Daryl Davis and why he, as a black man, attends KKK rallies

Sunday 26 May 2024

Daryl Davis, ‘Why I, as a black man, attend KKK rallies’, TEDx Talks, (2017)

Considering how peace extends beyond just the context of war by requiring social justice, this resource shares Daryl Davis’ view on how to go about a more peaceful community in the case of racist extremism and white supremacy. Davis, an African American jazz musician, talks of his ‘friendship’ with Roger Kelly, the then Imperial Wizard [national leader] of the Ku Klux Klan. He first begins by explaining how he as a child has learned of racism, and how it caused him to ask why people, who did not know him, would hate him on account of his skin colour. His curiosity led him to getting into contact with Kelly, who, unaware of Davis’ race, agrees to meet with him. After their first meeting, Davis repeatedly invited him to his home, “just to engage in conversation” [12:26-12:29]. Their acquaintance developed, and Kelly began inviting Davis to his home, and then to KKK rallies. Davis concludes by showing a clip of Kelly making a speech, talking of the respect he has for Davis and how he would follow him ‘to hell and back’, before revealing that, because of their conversations, Kelly ended up leaving the KKK. Davis shares his view on peace: “When two enemies are talking they’re not fighting – they’re talking. It’s when the talking ceases that the ground becomes fertile for violence.” [18:32-18:39]

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