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Are white supremacists on the rampage in Texas?

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Photos of the Klu Klux Klan in the 1920s

 

I had been in the US for five years before I encountered my first white supremacist. It happened outside a gas station on a rural back road in Texas, next to a used tire lot that I suspected was a front for skullduggery. We didn’t exchange any words; we just walked past each other, scowling. How did I know he was a white supremacist if we didn’t talk? The “White Power” tattoo on his gut was a dead giveaway.

Subtle, I thought. Still, I wondered if I should give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he’d gotten the tattoos to celebrate youthful racism, but had long since embraced the rainbow of nations. On the other hand, I didn’t think he’d be wandering about shirtless if he didn’t take pride in his hatred. Then there were his three boys: They all had shaved heads and looked incredibly angry.

Yup, I thought. Dude’s a racist.

Up until that point, white power freaks had been almost mythical creatures for me, like unicorns, only less appealing to preteen girls. Of course, I knew that they existed, but overexposure to British TV documentaries about American weirdos in the 1990s, not to mention Russian anti-Americanism in the 2000s, had bred weariness in me, and I had rejected the characterization of America as a land teeming with survivalists, apocalyptic believers, Hitler fans and serial killers long before I moved here. I mean, come on: No place could…

 

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Daniel Kalder is an author and journalist originally from Scotland, who currently resides in Texas after a ten year stint in the former USSR. Visit him online at www.danielkalder.com
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