When a black man dresses in a Ku Klux Klan robe and parades around Philadelphia's Center City, the references to The Boondocks' animated self-hating white supremacist, Uncle Ruckus, practically write themselves. But 35-year-old Sixx King says that his intentionally provocative display is actually a pro-African-American effort to highlight "black-on-black crime" by placing it in the context of the hate group's historic violence.
Here's how he makes the case for his use of the disturbing symbolism, as reported by CBS Philly:
"We're bringing awareness to the black hypocrisy, complacency and apathy in the African-American community," said King.
According to the FBI, in 2011 more than 7,000 black people were killed. King's sign reads that the KKK killed 3,446 blacks in 86 years, while black on black murders surpass that number every six months.
"All my anger for my ancestors who went through that terror of a Ku Klux Klan hood and what that symbolizes to me, evoked anger," said Philadelphia Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. "I was angry!"
Councilman Jones took a picture of what he witnessed and posted it on Facebook. Hundreds have shared the image, and the comments were mixed.
"You have to sit back and digest his message," said Jones. "Sit back and understand the mother who was carrying the picture of her child. It's not a statistic. It's a human being with a name who will be missed."
Good intentions? Sure. Effective message delivery? We're going to go with no. Especially if you believe The Root contributing editor Edward Wyckoff Williams' argument in "Don't White People Kill Each Other, Too?"
He makes the case that the very term "black on black" crime is a "destructive, racialized colloquialism that perpetuates an idea that blacks are somehow more prone to violence" and says, "This is untrue and fully verifiable by FBI, DOJ and census (pdf) data. Yet the fallacy is so fixed that even African Americans have come to believe it." We're confident that people of all races can work to stop crime while leaving the Klan robes in the closet.
Read more at CBS Philly.