WASHINGTON – ‘”Still a racist nation’: American bigotry on full display at KKK rally in South Carolina”. This is the prominently placed headline in the on-line US edition of the leftist British newspaper The Guardian reporting on a KKK demonstration in Columbia, South Carolina in defense of the Confederate Flag recently removed from public grounds by an act of the South Carolina legislature immediately signed by Republican Governor Nikki Haley.
Here we go again
Reading this title, the average progressive reader would say: “Here we go again…I knew it…These Americans, with all their pretentious talk about democracy and human rights…Deep down they are just a bunch of unreconstructed racists…Can you imagine? The Ku Klux Klan having a rally to honor the Confederate Flag?”
No doubt, any news about public demonstrations staged by the KKK looks bad. This is after all an openly white supremacist, racist organization that decades ago had a massive national following. And we know that the KKK terrorized millions of African-Americans with impunity.
More than 50 demonstrators
That said, as you click on the headline and get to the actual article, you read that “More than 50” KKK members staged this demonstration in South Carolina aimed at defending the Confederate Flag. Got that? “More than 50”. What’s that? 55, 57?
And so, here is the real story. There is no story. 50 plus people demonstrating about anything are certainly not an indication of a nation-wide sentiment, and not even of a dangerous tendency that may turn into something bigger , and eventually may sway the country one way or the other.
Besides, everybody knows that nowadays the KKK is a spent force with negligible following. The Southern Poverty Law Center estimates that “today, there are between 5,000 and 8,000 Klan members, split among dozens of different – and often warring – organizations that use the Klan name.”
This is the estimated entire membership, nationwide. Please do keep in mind that the US population is close to 320 million. The activities of dozens of small KKK splinter groups fighting with one another are certainly not indicators of the feelings that the average American may or may not have about race issues.
This is agitation
To affirm that America is still a racist nation on the basis of a demonstration staged by “more than 50” KKK members or sympathizers in Columbia, South Carolina as a minimum is misleading. In fact, it is a disgraceful misrepresentation.
Is The Guardian still in the business of reporting news? This looks a lot more like openly tendentious agitation.