One Man's Journey To Confront Racism Face-To-Face
Reaching across the aisle to engage with your enemy. It’s a concept we hear politicians throw around but it’s becoming increasingly less popular as our political discourse becomes more divisive and polarizing. For some, respectfully engaging with an enemy that seems fundamentally opposed to their very existence is impossible, but it’s exactly what Daryl Davis has been doing for more than 25 years. Mr. Davis is a musician who’s played with the likes of Little Richard and Chuck Berry. But, when he’s not on stage, Mr. Davis, who is a black man, meets and befriends members of the Ku Klux Klan. This hobby started in 1983 when an audience member struck up a conversation with Mr. Davis after a gig. When the gentleman in the audience revealed that he was a member of the KKK, the conversation did not end and after years of being friends, that man dropped out of the Klan. In fact dozens of former KKK members have given up their robes as a result of their friendships with Mr. Davis.
Daryl Davis is the subject of the documentary Accidental Courtesy. It premiered on PBS last week and is now streaming on PBS.org.
Dr. Ray Winbush is a Research Professor and Director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University.
Gilbert Bliss is a psychotherapist in private practice. He and his partner Cathy Roberts co-founded the Institute for Racial Awareness and Equity which focuses on issues of race and white privilege.
They join Tom to talk about different approaches to combating racism.