via Hella Heaven:
This is a letter written to the Ana, the author of Hella Heaven from Daryl Davis, author of Klan-Destine Relationships. It is only part of a awesome post you can find here.
"Yes, you are correct; I am very fond of Martin Luther King and his work. The original Black Panthers with Huey Newton was a good group and did a lot of good for the Black community when they had no one else to help them. They encouraged education and they made sure children in the community always had food to eat. Unfortunately, as is the case with many groups, someone goes astray and causes problems and ruins the reputation of the group with whom they are associated. Naturally, when they were pushed illegally by racist law enforcement, they would stand up for themselves even if it meant the use of violence.
"There are about 3 groups today using the name Black Panthers. None of these groups are associated with the original group and I'm sure any of the original members who are still alive, would have nothing to do with these new groups. I know a couple of these new groups and they advocate violence. I am not a big fan of violence unless I am under attack and must defend myself or my loved ones.
"Yes, Roger Kelly is now out of the Klan. He no longer believes in the principles of hating people because of their race. When his first child was born, I was her godfather. But he received a lot of criticism over that, so I told him, to let someone else do it. You must take things one step at a time. I don't care what anyone's race is. I respect all people and only judge them based upon how they treat others and how they treat me. But when you grow up in a family and environment filled with hate, it will take others a while to accept the changes you chosen to make in your life, if they ever accept it.
"What have I achieved with my book? I would say my biggest achievement was a complete surprise to me. I never set out to cause people to quit the KKK. I simply wanted to interview them and get information for my book. But during the time of interviewing many of them, we saw that we all were human beings and friendships started to evolve. Eventually, many of these people began questioning their own beliefs and many eventually quit the Klan. We are still good friends today. So it has given me hope that we can change for the better and all is not lost. But, more people in my country need to take the step to get to know each other and sit down and talk. We fear each other too much for no reason. Just because of the color of someone's skin.
"It bothers me when I hear my fellow Americans call this country the greatest nation on Earth. Yes, we have achieved many things that other countries have not achieved. We have the ability to put a man on the moon. While that man is walking around on the moon, we can talk to him live via satellite radio phone. You have a cell phone and you have email. You and I can communicate all the way from Brazil to the USA. So my question is: If we can communicate with someone walking around on the moon instantly and we can communicate with people on another continent, WHY can't we communicate with the person who lives right next door, just because he/she is a different skin color, religion, nationality, ethnicity or whatever????? So before my country can talk about how great we are, out ideology needs to catch up with our technology. I am doing my part to try to get my fellow Americans to come into the 21st century and I hope they will do their part."
via University of Richmond
"Musician and maverick Daryl Davis breaks down barriers striving to understand stereotypes, the Ku Klux Klan and the roots of hate. Davis' lecture was part of the Jepson Student Government Association's Kaleidoscope: Leading in a Diverse Society series. January 31, 2011"
the blues make life so much better...
You can purchase Daryl Davis' music and his book at daryldavis.com Store
hat tip: Ana