You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
This saying appears to be on the agenda for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as they prepare for a rally by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in Memphis, Tenn., at the end of March. The NAACP plans to meet the KKK with love as opposed to hate in the form of prayer vigils. Although this seems to be an appropriate and refreshing course of action, it is not going to work at all. The respective missions of the two groups cannot allow for any real love to be spread, especially concerning the reason for the rally.
The KKK is upset about the renaming of a park that had formerly been named for a slave trader. This seems like a typical response for a organization that has been actively engaged in the U.S. for centuries. When you have one organization standing for equality across the board and ending race-based discrimination and the other standing for the supremacy of one particular group at the expense of all others, it is very difficult to find common ground.
There is a fundamental difference between the agendas of the two organizations. The removal of a slave trader’s name from the park is a progressive move to further push slavery into the past and focus on the future. The insistence on keeping the name is exactly the opposite, looking backward without desiring to look forward.
The KKK’s website states its agenda, among other things, is the following: The Knights Party, will in the years to come, become recognized by the American people as the White Rights Movement! Wherever they live, whatever their personal religious denomination may be, no matter what present political or fraternal organization they may be with, everyone should support the Knights Party as the political PARTY of the future and the Last Hope for America.
The NAACP’s website states that its mission is the following: To "ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination."
The core message of the KKK is degradation for non-whites and they have been pretty effective in how they convey it. When the KKK was formed, African Americans, Latinos, women, and members of the LGBT community did not have any substantive rights. As time and history have progressed, the rights that white men have always enjoyed were made available to these other communities, through legislation and social change. The changing of the name of the park is just another act along the way to hopefully bring awareness of this and equality to all people, regardless of skin color, religion, favorite color, and Starbucks choice.
A prayer vigil is certainly not going to change the hearts and minds of the KKK from performing their rally, which focuses on paying homage to a slave trader. A prayer vigil is not going to change what the NAACP desires either.
The two groups will keep expressing their agendas and thoughts as they always have, but tt does not matter whom you pray to, real changes take time and continued social interaction.