Klan?

1. I like diversity.

I’m happy when groups become more inclusive. Only one KKK chapter thus far is opening its membership to Jews, as well as to blacks and gays, but that’s a start. I also enjoy seeing hate groups argue among themselves about changing traditions. KKK Imperial Wizard Bradley Jenkins said about John Abarr, who started this new chapter: “That man’s going against everything the bylaws of the constitution of the KKK say.” This reminds me of a piece in The Onion about a small group of Klan reformers who claimed that blacks and Jews may be partially related to human, or White, beings, a controversial view that challenged one of the most dearly held Klan beliefs.

2. My wife wants me to get some new attire.

Although I’d have to wear the traditional Ku Klux Klan costume of a white robe and conical hood, I could still wear my traditional t-shirt and shorts under my robe along with a visible smiley face and a yarmulke (Jewish skullcap) on top of my hood.


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9 comments on “Five Reasons I Might Join the Ku Klux Klan

  • Such humour is utterly devistating and people should be more confident in using it, even if it seems inappropriate or “too soon”.

    I could never understand why there was (and still is to some extent) so much anger over the marching season in Northern Ireland. I naturally sympathise with the catholcs, especially hearing eye witness accounts of police and soldiers lining the streets pointing guns at the houses of residents so they don’t cause cause any unnecessary trouble for the rightful parade of self-obsessed men in bowler hats and bright orange sashes or aprons and unable to see how this could raise anything beyond utter hysteria. The riducle was already done and laid out for the locals. why not celebrate the fact they like to dress as penises because some other people killed some other people 400 years ago or whatever and join in the fun instead of protesting?

    I’m also reminded of the story of Ozzy Osbourne joining a group of christian protesters outside his own house and marching with them holding a placard.

    Ridicule is the most dangerous weapon there is, and the nastier your enemy is, the more vulnerable they are to it



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  • I understand the Klan have some time ago counter picketed Westboro Baptist ‘shows’. You know you’ve got to the top of the bigot parade when the Klan think you’re going to far.



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  • SaganTheCat Dec 4, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I could never understand why there was (and still is to some extent) so much anger over the marching season in Northern Ireland. I naturally sympathise with the catholcs, especially hearing eye witness accounts of police and soldiers lining the streets pointing guns at the houses of residents so they don’t cause cause any unnecessary trouble for the rightful parade

    I think the point was that the Catholic IRA had a habit of shooting opponents of Irish nationalism and Catholic theocracy.

    because some other people killed some other people 400 years ago or whatever and join in the fun instead of protesting?

    Your dates are a bit off!
    The Irish state came into being in 1922 as the Irish Free State, a dominion of the British Commonwealth, having seceded from the United Kingdom. The northern provinces remained British by a majority choice. The IRA on allegedly behalf of the Catholic minority, then had a terrorist campaign to join with the south, while the Protestants marched to reassert their independent resistance to Catholic domination.
    (Paisley’s battle cry was “No Popery”!)

    There is a contrast to the US approach to 9/11- Afghanistan – Iraq – Libya, type incidents.
    When the IRA terrorists bombed the City of London, the RAF did NOT bomb the Irish bars in New York where their funding was raised!



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