The KKK is at our doorsteps

Illustration by Cecilia Ford

Thao Ho, Contributing Writer

Details in this article may be upsetting to some readers.

As students on a liberal campus in an urban environment, we may feel that the world of the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacy is distant, perhaps even disconnected from our day-to-day lives during the post-Donald Trump era. 

However, just a 15-minute drive outside of our campus bubble, Black community members still face an undeniable amount of racism propagated by the Trump presidency. 

Residents in the Richmond metropolitan area received racist propaganda straight into their mailboxes in January, days before the inauguration of President Joe Biden, according to ABC 8 News. One resident from Sandston, Virginia, received a letter from the Loyal White Knights, an organization affiliated with the KKK.

The atrocious letter from an unknown sender served as a chilling reminder that just because Trump has left office does not mean that the effects of his rhetoric and enabling are leaving with him.

The transcript of the letter is below:

“Greetings fellow Patriot! These BLACKS cost us the election of our GREAT LEADER…we ask that on the morning of the 18th, that you place a watermelon slice or a box of KFC Chicken on the road in front of their homes so we can identify where they live. We wanna make sure we get to the right houses. Thank you for your assistances in helping to Make America Great Again!”

Yet again, we witnessed another incident of horrendous racism, intimidation and the threat of violence from white supremacists. This time, they used a platform created by a former president.

Ever since this past summer, during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, more people began to understand what it is like to be a Black person in America. They began to understand the reality and the extent of police brutality. They began to understand how a Black person might feel walking down the streets. But the fear is not just from the police. It is from the people living right next door to them as well.

No one should feel afraid living in their homes. We are failing as a country if we have come to a point where a person can comfortably send out threats to an entire community on behalf of a legal and racist organization because they were enabled and tolerated by a former president. 

As we enter Black History Month this year under a new administration, there is more hope in the air for a better country, but addressing deeply rooted societal racism will require a lot more than just a new administration. 

It will require students having conversations with each other, children having conversations with their parents and neighbors standing up for each other. Most of all, it will require people to listen to one another as human beings.

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