KKK PARADE IN TULSAWhen my mother was six, the KKK rode on horseback down the street in front of her house.  There was not a black person within 50 miles in any direction.  These men hated Catholics.  My mother stood with the rest of her Lace Curtain Irish Catholic family, staring at the men’s shoes.  She realized she knew some of them.  She had seen their shoes at the market, the post office, the notions store downtown. They were neighbors, friends.  Weren’t they?

We have learned, over and over that friends can change with the pull of a trigger, the flash of a knife, the donning of a sheet.  It is a sad truth.

7 thoughts on “Fear

  1. Is that because of religion and their religious beliefs? Or is it because they can get away with hiding behind religion? Either way they were wrong. And still are today.

  2. When I was almost 16 my family had a cross burned in our front yard. My Mom, brother and I stood in a dark hall way listening to the group sing Onward Christian Soldiers and watching the cross burn. I asked Mom “why don’t you call the police.” Her answer was “because most of them are outside right now” I have never forgotten,the terror and my brother never forgot either. Within a year my Dad, who was Director of the Dayton, OH Christian Center,.He provided help to anyone who came and asked, black or white. Dayton was then home of tire and airplane parts industries. Families moved from the mountains or hills in KY or TN to Dayton hoping for economic opportunity. The families did not extend assistance or help to people of color. This was in the mid/late 50s. .I went to a HS that was 90% white when I was a freshman and 90%^ Black when I left it to move to Iowa. I used to have to walk through anti-integration protesters every day school was opened to get to the school. They were not allowed on school property so stood on the 4 corners around the schools. That wasn’t a good experience either!

    As a SR in HS I moved to a small town in SW Iowa and got out of their for college asap.

    You write well and I am so sorry your lovely Mom had such a horrid experience. But then I am sorry I did too. I think it was the beginning of learning compassion for me.

  3. Oh my, I’m happy I never had to live through anything like that.
    But yeah, people can “change” when anonymity is an option. And that is scary.
    (Love your writing by the way!)

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