Son of Klan Leader Don Black Renounces Racism
Don Black is the former Klan state leader best known for creating Stormfront.org, the first major Internet hate site dedicated to all things white supremacy. He served three years in federal prison for plotting a racist invasion of a small Caribbean nation, Dominica, where he was planning to attempt a government takeover. Derek Black is his son.
Derek was raised in the racist movement. At age 12, he created a racist children's page on Stormfront.org. Until recently, he hosted a radio show featuring racist guests.
Last November, the younger Black showed the first signs of veering away from his upbringing when he posted a statement on a students-only forum at the New College of Florida, where he's a student. In the statement, he explicitly said he was not a white supremacist, a neo-Nazi, or a Klansman. He also said he supports same-sex marriage, environmental regulation, and legal abortion. He added that he was not renouncing white nationalism, and didn't see it as conflicting with his other views. Right...
Now, in an email to the Southern Poverty Law Center's Mark Potok, Derek Black explains that he was already moving away from white nationalism at the time, but was not "prepared to risk driving any wedge" into his relationship with his family.
Explaining that he has spent the last few years disentangling himself from the ideology, he adds, "After a great deal of thought since then, I have resolved that it is in the best interests of everyone involved, directly or indirectly, to be honest about my slow but steady disaffiliation from white nationalism.”
In a statement speaking loudly to the power of education, Black wrote, “Advocating for white nationalism means that we are opposed to minority attempts to elevate themselves to a position equal to our own. It is an advocacy that I cannot support, having grown past my bubble, talked to the people I affected, read more widely, and realized the necessary impact my actions had on people I never wanted to harm.”
“Minorities must have the ability to rise to positions of power, and many supposed ‘race’ issues are in fact issues of structural oppression, poor educational prospects, and limited opportunity," Black continued. "The differences I thought I observed didn’t go nearly as deeply as I imagined. I believe we can move beyond the sort of mind-boggling emphasis white nationalism puts on maintaining an oppressive, exclusive sense of identity — oppressive for others and stifling for our society.”
Talk about going through some changes at college.
You can read the full text of Derek Black's email here.