Ha! I’m laughing tonight. A jury in Brandenberg, Kentucky, has awarded a Latino teenager $2.5 million in damages after he sued a Ku Klux Klan group for beating him up.
The chinless wonders who actually beat Jordan Gruver to a pulp in 2006 are behind bars. But Jordan enlisted the help of the true American superheroes at the Southern Poverty Law Center to go after Ron Edwards, imperial grand lizard or whatever, of the Imperial Klans of America, as well as the assailants, and Jordan won; the jury concluded the Klan’s attitudes and doctrines played a role in the beating.
We’re not talking about six inbreds in a trailer here. This is big business. Imperial Klans of America is one of the largest racist organizations in the U.S., 23 chapters in 17 states, all of them full of tattooed Nazi worshippers … the kind of guys who have fewer IQ points than teeth, but not by much.
Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center was talking yesterday about another Klan case, the incident in Louisiana this weekend that saw a prospective member, a lonely Tulsa woman, murdered during her Klan initiation. Potok said it’s not uncommon for these groups to attract people whose worldview is not exactly level.
“These groups, in particular the Klan, tend to attract gangsters, thugs and people who are deeply in need of a place in the world,” Potok told the AP. “We see quite a lot of people with mental problems in these groups or attracted to these groups.”
Well, that’s pretty clear from just a basic skimming of the details of the Imperial Klans of America. The group’s leader is a violent criminal named Ron Edwards. That’s him up there, with the subtle tattoo work. He’s a roly poly ball of hate who says he’s going to appeal the jury’s verdict, because if he doesn’t, his Klan will go under. Boo hoo.
A lawsuit like this succeeded in bankrupting and shutting down an Idaho Klan group in 1999. More are in the works. It’s just kind of sad that in a 21st century where America can elect a black president, this kind of thinking is still in play. So keep at it, folks. Keep hammering these racist thugs until they’re a footnote in a history book.
Jordan Gruver is a brave kid. And smart. Sadly smart: “I’m overwhelmed. I’m victorious,” he said after the verdict. “And, I’m also sad. I’m sad because those guys are still going to be the same way that they were. That will never change.”
He’s right. But he got them where it counts. This kid is a real hero.