posted on Nov, 25 2013 @ 06:19 PM
It all began when Daryl Davis was preforming in an all white club in 1983 and a man in the audience came up to compliment him on his music. During the
conversation, the man admitted to Davis that he was a Klansman. Many black men would have reacted with revulsion or fled in fear but, Davis continued
talking with the man and they found common ground and became friends.
Davis' encounter with the Klansman led him to become more interested in the Klan and he sought out an interviews with other Klansmen. Initially, his
first interview was tense. The Klansman brought along a nighthawk-a bodyguard dressed in military style fatigues-complete with a firearm. The
bodyguard reached for his sidearm every time Davis reached into his bag to change the tape in his recorder but, eventually they were able to break the
tension and laughed at their misconceptions about each other. Since then, Davis has made friends with over 20 Klansmen and is credited with
dismantling the Klan in Maryland after he began making inroads with the members there.
How does Davis work this magic? He simply talks to the Klansmen like they were regular people. He allows them to speak their minds and he speaks his
without any acrimony or accusations. Through this dialogue, he is able to break through the racism and form friendships.
KKK Member Walks up to Black Musician in Bar-but It’s Not a Joke, and What Happens Next Will Astound You
Davis also became close with Robert White, a Grand Dragon in the KKK. “I respect someone’s right to air their views whether they are wrong or
right,” Davis says. “Robert White was a Grand Dragon who had gone to prison numerous times. I said I wanted to interview him for my book. At
first, he was very violent and very hateful but we talked for a long time. Over time, he began thinking about a lot of things he had done and said
that were wrong. He quit the Klan. Toward the end he said he would follow me to hell and back. …and he gave me his robe and hood, and his police
Indeed, Davis says that the best way to break down barriers and improve race relations is for two people who disagree with each other to sit down and
A lot of people have anti-racist groups. They get together and meet and have a diverse group and all they do and sit around and talk about how bad
discrimination is. Then someone says ‘there’s a Klan group across town. Why don’t we invite them to come and talk to us?’ and the other person
says ‘Oh no! We don’t want that guy here!’ Well, you’re doing the exact same thing they are. What’s the purpose of meeting with each other
when we already agree? Find someone who disagrees and invite them to your table.
Invite your enemy to talk. Give them a platform to talk because then they will reciprocate. Invite your enemies to sit down and join you. You
never know; some small thing you say might give them food for thought, and you will learn from them. Establish dialogue. It’s when the talking stops
that the ground becomes fertile for fighting.
Imagine that; instead of reacting to someone who hates you with more hate, you reach out your hand to them and begin a discussion that leads to mutual
understanding and friendship.
Imagine if more people in the world were like Daryl Davis.