Daryl Davis On Healing Hate with Friendship
Today I have the most amazing guest for you. He is a man that really shows us the possibility of how to disparate sides can come together. His name is Daryl Davis and he's a black man who is convinced over two hundred Klu Klux Klan members to give up their robes by boldly and bravely walking in deep into their lives deep into the heart of the Ku Klux Klan, becoming friends with them and showing them his sheer humanity. Today. We're GONNA hear Darrell Story and learn how it is that he threw his empathy compassion insight in bravery has been able to really embrace a methodology that allows people from opposite sides to come together learn from another become friends heal and grow welcome Daryl. Pleasure. To be here with you. Thank you for having me. It is such a pleasure. You're such an extraordinary human being sorry to embarrass you. I am so excited to be able to share your story and your insights today. My pleasure and I hope you'll listeners will enjoy it. Thank you. Why don't you begin by telling us the back story to how and why you are able to penetrate the clan? Okay. I'm aged fifty, two currently and as a child, my parents were in the US foreign service. So I spent a lot of my formative years starting at the age of three. And on through elementary school traveling abroad living in various foreign countries, you go to a country for two years and you come back home here to the states, and then you're reassigned to another country. So back and forth back and forth during my formative years while overseas my classes in elementary school and things like that were filled with kids from all over the world. Anybody who had an embassy in those countries all of their children went to the same school. So my classmates were Nigeria Italian Russian Japanese French you name it they had an embassy there I was in school with their kids and to me that was the norm that was my first exposure to school. and. So when I would come back home at the end of the two year assignment, I would either be in all black schools. Black and white schools meaning the still segregated schools or the newly integrated ones like. Well I left. CHICAGO. Shortly after I was born but we will come back and we would be like in Washington DC or be in Massachusetts different places for a short time before being reassigned every other two years. So I was back I know I was for part of Second Grade I was back for a fourth grade. I was back in sixth grade and I was back here in eighth grade when I would come back the schools were either all black or black and white meeting still segregated. Or newly integrated, and there was not the amount of diversity in my classroom that I had overseas. So in one case, I was in fourth grade nine, hundred, sixty, eight, I was ten years old and I was one of two black children in the entire school myself in fourth grade and a little black girl in second grade. So consequently, all of my friends were white and many of my male friends were members of the local, Cub Scout Group and they invited me to join which I did. And during a March we had from Lexington Concord to commemorate the ride of a Paul Revere. Suddenly I was being pelted with soda pop bottles and cans and Rawson just debris from the street by just a small group of the white spectators on the sidewalk not everybody most people were cheering us in waving and all that kind of thing. But there were about maybe five people off to my right I remember there being a couple of kids or half a year or two older than myself and a couple of adults who are throwing ends, and when I first began getting hit and looked over and saw this my first thought was oh, those people over there don't like the scouts. That's how naive I was because I had never been to. Before and it wasn't until my scout leaders came rushing over and these were white people, my den mother, my cub leader, my troop master, and they huddled over me with their bodies and escorted me out of the danger. And I realized I was the only person being targeted because nobody else was getting this special protection and I, asked him, I, said, why am I being hit why they're doing this? I didn't do anything and all they would do this kind of shush me and rushing along telling me everything would be okay. Just keep moving. and. So they never answered the question. At the end of the day when I returned home my mother and father who would not at the parade. were, fixing, cleaning the UP, putting bandaids on me and ask me how do I fall down and get scraped up I told him I didn't fall down into the mud happened. And this was the first time in my life that I heard the word racism they explained what racism was to me. And my opinion old brain could not process this definition. It made no sense to me whatsoever I'd been around white people from all over the world at this point and none of them whether they were my fellow Americans my French friends, my Swedish friends, my Australian friends, none of them treated me like this. So my parents were making this up because people don't do things like that. And they assured me that not all white people do this but there is an element of some they do and I just cannot wrap my head around it. So I didn't believe them well about almost two months later. That same year nineteen, Sixty, eight. On April the fourth Martin Luther King was assassinated. And every major city in this country burned to the ground. All in the name of this new word I had learned call racism.