October 18, 2013 7:00 am -

kkk_slaver-flag-o-treasonIn 1959, Jacksonville, Florida school authorities, infuriated by integration laws that arose in then wake of the Supreme Court’s Brown v Board of Education ruling, decided to rename the city’s high school after Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest. That’s right. It’s the 21st century, and there is still a school named after the founder of America’s most notorious terrorist group:

One Jacksonville resident launched a petition that has so far garnered over 150,000 signatures, asking the Duval County School Board to change the name. The board members are only people with the power to do so — and, back in 2008, they voted against a name change by a vote of 5 to 2.

“I don’t want my daughter, or any student, going to a school named under those circumstances,” the petition’s author, resident Omotayo Richmond writes, “This is a bad look for Florida — with so much racial division in our state, renaming Forrest High would be a step toward healing.”

Richmond has some high-profile opponents: The KKK is getting involved in the fight.

All seven members of the board received a letter from the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan urging them not to consider a name-change. It calls the school’s namesake a “valiant man of honor,” and justifies the KKK as “a group of vigilance to protect defenseless southerners from criminal activities perpetrated against them by Yankee carpet baggers, scalawags, and many bestial blacks and other criminal elements out for revenge or just taking part in criminal mischief.”

“Carpet baggers.” How quaint — as is the notion that engaging in civil disobedience against remnant Confederate racism and violence against blacks and other minorities is “criminal mischief.”

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.