Several years ago, I visited all-white Forsyth County, Ga., where civil rights marchers were greeted by the Ku Klux Klan. Talk about a rabid welcome. Thousands of good ole boys were cursing, spitting and threatening every black person in sight.
On Sunday, some Klan members are planning to arrive in the nation's capital for a march, and the District's unofficial welcoming committee seems hellbent on reminding us that white people have no monopoly on stupidity.
I say give the Klan a permit and let them march in peace. Let the world see the Reagan and Bush legacy in action.
District residents should not be misled. When it comes to fighting white racism, better for us to attack where it counts: on the job, in the voting booth, at the bank. And for a real show of courage, why not go after neighborhood drug dealers, the bona fide modern day slave masters?
The menace of racism, says Jesse L. Jackson, is much more sophisticated than a few cone heads walking down the street.
Just look at Louisiana congressional candidate David Duke.
"If you put tape over the names Bush, Reagan and Duke and just looked at their beliefs, you wouldn't know who was who," Jackson says. "Take away Duke's Klan and Nazi baggage, and the beliefs are exactly the same."
During previous Klan marches in Washington, protesters fell for the racial decoy that the Klan represents. In 1983, a lone Klan member showed up for a one-man rally in Lafayette Square and managed to incite hundreds of blacks to attack D.C. police officers and then go on a looting spree.
Several weeks ago, a few Klan members returned, causing one protester to become so riled up that he attacked a white man who turned out to be a fellow anti-Klan demonstrator.
D.C. Police Chief Issac Fulwood Jr. has noted that a financially strapped District government, not the Klan, pays for police overtime and damage to the city's reputation caused by violence.
The fact is, in 1990, it's insane to believe that a dozen clowns marching along Constitution Avenue wearing Halloween costumes represent white power in America.
It has always been the invisible financial interest in America, not some hooded Klan trash, that has thrown black America into a violent, economic tailspin. Indeed, the pride and pocketbooks of the white working class have been damaged more by Reaganomics, junk bond salesmen and savings and loan con artists than affirmative action programs ever could.
Unfortunately, those with backward mentalities were so elated over Ronald Reagan's blindness to racism that they failed to notice that they were losing their shirts.
Now, some of them are wearing sheets -- again.
So let them come to Washington, as a guest of the man who helped breathe new life into their cause. As highlighters of America's enduring racial hypocrisy, the KKK should be invited to camp out on George Bush's doorstep.
In a country where there will always be racists -- on both sides of the color line -- it has long been established that the good citizens of this nation would be required to stand tall against racial discrimination.
On the question of racial fairness, Bush has become a moral midget. And it is precisely because white America has followed his lead in failing to stand fast for equality that sociopathic racists march in the open today.
Black people learn not long after birth that amiable race relations are always tenuous. So we are never surprised when America shows her true colors.
We did not need Ronald Reagan's white power appointees to the Supreme Court -- nor his visit to Philadelphia, Miss., where he refused to even mention the names of slain civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner -- to know that a signal had been sent that civil rights no longer mattered.
We did not need to read that David Duke won 60 percent of the white vote in Louisiana to know that whites had become comfortable with their racist views.
The Republican Party may have claimed distance from Duke. But after George Bush's use of racially loaded language to kill the Civil Rights Act of 1990, after his use of racially repugnant imagery to win the presidential election, it is clear that the Klan members are merely his racist chickens come home to roost.
This is not a Klan march for blacks, and we should not dignify it with our attention.
For President Bush and those so-called good white folk who pretend that race relations in America are just hunky-dory, this Klan march is for you.