Bangor, Maine, Layton discussed on Here & Now
A history of hating people so much that they string him up in a tree or drag them behind a pickup truck or bomb their churches and things like that. Yeah you know you you will face some of those people who believe in that and i have But there are others who even people like that. Who have that mentality. If they are willing to sit down and have a conversation with you there is at least an opportunity to plant a seed or offer a better perspective or perception and hopefully they will resonate with it but the key is once you plant that seed you must return and nourish it water it in order for it to bloom. Can you share with us. One conversation that stands out in your mind from from all the rest Sure there are a lot of them. But i'll give you an example of something and it's kind of amusing actually. This guy was was was called an exalted cyclops and the plan that means a district Leader he was in my car with me one day. We're riding around. And he got on the topic of of black people and crime and he. He said something that. I'd heard before from other plan people that All black people have a gene. That makes us violent. Because that's what. That's what's brainwashed into them. And i said to him you know what you mean. And he said well who's doing all the drive bys and carjackings in southeast he was referring to southeast washington. Dc which is predominantly black. There's some white people who live there was predominantly black and very high crime. Ridden and i said okay. It's black people. I said but that's what lives there you know. You're not considering the demographics who's doing all the crime up in bangor maine you know white people. Because that's what lives there he says. No no no. No the demographics have nothing to do with it. You know you all born with the stream. So he's over my passenger seat. I'm driving in the driver's seat. I looked over at him. And i said listen. I'm as black as anybody you've ever seen. I have never done a carjacking or drive by. How do you explain that. He didn't even think about it for a second. He answered me boom like that. He said you're genus latent. It hasn't come out yet. So i thought about it and i said you know we all know that all white people have gene within them that makes them a serial killer and he says well. How do you figure and i said name me. Three black serial killers. He couldn't do it. I said they're all white and i said son. You are a serial killer. He said daryl. I've never killed anybody. I said you're genus layton. Hasn't come out yet. he goes well. That's stupid. I said you're right. It is stupid but it's no more stupid for me to say that about you than what you said about me. And he got very very quiet for a moment or two and then he changed the subject within five months he quit the clan based on that conversation alone and his role was the first one i ever got. This was some years ago. What could someone be doing today to help. Bridge the divide That we have in this country even in small ways. Maybe they're not ready to go as far as meeting with a k. k. k. Member like you do but they want to help build relationships with people who think very differently than they do. What do you recommend mr davis. Sure what would i advise people to do is walk across the cafeteria and sit with somebody new. Who is not a member of your table. You will learn something from them. You will teach something about you and you will gain a new friend and you know as far as going to klan rallies or neo nazi rallies. You know if that's not your thing if you're not comfortable with that don't do it. You know nothing says you have to do that. You have to be on the front line You can be on the back line. You can be on the sideline you can be online but be doing something even if you consider it to be minute that supports those people on the front line. Better bring far right and far left people together to have these conversations and plant these different perceptions in their minds because once perception is reality and nothing gets resolved without conversation. A missed opportunity for dialogue is a missed opportunity for conflict resolution. So you can support those people working on the front lines. Offer them encouragement. You know provide them with with support from that end. You don't have to be on the front line. A missed opportunity for dialogue is a missed opportunity for conflict. Resolution us man. Daryll davis is a black blues musician and author who has spent years forming relationships with members of the ku klux klan. His conversations have helped more than two hundred white supremacists.