Hate Mail

A discussion of race and racism on call-in KLIF talk radio in Dallas, TX.

0:09Copy video clip URL We hear a woman’s voice over a radio. Intro to the program. KLIF talk radio host Bob Ray Sanders reads pieces of racist hate mail he has received. “Whoever wrote that probably doesn’t consider themself racist or a hate monger.”

1:42Copy video clip URL A man calls in and says he doesn’t care if people hate him as long as they don’t become violent.

2:23Copy video clip URL Wanda Lewis tells us a story about having a white friend in grade school who was pulled out of school when his mother realized he was friends with a black girl.

3:09Copy video clip URL Butch Mayfield, Klu Klux Klan member, tells us that he is racist, but that he doesn’t agree with the media’s view of racism as hate mongering. He says it’s just about taking pride in your own culture.

3:27Copy video clip URL Sanders reads more hate mail. “I don’t like Hispanics, Blacks, Jews, [etc, etc]. Does that make me a racist? I don’t know, and I don’t care.”

3:40Copy video clip URL Jackie Townsell talks about how her mother raised her to respect everyone even though she was black and oppressed.

4:09Copy video clip URL Rev. Mark Herbner says racism is about self-affirming while putting others’ down at the same time.

4:24Copy video clip URL John Wiley Price says racism is as American as apple pie.

4:38Copy video clip URL Herbner says, “I’m going to be better than you are by making you less than I am.”

4:47Copy video clip URL Price says that racism is a disease, just like alcoholism or cancer.

4:59Copy video clip URL A segment with interviews of people discussing how it feels to be the subject of racist sentiments. Rev. Zan Holmes and Wanda Lewis describe it as sickening, painful, like being in a smoky room all the time, like smothering, like death.

5:38Copy video clip URL A racist caller tells Sanders that all of us have had racist feelings before, no matter who we are. Obviously, Sanders does not agree.

6:11Copy video clip URL A segment where the interviewees discuss the nature of racism. Mark Briskman and Lewis say it is learned environmentally. Rev. Herbner call it endemic to humanity. Mayfield: Fish swim with their school, and so do people. Cora Cardona also describes it as natural, using birds as a metaphor. Rev. Holmes says being conditioned to be racist means we can be unconditioned to be racist, so it’s sort of hopeful, in a way.

7:15Copy video clip URL A segment with interviews about slavery and racism. Various people talk about how the roots of modern racism stretch back and are informed by slavery. Art Boland quote Lincoln in support of racist segregation. Michael Lowe, Klan member, says Africans did not develop seafaring ships but instead sat on “the dark continent, waiting until someone brought them somewhere.”

8:43Copy video clip URL A white caller tells Sanders that he and his black friend were pulled over because he was a black man in a white neighborhood.

9:34Copy video clip URL Lewis tells of a several month-long phone relationship she had with a producer who cut off communications when she realized Lewis was black.

10:13Copy video clip URL Butch Mayfield on why he won’t let his children play with black children, saying he doesn’t believe in interracial mixing and that he has to take a stand early because “if you believe in something, you have to stand up for [it].”

11:11Copy video clip URL Ken Stern says Sanders is rare in being a black talk show host on a white station, and praises him for trying to expose the undercurrent of hatred in America.

11:53Copy video clip URL Sanders reads more hate mail.

12:17Copy video clip URL Sanders tells a story about hearing a baby in a grocery store trying to say the word “nigger” to his mother. Lewis, Rev. Holmes and Sanders talk about how painful it really is to be called such a thing.

14:24Copy video clip URL Lewis, Price, and Sanders talk about the buildup of anger and rage, and the feelings of exhaustion as you try to deal with all the small individual injustices that pile up over time. Holmes expresses regret about finding himself on guard around white people, but that it’s a result of living in a racist society and having had to deal with the pain for so long.

15:50Copy video clip URL Sanders reads a letter in which the writer refers to the Holocaust as a myth. Boland and Mayfield also believe it not to have happened. Briskman says anyone who denies the Holocaust is antisemitic, and says that he thinks much of antisemitism is not outright hatred but rather a lot of knowledge and sensitivity.

17:38Copy video clip URL Lowe says the only hope for America politically is to have the KKK run the show. He likens his agenda to that of David Duke, Buchanan, and Bush. Mayfield says the KKK is growing faster that it has since 1915 and tells us that many new members want to be violent. He tells them, at least for now, they must work within the law.

19:00Copy video clip URL Sanders says, “Let them say whatever they want to say, with the understanding that you will never again permit them to act the way they acted.”

19:07Copy video clip URL Lowe says that the burning cross was meant to show light to the world. Mayfield says the most recent book he’s read is Mein Kampf.

19:35Copy video clip URL Price says, “I’m not worried about the Hoods and the Baldheads, I’m worried about the Three-Piece Suits and the Chambers of Commerce.”

20:01Copy video clip URL Briskman says the real problem is the potential for violence. Mayfield believes that “you have to have the will to pull the trigger,” but also that “you have to have the wisdom to know when to shoot it, and I don’t think we’ve been wise in that.”

20:16Copy video clip URL Rev. Herbner says that the good people in Germany said nothing and just ignored the Nazis because they thought they were stupid, but that the ideas caught on, and the same is true with racism in America. Price believes that it is the government’s job to end racism.

20:50Copy video clip URL Mayfield does not think it will ever work if they try to integrate people of different races and sexualities and no moral direction. Cardona says that the same people who claim to have such strong Christian values are also the ones who kill and burn people because they’re black. Sanders agrees that unfortunately, many Christians are among the worst haters of all. Lowe says he can be Christian and racist at the same time.

22:15Copy video clip URL The interviews take a turn to trying to sum up the problem and look at solutions. They suggest that we must share some of the wealth and work to end poverty. They also say that it is hard to change someone’s heart, so that perhaps first we must admit that racism is a problem and try to solve systemic racism. Rev. Herbner tells about a time that a woman pointed out his own racism to him, and that it was initially difficult for him to hear the truth because he did not believe he was racist.

25:11Copy video clip URL Sanders says that it’s hard to accept the fact that, as a revolutionary, you will probably die before people receive the fruits of your efforts and meaningful change happens on a large scale. Both Sanders and Price talk about feeling the need to push for change even if you’re tired or viewed as strange to not just accept the status quo.

26:15Copy video clip URL Old white woman caller tells Sanders her 5 year old grandson saw him on television and says that none of her family is racist.

27:38Copy video clip URL End credits as Lowe and his wife show off their Klan robes.

29:02Copy video clip URL End of tape.



You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment