Monday, June 23, 2014

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Black Klansman

In 1978 the community of Colorado Springs, Colorado experienced a growth of Ku Klux Klan (KKK) membership. One man dared to challenge their effort and thwart attempts to take over the city, Police Detective Ron Stallworth. He launched an undercover investigation into the Klan, gained membership into the organization, briefly served as Duke's bodyguard, and was eventually asked to be the leader of the Colorado Springs chapter.
The irony of this investigation was that Stallworth is… A Black man. In the process he battled internal departmental politics to successfully pull off this "sting." Black Klansman explains how he overcame these obstacles and accomplished this almost unbelievable unique achievement.

www.BlackKlansman.com


“Black Klansman” answered your questions

Last week, we asked you to submit your questions for Sgt. Ron Stallworth, a black police officer who just penned a new memoir, “Black Klansman,” about how he went undercover and infiltrated the KKK. Now, Sgt.  Stallworth has answered. Read on for more details on his fascinating story.
Alicia Maule: Mr. Stallworth, how did your experience as a detective working on the KKK assignment inform the rest of your career on the force? And what type of insider information do you think you learned from this “domestic terrorist group” as it relates specifically to race relations in the U.S. 
Sgt. Stallworth: Alicia, my experience working the KKK assignment influenced the rest of my career in law enforcement in that it taught me to think and act on my own initiative when my superiors in the department stood in my way.  I refused to bend to the rules of protocol when the obstacles of “rank structure” and “following the chain of command” prevented me from getting the job done.  That’s one reason I retired as a Sergeant and not at a higher rank…I refused to “play the game” the way the bosses wanted the game played.  It is a decision that has cost me money in retirement pay, but one that I have NEVER regretted.  Had I played by those rules this investigation would never have gotten off the ground because, as I described in the book, Lt. Arthur and Sgt. Jim of the Narcotics Unit refused to let me use Chuck, the “white Ron Stallworth” for the investigation.  This was a crucial aspect towards the overall success of the investigation and their pettiness towards me personally forced me to violate normal protocol procedures which allowed for the investigation to move forward.  In terms of “insider information” regarding race relations, I do not think I learned anything unique that I or anyone of color had not previously known.  They simply do not like people of color because of their color and their belief that their color has given them an edge in edge in American society at the expense of the white race.  They feel that we who, as the late Curtis Mayfield sang, “people who are darker than blue” are the puppets of the Jews who exist to do their bidding and therefore we (and they) must be eliminated or controlled if the white race is to flourish.  They feel blacks are not too far removed on the evolutionary plain from monkeys and can never be thought of in the same social sphere as the white man.  This was one reason why I took such great pleasure in making a fool out of the Grand Wizard, David Duke, himself.  This simian with a badge was literally out-thinking him both on the phone in our conversations and in person when I was assigned to be his bodyguard.  At the time he held a Masters Degree from Louisiana State University while I was a high school graduate with approximately 15-20 hours of college credit.  Which one of us was exhibiting more of an ape-like mental capacity during these encounters?  I don’t believe it was me.   As I said in the lyrical rap ditty I wrote that can be found on YouTube called “A Salute to the Klan”…“Made a fool of by one he called ape-like / Proving he was the actual intellectual tyke.”
Barbara Jackson ‏@Nyota_nuru: Was he passing for white or did he wear his hood all the time or is it the KKK now accept AAs in their ranks?
Sgt. Stallworth: No, I was not passing for white in the sense that I was wearing a hood, after all I am a black American of African descent.  I was passing for a white racial supremacist in telephonic conversations by using all of the “buzz” words of hate that they like to use.  The derogatory references to the various racial ethnicities (i.e., blacks, Asians, Mexicans, Italians, Jews, et.al.) were all frequently used to solidify, in their minds, that I was “one of them” and it worked.  They felt comfortable with me and accepting of me because, in their minds based on my choice of language, I was “one of them.”  And NO, the KKK is NOT accepting of African-Americans in their ranks!
George Alexander @Abq01I don’t get it. Mr. Stallworth is black and looks black. Were those KKK fanatics blind?
Sgt. Stallworth: No, George, they were not blind.  The KKK members that I was dealing with NEVER saw me because my interaction with them occurred over the phone.  They were convinced that I was 1) white, and 2) a racial supremacist like them based strictly on my telephone conversation with them.  Their belief was reinforced by my use of the white detective, “Chuck”, the “white Ron Stallworth” referenced in my book, Black Klansman, who took my phone conversations and projected them to the next level forward in the undercover scheme.  Throughout the seven month undercover phase of this investigation the KKK members only saw me once, at the Colorado Springs luncheon when the Grand Wizard (David Duke) came into town on a media tour and recruitment blitz and I was assigned to be his bodyguard.  I interacted personally with him, his state Grand Dragon (state leader), and the local Colorado Springs chapter leader.  All three of these individuals were “victims” of my undercover telephone conversations pretending to be a white supremacist and I stood there among them, shaking their hands, conversing with them in all of my beautiful black-skinned glory (with a KKK membership card signed by David Duke in my wallet) and not one of them recognized that I was the one they had been speaking with on the phone.  Remember, this was not long after David Duke had told me during one of our conversations how he could tell how he was speaking to a “n—-r” over the phone.  Now here he was in the physical midst of that very same “n—-r” and he could not tell that he had conversed with me over the phone in the guise of one of his Klansmen.  As I wrote in a little lyrical rap ditty you can find on YouTube: “So clever this con, their trust to a man with faith and their respect I was now part of the Klan.” 
@zz2aa“Black Klansman”. What are you doing to be safe from revenge from white supremacists?
Sgt. Stallworth: I take the usual precautions, which I will not outline here for your readers.  Let’s just say that I am ready for any and all possible eventualities but I don’t live in fear of these racist idiots.  I REFUSE to succumb to their brand of lunacy and have my life governed by their need to feel superior based on their sense of inferiority and need to feel superior because of their white skin.  I REFUSE to play their game and no person of color should play their game.  That is how they held our people hostage-psychologically-for generations.  NO MORE!!!  Not with me!  My investigation, as described in my book, Black Klansman, detailed the seriousness of these types of individuals, but it also detailed the clownish nature that is all too often an inherent part of their nature.  It is that clownish nature that I captured in my narrative that led me to believe (and I stated) that “…sooner rather than later we WOULD, in fact, OVERCOME those that would try and define minorities by their own personal failings of racial/ethnic bias, bigotry, religious preferences, and the false belief that people of color and others who did not fit their definition of ‘pure Aryan white’ were not deserving of respect, much less of being classified as ‘people.’”
@reginas232: I’m too busy laughing to ask. How did he keep a straight face in dealing with them? Kudos to you sir.
Sgt. Stallworth: Regina, thank you for the kudos. Much appreciated.  How did I keep a straight face in dealing with them during the course of the investigation?  The fact of the matter was that often I did not keep a straight face.  As I describe on pages 81-82 of my book, Black Klansman, there were times when professional decorum was lost on my part due to the reaction of my Sergeant, who was white and a dear friend, listening to my end of the telephone conversation with the various Klansmen.  As I pretended to be a raging white supremacist blaring out the racist buzzwords of hate and vitriol that they love to spout, my Sergeant would be doubled over in red-faced, belly-aching laughter at my pretense conning them in the process.  His response at my antics would all too often set me off into fits of laughter which would further spur him on into deeper fits of laughter until we resembled aSaturday Night Live skit in which the performers are cracking each other up while trying with all their means to maintain the appropriate professional decorum yet finding it virtually impossible to do so.  Sometimes my Sergeant would find himself so caught up in my telephone performance that he would be in the throes of falling out of his chair on one knee and choking in a fit of laughter to the point where he had to run out of the office to recompose himself while I tried to continue the conversation without diminishing my professional decorum as a “white racist” any further due to my breakdown in laughter at him.  Fortunately they never caught on to our antics and things proceeded along.  But even I have to admit it was funny hearing myself saying how much I hate “n—–s” and how we have to do something to control “n—–s” and “the white man can’t get a fair shake in this society because of the dominance of the n—–s.”  These were typical statements that I used to ingratiate myself with these people and they “ate it up.”  Though David Duke and his “new” Ku Klux Klan did not (supposedly) use the “n-word” in public, he/they and I threw it around like a baseball in our conversations with one another as a matter of routine.  I also used other words and phrases that were typical of their speech and thought process to allow them to accept me as one of them.
Mary HouseAfraid of any retaliations?
Sgt. Stallworth: Afraid? No. Concerned? As concerned as anyone who has worked undercover investigations for any period of time and then revealed the nature of those investigations. Especially one as high-profile as this. I do take necessary precautions against those who would foolishly try to take retaliatory action against me for what I did 30 plus years ago.
For more, watch our interview with Sgt .Stallworth

Credit: MSNBC Staff

Friday, May 30, 2014

Layton man went undercover in the KKK

 

Layton man went undercover in the KKK

 
 
 
LAYTON -- Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction.
Retired police Sgt. Ron Stallworth’s story — about how he, a black undercover cop, infiltrated one of the nation’s most notorious hate groups in 1978 — is one such truth. Stallworth, 61, recently released the book “Black Klansman,” detailing his amazing story during his early years of service.
“I was sitting in my office reading the newspaper,” Stallworth, who now lives in Layton, said. “I was going through the classified section, and on this particular day there was an ad that said ‘Ku Klux Klan.’”
It listed a post office box to send inquiries, and so he wrote a letter, identifying himself as a white man and peppering the note with racial slurs. The undercover Colorado officer, who was still in his 20s at the time, did make one crucial mistake, however: He signed the letter with his real name. He wasn’t too worried, though, since he figured the whole setup was probably a joke.

It wasn’t until he got a phone call a week later from the local KKK organizer about starting a Colorado Springs chapter that he realized how serious the ad was.
Stallworth told the man that his sister was dating a “n--ger,” and how mad it made him. The organizer liked his story and figured that Stallworth was exactly what the new chapter needed. He asked to meet-which was obviously a problem. But the quick-thinking officer gave a description of one of his close friends, who worked in the narcotics division, and organized a meeting for the following week.
Stallworth’s friend Chuck would play “the white Ron Stallworth.”

“The funny thing is that Chuck’s voice [was] totally distinctive [from] mine,” Stallworth said. He was only questioned about the different voices once — and he successfully blamed the flub on a sinus infection.

There was only one other time when Stallworth’s cover was almost blown: after his supervisor assigned him to be then-Grand Wizard David Duke’s bodyguard.
“[Duke] was planning a publicity blitz in Colorado Springs. He was coming into town to do interviews and try to drum up interest,” Stallworth said. “I got assigned to be his bodyguard because there were death threats against him.”

At the time, Stallworth was having fairly regular phone conversations with at least three Klansmen, including David Duke. “I was apprehensive that they would recognize my voice,” the retired officer said.

Stallworth remembered how seemingly amiable Duke was. He was likable enough and intelligent, a great orator, and never used slurs about black people or wore his robe. The Grand Wizard even shook Stallworth’s hand and thanked him.

“He was changing the face of the whole Ku Klux Klan,” Stallworth said, describing Duke as the type of man a girl would love to take home to her mother.

One moment between the two almost went south, however, when Stallworth had someone take a photo of him with Duke and the Grand Dragon, even putting his arm around both men. It obviously upset Duke, who tried to snatch the camera. Stallworth and Duke faced off. “If you touch me,” Stallworth said to the Grand Wizard, “I’ll arrest you for assaulting a police officer, and that’s worth five years in prison.”

Stallworth recalled, “I was thinking about all our forefathers and foremothers who [were] dealing with racists like this throughout the generations, who lacked power, who lacked authority, who were at the mercy of idiots like this and could do nothing to stop it because of the power of the Klan,” he said pointedly. “But on this particular occasion, I had the power, I was the authority and the Klan was at my mercy.”

Duke eventually backed down and walked away. As Stallworth put it, he was the supremacist’s greatest fear: “a n----- with a gun.”
Stallworth’s life has never really been stereotypically “normal”; his Klan infiltration epitomized his unusual approach to life.

At just 19 years old, he moved from Texas to Colorado Springs, joining the police force via a cadet program designed to bring more minorities into the department. He was the first black cadet to enter the program. At 22 he became the first black detective, the youngest in the history of the department, "he said". Ron Stallworth also has a twitter account and you can connect with him here to find out the latest news or interview.

https://twitter.com/BlackKlansMan

Meanwhile, he was just trying to save up enough money so that he could go to college to get a degree and become a physical education teacher. However, in the end, Stallworth was having too much fun as an officer, and he also realized he’d be making way more money than he would as a teacher.
One of his first undercover assignments was to look into Black Panther activist Stokely Carmichael. His supervisors told him to blend in and listen to Carmichael’s speech and then report anything interesting. Ron Stallworth has a viral rap video on YouTube
Watch this

Sgt. Ron Stallworth, Ret. Black Klansman Viral Rap Video

“It was my first brush with living black history,” Stallworth says. “He was a fiery, bombastic speaker. He had a special way of speaking, and he could fire up a crowd like nobody’s business.”
Stallworth’s Klan investigation ended after about seven months because he was so good at his job that “the local organizer had the idea that they needed someone who was a resident of Colorado

Springs to assume the duties,” he says. “They took a vote at one of their meetings, and by unanimous vote they had determined that they wanted Ron Stallworth to become the new local organizer because he was a ‘loyal and dedicated Klansman.’ “
Stallworth wanted to go for it, but the higher-ups weren’t as thrilled. “The chief panicked and said, ‘I want you to shut this investigation down now. I want you to stop sending Chuck to meetings, stop answering the undercover phone line. I want the undercover phone line changed, and I want Ron Stallworth the Klansman to disappear.’ “

The chief also ordered Stallworth to destroy all reports from the investigation. Stallworth tried to argue against closing down the operation, but his efforts were in vain.
What Stallworth didn’t do, however, was destroy all the reports.

“I took the notebooks ... and I walked out of the office with them under my arm and put them in the car. I drove home with them, and they’ve remained with me over the past 35 years, and that’s what I based my book on.“For one thing, I recognized that I had done something quite significant. I had penetrated the Ku Klux Klan as a black man,” he continued. “To the best of my knowledge, no one had ever done that before. I have a membership card that I carry in my wallet that identifies me as a member of the [Klan]; I have a certificate of membership signed by Duke, certifying me as a member of his [Klan]; and if I had destroyed the information ... if I had told the story after that, nobody would ever have believed [me] ... because there was no evidence.”

It is believed that during Stallworth’s stint with the Klan, he prevented at least three cross burnings from occurring by upping security in those neighborhoods whenever the Klan invited him on one of their excursions.

The same day the chief told him to stop the investigation, the phone that he used for undercover work rang again and again, but Stallworth obeyed orders and didn’t answer.

“That very night, a cross burned in front of the nightclub where Carmichael had spoken three years earlier,” he said. Stallworth believes the phone call was one of his “Klan buddies” inviting him to a burning

Credit By BREANNA EDWARDS