UPDATE: It has been reported to us that the photo is a fake with the following photo apparently being the original.
The Klan were even more late and more dollars short than South Carolina’s legislature this past weekend when they showed up to the capitol to protest the removal of the Confederate flag, which came down last week. About 50 members of the Loyal White Knights of the Klu Klux Klan (The Largest Klan in America!) showed up in Columbia, SC on Saturday to vent their butthurt over the removal of their beloved Lynyrd Skynyrd fandom-signifiers, drawing counter-protesters and a counter-rally earlier in the day.
Despite entreaties by Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) to just ignore the whole thing, a reported 2,000 people or so showed up to get their piece in, and while there were five minor arrests and several medical crises due to the sweltering heat, the real star of the show was water, or more specifically, the inability to get water, and the inability to hold it.
One of the great images to emerge on Saturday was that of Officer Leroy Smith, a black policeman who helped one of the Klan supporters who was overcome by the heat. The photo went viral:
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) July 20, 2015
But at the other end of the spectrum was a photo that perfectly captured the dynamic that fuels white supremacy to this day. a Klan supporter who, when confronted by a black counter-protester, wears his heart down the front of his pants. The guy goes from Aryan Nation to urination in about one hot second:
This photo is the perfect microcosm for racism in the United States. pic.twitter.com/gRHSrHEcq1
— TSD (@TweetsByTSD) July 18, 2015
He must be the Grand Wizzer.
Pee-soaked Klansmen are an easy target, but it is the anxiety illustrated here that fuels the much more widespread problems that black people face, the mass incarceration, the killings and abuse by police that have come to white America’s attention so frequently, and yes, the efforts to suppress black votes. Black people are the most terrorized group of Americans in history, yet those who would do the terrorizing are the ones who are terrified.
It’s a problem that requires special attention, and more than just a “conversation” about race that never ends, and never goes anywhere. The fear that fuels the Klan isn’t of black people, it is of what has been done to black people. The solution, though simple, is stubbornly difficult for America to execute: stop doing it.