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November 27, 1981 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-11-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Visit -to Klan Rally Unsettles Jewish Prof

By DR. JEFFREY
KOTTLER

(Editor's note: At the
time this article was writ-
ten, Dr. Kottler was a pro-
fessor of counseling psy-
chology at the University
of North Alabama. He is
now clinical director of
Huron Valley Counseling
Services in Farmington
Hills and teaches at Oak-
land University. In his
own words, "It is no coin-
cidence that I moved
back up North after this
incident.")
I infiltrdted a Ku Klux
DR. JEFFREY KOTTLER
Klan rally on a cold, win-
tery night — the white-
tion" and "De mo' tax you
sheeted bodies looking even
pays, de mo' chillun ah
more stark and eerie
gits•"
against the cold blackness.
We were ushered into the
Attired in a disguise con-
field and told where to park.
sisting of a cap brandishing
It was so dark and I was on
the patch "Red Man Chew-
the lookout for more of those
ing Tobacco" I didn't feel all
ghost-like forms which kept
that safe, even though my
creeping out of nowhere. It
wife and friends told me I
was pretty clear to us what
looked the part of a country
the bulges were on the hips
redneck.
of these gentlemen. To tell
I have long been fasci-
you we were brave and con-
nated by this strange organ-
fident would be an outlan-
ization which makes no
dish lie.
bones about its goal to wipe
Except for almost
Jews and blacks off the face
crashing into a post
of the Earth. There has been
(which we later learned
a recent change in policy
was a 20-foot cross to be
where now even Catholics
burned) we safely parked
may join the Klan in its
the car — with the front
fight to save the "White
pointed towards the gate
Majority."
for a fast getaway.
When I saw the ad in the
The festivities seemed to
paper announcing the rally
be in progress before we arz
and featuring the Grand
rived. Boisterous drinking
Wizard David Duke as the
and even a lavish food
guest speaker I saw it as an spread-attested to their hos-
opportunity I couldn't pass
pitality. We were slapped on
up. So I tucked my long
the backs as newcomers and
"Jewish" curls into my
welcomed with the invita-
"redneck cap" and recruited tion to buy some souvenirs.
some support from three
I thought it would be just
friends who agreed it would
peachy to be the first Jewish
be a necessary, if not pain-
guy on the block with my
ful, adventure. I suppose the
very own authentic KKK
fact that my friends all hold t-shirt.
black belts in Tae Kwon Do
Since this was a scientific
did help me to feel a little
mission, all of us being so-
safer. But it was hard for me
cial and physical scientists
to take the whole thing very of one variety or another, we
seriously - I guess because I
held each other's hands
thought: the Klan died 50
(figuratively, of course,
years ago except for a few since the Klan would prob-
frustrated fanatics.
ably shoot us as "Gays" if we
I kissed my wife good-
actually did give each other
bye very melodramati- physical support) and
cally and we piled in the
worked our way to the
car and headed God-
souvenir stand. That was
knows-where into rural our first mistake.
Alabama. Now that I
think about it even He—
probably doesn't know Dual Citizenship
or care where the rally for Foreigners -
was. A sign protecting
Living in Israel
the gate entrance onto a
field ' read: "North
JERUSALEM (JNI) —
Alabama Chapter of the
Some 2,000 foreign nation-
Ku Klux Klan." Shivers als who decided against Is-
trickled up my spine.
raeli citizenship in the early
In case we had some doubt years of the state for fear of
about if we were at the right losing their existing citi-
place, a swarm of drunk zenship took advantage of a
Klansmen covered in their recent government offer to
sheets surrounded the car cancel those declarations
and asked us to roll the win- during a one year period
dows down. "Oh no," I which ended Nov. 18.
These" foreign nationals,
thought.
We were surrounded. I mostly Americans, had be-
lieved
that accepting Israeli
gave them my best smile
and tried to look mean. But citizenship implied auto-
matic revocation of their
my imagination must have
been working overtime. All existing citizenship.
In 1970 the U.S. Supreme
they wanted to do was hand
Court ruled that bestowal of
us some literature — well
"literature" may not be citizenship under Israel's
exactly the right word to de- 'Law of Return' is not a vol-
scribe this newspaper which untary act, thus does not
featured such scholarly ar- jeopardize American legal
ticles as: "The Jewish Ques-, status.

Floodlights were turned
on just as we entered the
area. Since we had already
spotted some acquaintances
in the audience I ducked my
head below the beak of my
cap and tried to escape. But
the dedicated Americans
had begun their patriotic
National Anthem and it
was very clear that the
three sheeted coneheads
behind me considered it sac-
rilege to move a muscle. I
stood my ground bathed in a
white light.
Later, I made my way
back to the anonymous
dark and positioned my-
self in an obscure part of
the audience to watch the
show. I was trying to stop
myself from giggling — I
guess from nerves and
the simple fact that this
Whole fiasco seemed so
comical to me. That mood
changed quickly as the
audience began scream-
ing: "White power!" The
guy next to me looked at
me with his eyebrows
raised. I started scream-
ing too. -
It would be unfair, or at
least unobjective, to say
that everyone at the rally
was crazy. I had hoped they
would be as if that might ex-
cuse their behavior. But
there were so many women
and children around it al-
most seemed like a family
picnic. In faCt the women
seemed more radical than
the men with their hysteri-
cal screams: "Kill them ----
Niggers and Jews!" in a
chorus to the Grand
Wizard's words of wisdom.
In all fairness, David
Duke was an incredibly ar-
ticulate, astute and effec-
tive speaker, a seasoned
veteran of the talk show cir-
cuit. He seemed very nor-
mal to me with his boyish
good looks and soft-spoken
voice.
But his message was un-
mistakable: "The Blacks
and Jews are dangerous to
the welfare of 'good' white
people everywhere: We
must unite. Our cities are
controlled by black thugs
and our media by Jewish
gangsters. It is time for the,
White revolt and put these
people where they belong."
Everyone cheered.
Even I did until I remem-
bered they were talking
about me. The• ominous
overtones of "where they
belong" haunted my ears.
`What exactly was their
plan?
I really wanted to stay to
hear the rest but I was cry-
ing and didn't want anyone
to see. When the hysterical
screams of a woman cheer-
leader reached my ears:
"The Jews and Negroes are
weak and must be stamped
out" I was jolted back to
reality. But I had no energy
left to think. I just wanted to
get out of there as fast as I
could.
The last words I heard
were those of some other
speaker who was talking
about the problem of illegal
aliens from Mexico and
Puerto Rico sneaking into
the country. We had-a good
laugh about that one the

dummies don't even know
Puerto Rico is the United
States.
As I drove away, in the
distance,1 could see the
flames lick their way up the
burning cross. The ghosts
stumbled in the dark and
tried to stop our rude exit.
Even with the windows
closed tight I could still hear
the wailing screams.
I didn't know whether to
laugh or cry:And I still
don't.

Friday, November 21, 1981 21

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