I was watching Accidental Courtesy last night. It’s a documentary about Daryl Davis, a black musician who befriends Ku Klux Klan members in his spare time.
I admired Davis for having the courage and open-heartedness to reach out to people who are determined to be his enemy because of his skin color. Over the years, Davis has won over many white supremacists through his willingness to hear them and extend his hand in friendship. Dozens of high-ranking former Klan members have even given Davis their robes when they left the KKK. It was heartening to see someone succeeding at making the world a better place.
Near the end of the film, the mood shifted a bit when this peaceful, generous man was forced to defend himself by Kwame Rose of the Black Lives Matter movement. Rose accused Davis of wasting his time with white supremacists when he could have been doing more to help his own people. A heated exchange ensued and Rose stormed off, unwilling to listen Davis’ point of view. It was painful to watch a young man be so disrespectful to this wonderful pacifist. It was also difficult to see Davis lose his cool a little with Rose, when he manages to have civil dialogues with people who express deeply disturbing white supremacist views.
It seems to me that there is room for more than one approach when comes to dealing with hate and injustice. Although, things will always break down when we stop talking to each other, deciding that our way is the only way.