Indiana University’s KKK Infestation

“iu students be careful, there’s someone walking around in kkk gear with a whip.”

This is a tweet from an Indiana University RA who saw a man in a white robe with what appeared to a weapon in his hand. The RA sent out tweets and emails to his residents warning them of the possible threat on campus.

The man in the white robe was not a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) member, he was a catholic priest in a white robe. The alleged weapon he was carrying was the priests belt.

The Priest who was mistaken for a KKK member

In the defense of the student, obviously the white robe with the draping sheets looks eerily close to a KKK outfit. Was the student a little quick to assume that this man was apart of a violent hate group? My answer is probably, but white privilege in America allows a priest to look very similar to a violent hate group and is accepted as normal. Below I have posted a picture of a Ku Klux Klan member in the traditional uniform of the klan. The priest and klan members are wearing essentially the exact same thing except for the pointed hood and markings on the chest. As you can clearly see the similarities are very close and could obviously be confused.

Ku Klux Klan members in traditional white robes with pointed hoods.

As American citizens we need to ask why is one of the most violent hate groups in history being mistaken for a religious figure? I’ve never heard of a Buddist, Muslim, Jewish, or any other religion having an issue with being mistaken for a violent hate group. The closest thing I have heard of is the false Muslim stereotype with terrorism. However this is different considering the clothing is so specific to the KKK hate group.

White privilege allows for this. White privilege allows for people of the caucasian race to do things that would be viewed entirely different if a minority were to do them. In America white privilege has been present since Europeans migrated to the New World. It first started with the Europeans using their superior weapons and technology to steal land from the Native Americans. The white people felt they were superior to the Native Americans. They called them terms such as savage and red. By calling them the color they appeared to be, they were intentionally putting themselves above the Native Americans. Then when “The Great Migration” occurred the white people once again asserted their “dominance” over racial lines. The white people enslaved the African people. They called them names such as the N-word and had the African people call them master. At one point in time in America, African people were considered to be 3/5 of a person. Even in modern times white privilege is continued. The Caucasian race has asserted themselves above other races over the course of Americas history. This has led to white privilege being prevalent in America. It allows a priest to wear clothing that resembles a violent hate group.

I had a situation in a class that this blog is actually for where I was called out for white privilege. I work for the local police department and I was wearing my kevlar vest in class so I could go to work right after. A peer in class explained to me that since I’m white when I wear a bullet proof vest people assume I work in law enforcement. If my peer were to wear it, because of his African American race he would be considered a thug and would be considered dangerous. It had never even occurred to me that my skin color affected people’s perception that much. It’s pretty extreme that the color of a persons skin can make people think that one person is a law enforcement officer and another skin color makes people think he’s dangerous.

The real problem is how do we as humans stop white privilege? I personally think the first step is recognizing all the things that are considered white privilege. This is difficult to do obviously because everyones opinion is different on what is considered white privilege. If we could recognize what things were white privilege and stop them so everyone had a fair opportunity, that would be the ideal way to stop white privilege.

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