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yellerpup's Journal
yellerpup's Journal
June 26, 2013

One activist inspires a cascade of activists against the KKK

From a friend in Oklahoma, a longtime reproductive choice advocate, here she takes on the KKK. This isn't news, but I found it uplifting.

Dear yellerpup,
I’ve been cleaning out my files and ran across this article. It reminded me of the story behind the story. In November 1995, a friend of mine faxed a flyer to me that had been received by a friend of his who worked for a used car agency. It was the announcement of a secret meeting of the KKK to take place in Tulsa about a week later. The fax cautioned people to go in the side door of the motel where the meeting was to be held (the Quality Inn at the airport), not to wear any KKK apparel, and not to mention the KKK to any of the employees of the motel. Apparently, used car lots are a lucrative recruiting ground for the KKK for them to fax such a secret message without directing it to an individual. I thought, “Poor babies. They have to recruit people they don’t even know. I think I’ll help them.” So immediately upon receiving the fax, I got busy. I faxed the “confidential memo” to all of the newspapers, TV and radio stations in Tulsa. I then called the Jewish Defamation League in NYC, faxed the flyer to them, and literally within 15 minutes, they had a recorded message on their national public phone line telling people to call Quality Inn management. I also called the head office of La Quinta to inform them of what their franchise hotel in Tulsa was doing. Then I sat back, relaxed, and awaited the fallout. It didn’t take long It came in the form of this article in which the national director of the KKK was quoted as saying: “Why did a New York-based Jewish organization of thugs call all the way to Oklahoma to scare innocent people working at a motel?”

The KKK did have its meeting the following March, but by then, everyone was on alert and there was a counter-demonstration sponsored by the City of Tulsa.


June 12, 2013

9mm America - Gun Control Advocates Should See This Powerful Show

Huffington Post Review --

As a gun reform advocate and theatre practitioner, I was excited to attend a performance of 9mm America, a play running now in New York City that sheds light on America's gun culture. Written by Girl Be Heard, a group of young women between the ages of 14-23, the play is unique in its perspective. Many of the girls in the cast come from neighborhoods where gun violence is prevalent and some of them are survivors of gun violence, having lost family members to gunfire. It is clear that their experience with tragedy has empowered them with a sense of responsibility to change something wrong with this country. And what is wrong, they tell us, is that "Gun violence is an addiction and America, you're an addict..."

The actors take us through the violent history of guns in America from the genocide of Native Americans, through slavery and the civil war, to the sensationalism of guns through our media coverage -- a destructive influence that has led to a growing sense of paranoia and the belief that a gun is needed to keep us safe from "all those other people who don't look like me." It is this paranoia and fear of "other" that perpetuates the vicious cycle of violence in the neighborhoods these young women call home. In their view, police assume every person of color they see is up to no good, and those same people of color assume the protection of the law does not apply to them. Having worked in prison, I've seen the consequences of this unfortunate dynamic. Young black and Hispanic men have taken the law into their own hands and ended up in jail, all because they didn't feel there was anyone else who would help them.


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