i read the most disturbing thing yesterday at work. i was barcoding books, and i came across the committee reports of the Louisiana Committee on Un-American Activities. i flipped through the books--including a hearing on the Ku Klux Klan (or, more accurately, one of the groups of it that existed in Louisiana at the time, the Original Knights of the KKK.) anyway, most of it was the normal rhetoric that such hate groups use, that everyone knows them for...protection of the white race, defense of christianity, devotion to america. it's disheartening, it's awful, but it's not surprising. one of the things i read, though, definitely surprised me. there was a list of "fifty reasons why you should join the Original Knights of the KKK", and one of the reasons was:
"because we believe that education is not THE solution to our political ills."
what?? i've never seen something so disturbing written by a hate group--probably because it so lucidly and succinctly describes the root of the problem with hate groups. they are clearly ignorant institutions, but usually they couch themselves in the rhetoric that they are the true and enlightened ones, apart from the mass of society. i've never seen a group say in print, in so many words, that education is a fruitless endeavour, that people should join their group because remaining ignorant is the right thing to do. that bothers me, and that scares me, that people would actually read that and make a conscious choice to pursue that path of ignorance and hate.