Black man convinces 200 Ku Klux Klansmen to leave white supremacist group by befriending them

'I never set out to convert anyone in the Klan. I just set out to get an answer to my question: 'How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?'’ says blues musician

Peter Walker
Thursday 22 December 2016 10:42
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Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race and America Trailer

A black man says he has accidentally persuaded around 200 white racists to abandon the Klu Klux Klan simply by befriending them.

Blues musician Daryl Davis has travelled the US for around three decades, actively seeking out white supremacists as a hobby.

In a new documentary, out this month, the 58-year-old can be seen sitting down beside and joking with cloaked members.

'I simply gave them a chance to get to know me' Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America Trailer

“It’s a wonderful thing when you see a light bulb pop on in their heads or they call you and tell you they are quitting,” said the author, actor and lecturer.

“I never set out to convert anyone in the Klan. I just set out to get an answer to my question: ‘How can you hate me when you don’t even know me’.

“I simply gave them a chance to get to know me and treat them the way I want to be treated.

“They come to their own conclusion that this ideology is no longer for them.

“I am often the impetus for coming to that conclusion and I’m very happy that some positivity has come out of my meetings and friendships with them.”

Mr Davis, known for his energetic style of boogie-woogie piano, has played with musicians including Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bruce Hornsby and Bill Clinton.

A lot of the Chicago-born Christian’s discussions and friendships with KKK members, as seen in his 2016 film ‘Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America’, surround music.

“Music absolutely played a massive role in bridging many gaps in the racial divides I would encounter,” said Mr Davis, according to MailOnline, who appeared to win over racists with his talent.

Mr Davis, who wrote the 1998 book Klan-destine Relationships: A Black Man’s Odyssey in the Klu Klux Klan, says he ended up in a “couple” of physical fights with KKK members that he says he won.

The KKK enjoyed an increase in publicity amid Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and subsequent election victory.

KKK supporters performed Nazi salutes at a rally in honour of Mr Trump and former KKK grand wizard David Duke has said “we won it” for Donald Trump.

A Milwaukee teacher was suspended this month after telling students to defend the KKK in an assignment.

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