It was Saturday night in a small Canadian town about fifty miles from Toronto and the crowd had gathered at the Legion Hall in order to have a good time at Halloween. A contest was being held for the most original costume and the crowd laughed at presentations. Finally, two men entered, one dressed in the costume of the Ku Klux Klan and the other in black face who had a noose around his neck. Many in the crowd laughed as the two walked around the hall. A few minutes later, the executive commitee of the local Royal Canadian Legion announced their choice for the most innovative costume. Guess which won the award? The two men.
As the weeks passed people in the town of Campbellford began to rethink what had occurred at the Legion hall. Gradually, more and more people became mortified at the entire scene of a KKK man and a black man with a noose around his neck. Today, few in town will discuss the event, particularly to members of the media.
The event is symbolic. Our society does not wish to confront the legacy of what happened during the dark days of slavery and its aftermath of segregation and death. In America, between 1865-1940 approximately 4000 black skinned people met their death in a lynching and, all too often, that lynching was conducted by members of the KKK.
Perhaps, next year in Campbellford, the winner will be someone dressed in a Nazi uniform leading around a man with a Jewish star.