Halloween is not my favorite day of the year. Sure, there are clever people out there who come up with equally clever and imaginative costumes. The stunningly gorgeous Heidi Klum as an impossibly old woman falls in this category. And then there are those who favor costumes that show they have neither boundaries nor filter. A Virginia mother falls into the latter category by letting her son dress up as a Ku Klux Klansman.
Seven-year-old Jackson Black told WHSV-TV’s Anna-Lysa Gayle that he learned about the white-hooded look from the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes.” When Gayle asked Jackson why he wore the costume, he said, “It was cool.” Asked what was cool about it, he said, “the hat part.”
Now, obviously, the little guy hasn’t a clue that his Halloween outfit is a real-life symbol of the KKK’s violent history, bigotry and white supremacy that goes back to the end of slavery in 1865. But what about his mother? What Jessica Black told the reporter while sitting on a park bench in Craigsville, Va., will leave you gobsmacked.
The report starts with Black saying dressing up as the Klan runs in her family. “My brother has when he was in kindergarten,” she said, “and when he was 13.” Mindful of the controversy her youngster’s get-up might cause, Black warned him. “I did tell him that if you do it, you know there’s going to be people talking about you.” she said. “There’s going to be people saying bad things about you when you do wear it.”
Still, Black defended Jackson’s wearing of the costume — and the Klan.
There’s supposed to be white with white. Black with black. Man with woman and all of that. That’s what the KKK stands for. The KKK every year raises money to donate to the St. Jude’s.
Considering Black’s stated homophobia, it’s a wonder she let her son watch the Sapphic love story that is “Fried Green Tomatoes” in the first place. Still, absurd doesn’t begin to describe all that is wrong with what Black told the reporter. Also, she spoke of the KKK in the present tense. No wonder folks freaked out and alerted WHSV by putting a photo of the little klansman on the television station’s Facebook page. They have since removed it. But Jackson and especially his mother have given everyone in their community a lot to think about. My sincerest hope is that the beneficent view of the KKK espoused by the mother doesn’t take hold in the son.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj