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Anonymous criticism

In 1911, when my father was six years old, the Klan arrived in full force
in front of his house.  "Louie! Get on out here," they called to my
grandfather; "it's time you joined us to go and do your Christian duty."

My father was terrified by the torches in the night, by the hooded faces.

"Johnny," my grandfather replied to the Klan spokesperson as my
grandfather stepped onto the porch.  "Ben, Harry, Steven......"  One by
one my grandfather named each of the hooded men as he pointed to them.
"You can't be up to any Christian activity if you have to wear a hood to
do it.  Be ashamed of yourselves and get back home where you belong.  You
won't have me joining you."

My father thought his father miraculous to be able to recognize the
viglantes by name even with their hoods.  "But of course I was just a boy
then, Louie," he said when he recalled this scene for me sixty years
later. "I did not then realize that as president of the bank Daddy had
loaned the money for every horse and wagon before our house, and of course
he knew who each hooded person was."

The fact that Louie Crew stood up to the Klan helped me many a night night
for the six years (73-79) that Ernest and I lived as an interracial couple
in rural Georgia when the bullies would call and leave anonymous hate
messages on our telephone.  They thought in their heart of hearts that we
were scum and that they would save Georgia if they terrorized us;  but
they did not have the courage to tell us their names.

It does not change when you talk about episcopal elections.  You can't be
up to any Christian activity if you have to hood yourself when you talk
about doing God's work.  If you have information that you think it is
important for people to know, have the courage to take off your hoods and
say it, or keep quiet.


Louie Crew, Box 30, Nwk, NJ 07101 973-485-4503.
http://newark.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/lbg_edir.html "The best way to find out
about new research on issues of sexuality"--Chronicle of Higher Education

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