the north face summit series jacket KKK uses fear to divide
Editor note: This is the last of a three part series of the local presence of the Klu Klux Klan and its efforts to infiltrate and divide the community.
GLOVERSVILLE Behind every verbal or physical attack on a cultural or ethnic group are living, breathing people who endure the abuse. For targets of the Ku Klux Klan, the threats can be real, as the victims navigate what they perceive as a senseless assault on their native people.
In the eyes of the KKK, African Americans are an angry people who hoard a huge pot, continually looking for handouts from the white man in the form of affirmative action, welfare checks and food stamps. In the Klan eyes, Jews are smiling communists who also dominate the media and government.
Characterizations like those are contained in literature recently provided to The Leader Herald by the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, who claim 200 members strong in Fulton County.
The outside of Gloversville’s Knesseth Israel Synagogue on East Fulton Street is seen last week. (The Leader Herald/Michael Anich)
The Leader Herald contacted a member of a regional Jewish community group. She originally agreed to give her real name and the organization she represents, but decided against it for what she said later was reasons. The newspaper will refer to her as Jane Smith.
Smith said the KKK has always been anti semitic.
the root of all evil, she says. you are a Jew, you live your life looking over your shoulders. said there is a particular uncertainty with new President Donald Trump, and where he stands regarding race and immigration.
Smith said she knows of a 97 year old Jew in the region who is a Holocaust survivor. today are like the Holocaust over again.
An Aug. 21 statement online from Capital District interfaith leaders including the Jewish Federation of Northeastern NY was issued in response to hate crimes during the summer in Charlottesville, Va.
a united interfaith community, we join together to condemn in the strongest terms Saturday violence and the hateful demonstrations by white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, Va., it reads, in part. denounce their views and actions as an anathema to American values. We will not remain silent against the hatred and violence spewed by White Supremacists, neo Nazis, the KKK and anti Semites. has an Annual Safety and Security Preparedness Program for Jewish community synagogues, agencies, and institutions.
In this area, the Knesseth Israel Synagogue Gloversville has been serving the Jewish population of Fulton and Montgomery counties and surrounding areas in upstate New York since 1891.
Smith said Jews don let threats from groups like the KKK dominate their agenda.
don let it rule your life, Smith said. are very much aware. Personally, I am more apt to speak out at this time on any hint of stereotyping or prejudice. We all have to speak out.
Smith said that even though American race relations have become strained, today is an opportunity again for the oppressed to stand up against racism.
single one of us is on the line, she said. is not a time to be horrified, not a time to be fearful. early, 19th Century KKK became a vehicle for white southern resistance to the Republican Party Reconstruction era policies aimed at establishing political and economic equality for blacks. Though Congress passed legislation designed to curb Klan terrorism, the organization saw its primary goal the reestablishment of white supremacy fulfilled through Democratic victories in state legislatures across the South in the 1870s.
Black cousins Margo Reid and Doren Gray Sr., longtime Fulton County residents, were relaxing last week outside Gray home on South Judson Street in Gloversville.
They shared their thoughts about racism and the KKK. The 67 year old Reid said she noticed the Klan is making inroads in this area.
seen that, she said. think in the last few years, it getting prevalent. who has worked as a nurse in various capacities for 37 years, said racists should take lessons from those in the healthcare industry. She said they work to help people and save lives.
treat people the way you want them to treat you, she said.
She said racism raises its head when politicians, such as the president, try to stem immigration into America.
a shame, Reid said. all around. said getting along with others has much to do with how you were raised. If you treat people well, your own self esteem will flourish, she says.
Reid called on groups like the KKK to and let live. 70 year old Gray, a retired musician and former leather worker, said racist comments by people like Trump are oil on the fire. He said groups like the KKK are only emboldened by such activity.
stop and try to hurt others, Gray said. could get along with others. It going to start a whole lot of chaos. said racism all comes down to whether a person looks inside himself.
you can deal with yourself as a person, you can deal with another person, he said
The Gloversville Police Department isn fearful of an influx of KKK activity. Capt. Mike Scott, department spokesman, said that other than a few flyers, Klan activity is not raising red flags in the city.
haven heard anything, knock on wood, Scott said. respond to whatever. city police officer was told KKK members ride the streets of the city cruising and watching for drug activity.