I was born and raised in a small town, so I know how they work. Everyone in small towns emulates the style, fashion and trends they see on TV and social media.
Right now, there is a girl named Martha in a little hamlet in North Carolina who told her friends to start calling her “Mardi B” and wears only red sneakers so that she can say, “These is bloody shoes!” There is a boy in a Kansas village who will only grow to be 5 feet 7 inches, but he’s shooting hoops in his driveway until dusk, preparing to become the next LeBron James. So we shouldn’t be surprised that there are some kids in Creston, Iowa, who thought it would be cool to post a picture on social media of themselves in Ku Klux Klan outfits.
The photo shows five high school students wearing KKK hoods, encircling a crudely made burning cross. One of the students is holding a rifle, while another waves a Confederate flag. Of course, there is one guy who is a little obstructed in the photo because he knows he shouldn’t be doing this, but ... peer pressure. He looks like he’s thinking, “Oh, man, this was probably a bad idea. My mama is going to whip my ass when she finds out about this!”
Of course, the new “Creston Junior Varsity Klan Klub” posted it on all the social media platforms. According to WHOtv.com, the photo started out on Snapchat (which I still can’t figure out. I know all the kids are using it, but if I want a filter that makes me look like a puppy, I do it the way my ancestors did it—Photoshop) but soon spread to Facebook and Twitter.
The photo so upset the residents of Creston that they got up off their butts and addressed the problem by doing damn near nothing. The Omaha World-Herald reports that when the principal of the high school saw the photo, he found the students and suspended the students for nine whole days. That’ll show them! Two weeks off of school will surely teach them a lesson!
When the police in Creston found out about the pic, they basically said, umm ... well ... nothing. The Creston Police Department said that it was aware of the photo but would not investigate, and I’m sure one of the black people in Creston murmured, “I bet if that was a Black Lives Matter flag, they would’ve interrogated them like they were in ISIS!” The town of almost 8,000 is only 1 percent black, so I guess police figured that no one would be offended.
The fact that white supremacy is battling male rompers and squiggly eyebrows as the shitty new trend among young people should surprise no one. After the “Nazi Thanksgiving Day Parade” was held in Charlottesville, Va., a few weeks ago, the KKK is having a better recruiting year than the Alabama Crimson Tide.
But even though no one seems outraged about five students showing up in KKK hoods and burning a cross, there is a greater question that should be answered. The question is not about a town that is apparently unfazed by teenagers wanting to emulate terrorists. It is not about the stupidity of wanting to post it on social media. The most pertinent, unanswered question is this:
Where the fuck do you buy five Klan hoods?