Are They Really Different?

Today’s article is a tale of two stories. One told to me in the Summer of 2012 about an event in the 1960s; the other read in the newspaper last weekend of recent events. One takes place in North Carolina, the others in New Mexico. I contend they are at their core largely one in the same.


It was early evening on a summer 2012 Saturday in rural North Carolina. I was sitting on a friend’s front porch, feeling guilty about relaxing for a bit while going over the results of a voter registration drive from earlier that day. He told me he had inherited the house from his father. Then he pointed to a spot where the bullets had penetrated the house back in the 60s. His father’s “crime” has been registering people to vote. The unsaid was that it was a “crime” because both his father and the people he registered to vote were Black. The culprits were referred to as “They” which by then I knew was code among Black native North Carolinians for the Ku Klux Klan.

I was only a few months prior when my wife and I sat in the living room of another friend’s home as he showed us what part of it had been firebombed for his committing the same “sin”. In this case “They” were on one of their night riding adventures.

Sunday’s online version of the Washington Post brought me Amber Ferguson’s story entitled “Police probe 5 shootings at homes and offices of New Mexico Democrats.” Here is the link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2023/01/06/new-mexico-shootings-targeting-democrats/ . As the title implies the article reports that law enforcement is investigating five incidents that took place over the past four weeks of Democrats being the targets of bullets.

You can chose to believe that theses shootings are just a random coincidence. I chose not to! It sounds like the same (ultimately unsuccessful) tactics of the lowest common denominator.

Coordination – especially of the ultimately unsuccessful kind, ala January 6th – doesn’t take much intelligence. Neither does hate. It is the animal instinct to take brawn over brains and what better “equalizer” – in the “mind” of a coward of low intelligence – than anonymity and a weapon?

As of just a few years ago, (the last time I was involved in it), it was still a challenging task to get rural Black North Carolinians to register to vote; but far from an impossible one.

It doesn’t appear any of the targeted New Mexico Democrats are backing down.

Are these two stories really any different at their core? I think not. The New Mexico night riders probably don’t call themselves the Klan, but then what’s really in a label? The only real difference is that in 2023 the perpetrators have a much better chance of facing justice. I guess I should be happy for that progress.

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