“An Imaginary Racism”
By Ethan Van Sice
“My uncle’s bulldog was so mean, if there wasn’t nothing else around, he’d bite himself!” – M.H. Curl
The following excerpts were recorded during an unscheduled meeting with a local, African-American gentleman, who from this point on shall be referred to as “Anonymous.”
Mr. Anonymous’s purpose for the meeting was to purchase a small ad in our newspaper, which, by his own selection, should contain only the words:
KU-KLUX-KLAN= 457 BLACK PANTHERS= 207
By the numbers correlation (as well as Mr. Anonymous’s own admission) the “ku-klux-klan” portion was meant to symbolize the votes which were tallied for the white, and only white, candidate for mayor of Camden, Phil Creswell. Not to be out-beaten (and with enough obscurity to seem impartial to either candidate) Mr. Anonymous chose the words “black panther” to symbolize the black, and only black, mayoral candidate of Camden, Eli Mack.
(segment from 00:45### start time)
What is your motive behind this?
“I have to preserve my heritage and culture…” he said.
Why would you want to associate the Ku Klux Klan with YOUR culture?
My heritage is my culture because…
No, your heritage OVERCAME all of that. That’s what (your culture) should celebrate.
We ain’t overcame nothing. We ain’t overcame nothing. We got more hills to climb than people know. There are more black men in jail than there was in the 1800’s. (Editor’s note: This is in fact a true, but meaningless statement. What Mr. Anonymous, and many dead horse-beaters, are failing to consider are the laws of probability after a 3,900% increase in African American population since the 1800’s, and a 61,000% population increase of the human race overall. Statistical disparity does NOT automatically indicate something racist has occurred.)
Sir, What makes you think that Phil Creswell has anything to do with the Ku Klux Klan?
Why wouldn’t he?
Oh? Are you assuming that he does because he’s white?
No, why wouldn’t he, because he was, because he is…
Did you know that his father was an anti-segregationist? He was very, very active in the Civil Rights movement. Phil Creswell has NOTHING to do with the Ku Klux Klan…and the Ku Klux Klan has nothing to do with your heritage.
…how old are you?
You just a youngster.
Oh, I’m educated, sir.
You don’t know nothin’…
I’m educated sir, and I’m asking you a question.
You don’t know nothin’ and you remember that.
You can’t even tell me what this means! (advertisement in hand)
I just told you. I told you what it means one time. The last question you asked me was ‘why would I associate it with my heritage and my culture, and you said my heritage overcame, and I told you we ain’t overcame nothin’… You haven’t overcame, though? I’m fixin’ to answer your question, what with the culture issue, because that’s what you asked me. ‘Why would I associate that with my culture?’; because that organization right there beat folks down, you know what I’m saying? Mr. Douglas Crawford; that’s the same organization that drug Mr. Douglas Crawford’s corpse.
It was a terrible thing…
Well you weren’t there.
Listen, every race on planet earth has been a slave at some point. We have witnessed some atrocities–
Why, why, why, why people gotta drag out a civil war every year?
And blow candles off. It’s because of their heritage…and their culture…when they drag the civil war out every year now, you understand what I’m saying?
Yea it is. Yea it do.
Drag the civil war out every year?
When they…re-perform the civil war every year….and, you know… I can get on your level.
I know. And I know you’ve lived through some of the ugliest times in this country, in this county. And, listen, I’m not discrediting that. But…it’s in the past. This (holds up advertisement) is not your heritage…This right here is LIBEL.
They dragged Mr. Crawford down the street, his corpse.
And when did that happen?
it was maybe…1950 something.
Of course. There have been some terrible things that have happened…
I know that! And they have to be remembered! You gotta stand up…you got to stand up and face reality. I’m a realist…and that is real right there. Just like you just said. See, you just said yourself. You just say it, because you made that statement too, that’s why. I know, there was— But you gotta stand up to it. You gotta admit it. You understand what I’m saying? You gotta say, ‘Yea I did it!’(Editor’s note: I didn’t do it…) and you gotta quit hiding. You understand? A lot of people around here wanna hide, but I’m gonna tell you something, I’m gonna tell you someth—
Are you a fan of Martin Luther King Junior?
…Am I who?
Are you a fan of Martin Luther King Junior? Are you a fan?
Am I a fan…Am I a fan…
You are continuously bringing this s**t up…
Uh, uh, I don’t know…
And you are destroying all the work that (Martin Luther King) put into place…
I’ll tell you what, anybody who thinks that I’m destroying anything, they are entitled to their opinion. Opinions are just like derriere’s. They’re different and we all have one. I don’t have no gripe with that. I don’t have no gripe with anyone at all. See, people need to…this is a ‘new world order’; I said that one time. You need to…you don’t have to understand, but it would be relevant to understand that this is a ‘new world order’. And it takes a vibrant, courageous mind to say what is actually there. And this is what is actually there. See like I told you, I’m not speaking for anybody else other than myself. See because, there are individuals out there who need to be daring enough to come along with me but they’re too coward, they’re too chicken crap. You understand what I’m saying? But not me. But that’s why I just speak for me. I don’t have a problem with nobody. I don’t have no problem with anything. And uh, that right there is an expression on who I am. It MUST be remembered. It must NEVER be forgotten. Because when it is forgotten and when it is no longer in the midst to be remember. Then those who have been subjected to, will find themselves subjected to the same thing again. And that ain’t gonna happen to me. Aint that’s straight off the top right there…but I’m not gonna press on you.
Well, I like having these discussions, I just want to—
Well, well discussions. I don’t discussion. I’m not a politician. I don’t go discussion.
I’m just trying to get—I’m trying to understand your mindset. What are you trying to achieve? You’re trying to propagate… an old, outdated mentality, and an outdated problem in this country..
Are you, are you making that accusation?
Okay, well I beg to differ.
How has the Ku Klux Klan affected you today? Or in the last month? Or in the last year?
….the one that was elected yesterday. Won the election yesterday.
Okay, what evidence do you have to prove that he’s KKK?
That’s confidential. You understand wha-
No…I know your evidence…
…(crickets) are you curious?
I’m curious. Enlighten me….