Column: KKK adds fuel to racial fire

Mark Feuerborn

Rumors of the opening of a Topeka chapter of the Ku Klux Klan and the spread of Klan fliers in Topeka neighborhoods seem conveniently timed in light of the Charleston mass shooting that has shocked the nation.

A fellow Washburn student, Brenna Swisher, found one of these fliers on her doorstep and contacted me about it.

“What I found on that flier was prideful ignorance. The Civil War ended in 1865. I guess some people can’t let that go,” Swisher said.

The saddest thing about both this recent spread of one of our nation’s oldest and worst domestic terrorist groups and the Charleston shooting is that while some are shocked, especially those who received the white supremacy fliers that were being passed around Topeka neighborhoods, others seemed unfazed. Throughout the years, the continued exposure of modern racial hate crimes and lack of proper reaction by authorities has desensitized the public.

Honestly, Topekans have given proper reaction to this hate that now hits their homes, but not enough of it.

I knowingly call the Ku Klux Klan a domestic terrorist group, because a terrorist group is exactly what they are. A terrorist’s best weapon is fear, and every day that a terrorist organization prevents a populace from feeling safe – even in their own homes – is a victory for a terrorist organization. “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart confirmed my beliefs when he said that the recent Charleston shooting was “a terrorist attack”. This was an act of terrorism, performed by a man inspired by the ideals of the terrorist organization that is now trying to find a home in Topeka.

If one simply Googles “Ku Klux Klan,” the first result is their website that quickly jumps to say they bear “A message of Love NOT Hate!” If one moves over to images on Google, two of the first associated words to narrow the search are “Lynching” and “Killing”.

Moving forward, I believe Topekans should not just throw away the fliers and forget about what they found on their doorstep; they should actively oppose it. This is an organization whose greatest achievements are a list of killings and oppression of an entire race dating back since the 1800s. Standing by and hoping the problem will get rid of itself does nothing, as the Klan has proven with their long-running existence. America knows what its own hate groups are capable of; there is no special exception for them. The people of this country must actively recognize and deal with its domestic terrorist groups in the same way it does with foreign ones. Let the Klan know it is not welcome in Topeka.