You know, any normal person would probably freak out if they received a flyer that said, "The KKK Wants You!" with someone in ghost drag pointing at them. "Oh, fuck," they might think. "Did someone see me buy the new Kanye CD at the Wal-Mart?" Yeah, there's a good chance that they'd take it as a threat and not an Uncle Sam-like invitation to come on over to the local donkey fucking barn and join up with the Ku Klux Klan.
All over Cookeville, Tennessee, this week, people woke up to find flyers in their mailboxes and, charmingly, in plastic baggies on their lawns. The baggies also had stones in them, presumably to give them some heft so they don't fly away. Yep, the KKK was driving around town, tossing rocks at people's houses.
The flyer reads, "Are you having your rights and freedoms as an American citizen taken away by our Communist Government? If so, we want you to contact us today!!!" Putting three exclamation points means they're super-serious, ya'll. The group calls itself "The Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan," which differentiates it from the Radical Mexican Conquistador division of el KKK. "We are fighting today for your tomorrow!" the Klan promises.
If nothing else, you gotta give the flyer creator props for not mentioning at all that promoting white power is pretty much the KKK's raison d'etre. No, see, if you use Tea Party rhetoric instead of the words "nigger President," it's easier to get people on your side and under your sheets. Even the cops are impressed at how articulate it is. In response to complaints, the Cookeville PD said, "Right now, we do not see it as a threat to the safety and welfare of our community." And with no "threatening or inflammatory language," it's just littering. So, fine, hey, free speech. You gotta wonder if they'd be so blase' about Black Panther recruitment posters showing up everywhere, but let's them take them at their word. To their credit, many white people in Cookeville are pissed off and scared about the KKK scraping around for new racist scum in their town.
Of course, of course, the website that the flyer says you should check out is not quite so mellow. Before it gets to the teabagger shit, like constitutional "originalism" and tossing out the U.N., the Knights are for "The White Race: the irreplaceable hub of our Nation, our Christian Faith, and the highest standards of western culture and technology." And, of course, a burning cross GIF is on the front page because, well, fuck, it's the KKK.
The only reason this is worth discussing is because of how blatantly the goals of the Tea Party and the KKK intersect and how blatantly racist and anti-American those goals are shown to be because of that intersection. There's the crap about the threat of Sharia law, which the KKK now makes clear is anti-Islam and not just fear of a Mullah invasion. There's the 2nd Amendment absolutist garbage, which, associated with the KKK, is obviously out of nutzoid fear of other races. There's the anti-immigrant nonsense, but, you know, that's racist no matter who is spouting it. And let's not even get into the weirdness of a bunch of men in white dresses complaining about gay people.
What's wild is that, even thought they wear hoods, the KKK is actually revealing the true face of the Tea Party.
Editor's Note: This essay originally appeared on September 6, 2013, on The Rude Pundit, a website featuring commentary by Lee Papa. It was reproduced here with the consent of Mr. Papa.
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