Klan rears its pointy hat

April 15, 2004|by TIM ROWLAND

Let's see, politicians are all the time trumpeting during campaigns how they plan to give their elected-office salary to charity, or give it back to the taxpayers. Once in office, though, they become more judicious and theynever follow through. And we keep electing them again and again.

Then here comes Washington County School Board member Princeton Young, who actually does use his salary to fund eight scholarships for minority kids - and we vote him out of office.

I just thought I'd point that out.

It just doesn't pay to be politically enlightened in Washington County.

And speaking of enlightenment, it's nice to see the boys in pointy hats are alive and well and passing out literature, along with an application form for anyone who might want to join their merry band.

I notice the Klan has gotten smart; they now require a photocopy of a picture ID with the application - too many brothers had been joining up as a joke, I suppose.


I like some of the questions on the application form for membership, such as: "Are you a member of any other secret order?" I don't know why I find that funny, I just do. In Washington County anymore, that could include the Democrats.

Another good question: "Do you believe in Jesus Christ?"

I can't help but wonder what Jesus thinks about his name being invoked on a Klan application. I have a hunch he'd say, "Thanks for the publicity, but in the future, please leave me out of it."

Then there is the loaded question: "Do you believe all men are created equal?" Now the knee-jerk answer would be yes, at least if you believe in stuff like the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. In fact, you have to swear on the application as to your belief in the Constitution. But I have a hunch that equality is the wrong answer here. I don't know how they get around all those nettlesome little "equal protection" constitutional references.

The application asks if you are in law enforcement because, "We take special precautions to protect the identities of law enforcement personnel."

Nice of them. And this is interesting, the Klan is accepting women these days. You just have to be a "white man or woman." Maybe the Klan has always accepted women, I don't know. I just always kind of assumed that at best they would be relegated to some kind of Klan Auxiliary that would be responsible for making the spaghetti dinners or something.

A friend and I were talking about this and we got to wondering what kind of business they discuss at their meetings. I mean, it seems as if the agendas would be pretty short, since their beliefs don't tend to fluctuate all that much. What do they say after the meeting is gaveled to order? "Anyone here change their mind on the Jews? No? Blacks? No? How 'bout the immigrants, anything new on the immigrants? Well all righty then, I guess it's time for the refreshments. Help yourself to some Klan punch and cookies."

They do have an eight-plank platform spelled out in the literature which, along with the traditional fare, includes some thoughtful ideas like "drug testing for welfare recipients." Why they stopped there and didn't go in for a full spay and neuter program I wouldn't hazard a guess.

They also want to quarantine HIV positive people on the grounds that "a school child is not allowed to attend school when he/she has a common flu." I would call that specious reasoning, except that based on the semi-literate nature of the publication, the author would probably think I was paying him/her a compliment.

They call for "proctectionism" in trade against "thrid world" countries.

This disturbs me. Because if the spelling gets any worse, people are going to start to think I wrote it.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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