M.L. King Commission sets youth summit in Harrison. Sigh. | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, March 16, 2014

M.L. King Commission sets youth summit in Harrison. Sigh.

Posted By on Sun, Mar 16, 2014 at 7:49 AM

click to enlarge RACE AND HARRISON: This billboard stirred new talk about Harrison's racial history. It now will be site of a statewide conference on brotherhood.
  • RACE AND HARRISON: This billboard stirred new talk about Harrison's racial history. It now will be site of a statewide conference on brotherhood.
The Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission will hold its annual youth summit, "Life After Hate," April 2 in Harrison, a city roiled historically and recently by racial controversy  The news has to be thrilling to Thom Robb, the KKK leader who lives nearby and uses Harrison as a mailing address.

Details on the event are here. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette gave the event feature treatment this morning (subscription required.) with all the racial context and well-intentioned statements of Commission leaders and Harrison citizens working to buff up the brotherly image of the city, which numbers about three dozen black people among its 12,000 residents. Naturally, Thom Robb got a lot of attention, just as happened when white supremacists hijacked, in the words of one attendee, a  recent Black History Month  event at the Harrison library.

A statewide event with front-page advance treatment all but guarantees broader coverage at the actual event in April. Thom Robb and camp followers are undoubtedly already at work printing up T-shirts, bumper stickers and pamphlets. Billy Roper, too.  "Balanced" coverage will require interviews with their likes along with chats with the idealistic youngsters and well-meaning adults. We'll hear more from a KKK leader who claims he's really about civility. It's the other side, see, that's all about division. Sigh.

The Southern Poverty Law Center can give you a clearer picture of what Robb is about than his modulated statements to press on occasions such as this. An example is this article on Robb's idea of proper training for white youth, a Klan camp he promoted last summer on his Arkansas property. The camp was to be the work of the Southern Cross Training Institute, an organization familiar to the SPLC.

It’s also not the first time someone on the radical right has operated a Soldiers of the Cross Training Institute with the purpose of preparing a new racist leadership cadre. Kenneth Goff, an early ideologue of Christian Identity – a racist theology that’s been popular among Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white nationalists for decades – founded a Colorado-based, Soldiers of the Cross Training Institute in the 1950s.

Goff’s SOTC trained Christian Identity leaders, including Dan Gayman, a well-known anti-Semitic leader during the 1980s.

A 1969 Soldiers of the Cross newsletter penned by Goff describes black civil rights protesters as seeking to “submerge our culture and religious heritage under a flood of cannibalism, voodooism and beastly jungle sex orgies.”

The message has been scrubbed up for media today, but there's a thin veneer to the civility. 


Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (11)

Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016
  • Today in Trump: Obstruction of justice anyone?

    It's the New York Times with the news today. Fired FBI Director James Comey kept notes of his talks with Donald Trump. A memo he wrote in February after a meeting with Trump said the president asked him to shut down the investigation into Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser.
    • May 16, 2017
  • More on how highways were used to wipe out "blight" of non-white neighborhoods

    Vox, a news website that concerns itself with energy and other issues, has a fine piece, including before and after images, on the history of the U.S. interstate system and why roads were built through the middle of cities (unless people of influence stopped them — see Manhattan, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.)
    • Mar 22, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation