Volume 6 - My First KKK Rally

Tulsa, Oklahoma- May 4, 1996

It was a beautiful, bright sunny day in Tulsa.
Wind blowing, about 83 degrees, a beautiful day.
Had the '60 and '64 elections gone the other way,
it might've been a nice day to lynch a negro.

It was my first KKK rally.

It was like watching a monster movie, but this monster
is the Crazy Aunt the Republicans keep locked in the basement.
Or try to, anyway.

I got there 30 minutes before the "fun" was to begin.
I walked past a Tulsa cop.
He stopped me.
He put his HANDS on me.
It was Twilight Zone meets Pulp Fiction.

The cop grabs my arm and says "Where are you going?"
I said "I'm walking towards the Courthouse," as though
it was any of HIS goddamn business where I was walking.
For Christ's sake, I'm white.
Why would a cop stop me?

Here's the creepy part: He asks "Are you with the KKK?"
I said "No, Sir. I voted for Clinton."

Then the cop says "You need to do around that way...
and enter on the Denver Street side."
(The whole reason I went was to hear some good, nazi rants,
 <like I can't hear 'em everyday> AND to take pictures.)

I tried one last attempt to get through....
"Actually, Sir, I'm kinda 50/50 on the Klan thing..."
 

The cop laughed and said "Get outta here."

So, I trek over to the Denver gate where I see county
sheriff's searching people going to the rally.
Reluctantly, I consented to being patted down.
(the guy who patted me down was very handsome.)

Now, I'm on the plaza between the Tulsa County Courthouse
and the Main Tulsa Downtown Library. To my left, I see 20
or so VERY well-dressed men. They looked a lot like the
studio audience on Rush's TV show. Their shirts were
very, VERY white. I'm talking whiter than white.

They were impeccably starched. They had black pants
with a snappy crease and new, black ties.
They stood like statues, like the guards at Buckingham.
All except the the Head Dragon.
The head dragon wore BLACK!
(Dr. Freud, call your office.)
(How did I know he was the head dragon? His knees were dirty...)

Whoa!

I'd never seen a real Nazi face-to-face in my life.
It's like flying saucers or a Bengal tiger or
a caring Republican - you just don't see them.
But they were sharp-dressed sons-a-bitches.

But.... to my right..... the unwashed.
They must've been Democrats!

Some of them weren't wearing dinner jackets!
Some were in t-shirts!
One woman was braless!

Is it any wonder whites and blacks can't get along?

So far, I've seen 20 Republican organizers.
I see about 200 Republican sympathizers.
There's maybe 40 cops on horseback,
maybe 150 in uniform, and dozens more undercover.

There's also about 1000 Democrats.
And one helicopter.

I also saw the largest rotweiller in America.
This dog had a neck the size of Limba's leg!!
He was on a chain that could hold the Queen Mary,
so I hopped a small fence to not meet him.

I've met a lot of rotweillers in my life,
and I've never met one that voted democrat.
Ever.

That dog was so big, I almost said a prayer!

Let me say the KKK has trouble reading clocks.
The rally was scheduled to begin at 2 pm.
All I heard was bagpipes (bagpipes?) until 2:30.
Then, something happened.

Monday, on the front page of USA Today, you're going
to see a "Rosa Parks" picture. It even put a tear in
the eye of the crusty, hardened editor of RL-LNW.
This 20-ish black woman broke through the PO-lice line
and advanced on the Klan like that brave, liberal
Chinese dude in Tienneman Square in 1990.
She got about 15 feet away and stopped and defiantly
thrust the black-power salute towards them!

Like watching a damn movie.... I was among the first
to notice, because I was up on a bench taking pictures.
A lone black girl, standing 15 feet from the only KKK
rally I've ever heard of, was telling them to fuck off.

She's doing this for maybe 7-8 minutes.

Here's where it turned Pulp-Fiction:
The head Nazi, Dragon, Super-Supreme with extra cheese
walks up to her very quickly and stops abruptly
in front of her and does the Republican salute!

You know the one...
Snap to attention... the hand extended
45 degrees with a stiff, open, downward palm.
I've seen the little guy with the mustache do it.
You know the guy...
The thin Limba.

The television camera people went postal.
They scrambled towards them like it was Kent State.

So check this out:
The lone, Rosa Parks-good guy-liberal versus the
hateful, racist/conservative/supremist wannabe.

You can't get drama like this on cable!
(Not to be too dramatic here,
but this rally was pregnant with riot.
After all, this is Oklahoma.)

Then, as though the mob was betting on the outcome,
the nazi blinks first and walks back over behind
his well-dressed militia.

The black woman gave them another 3 minutes of
"power" and turned back to the democratic side and
was tsunamied with cameras, reporters and microphones.

Finally, the KKK boys started their speeches. They had
trouble with the sound system. (Rush would say sabotage)
Funny, the head Klansman guy was firmly ensconced
behind a big golden microphone!!

The KKK guy was saying "We're Christians. We're here to
do God's bidding. Go with God and join the Klu Klux Klan."
(I never did see Ralph Reed.)

A black preacher with a megaphone countered the hate with
"We should love our enemies," which started a minor
black-vs-black scuffle, making me wonder if that wasn't
the plan all along: Raise everybody's emotions,
hope a fight breaks out, then say "See how the animals are?"

As always, as always, religion was the problem.
The KKK hates "niggers" because THEIR God said to.
The blacks, too, claim God for their side.
Is God playing both sides?

In one Limba-like moment, when the KKK speaker was
drowned out by chants of "fuck you, fuck you," he said
"Thanks for coming out and supporting us here today,"
as though his message was being well-received.

In the day's saddest moment, the speaker asked for
the little white children to listen closely.
"Listen to me, you young white boys and white girls.
America is a great country. Orientals didn't make
it great, the blacks didn't make it great, the gays
didn't make it great, WHITE MEN MADE IT GREAT!!!!"

It sounded like a Republican Convention!

It's always sad to see the children implanted with
the seeds of hate. It won't ever get better as long as
right-wingers insist on passing their hate to their kids.
(The KKK's position on gays is identical to the GOP's.)

Will there be a "We don't hate blacks or gays" plank
in the Republican platform this year?
I doubt it.

So, my first Republican Klu Klux Klan rally is over.
It was a microcosm of American politics.

The white supremist-conservatives
vs. the democrats and minorities.

Maybe after Bill Clinton kicks Republican ass
in November, the GOP will take a second look at
their message and re-think their "small tent" ideas.


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