Daryl Davis is an accomplished blues musician who has played alongside legends like Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. But he is probably better known for his longtime hobby of making friends with white supremacist group, the Ku Klux Klan, also known as KKK.
Fifty-eight-year-old Davis, who is black, has spent years traveling across the US and forging friendships with members of the KKK and similar hate groups, The Independent reports. Davis says that because of his efforts, 200 people have renounced their membership of the racist organisation.
Some have even given Davis their ceremonial robes and hoods as a gesture to signify their departure from the group.
Davis’ unusual quest is now the subject of a new documentary called “Accidental Courtesy.”
“I never set out to convert anyone in the Klan,” he told The Independent. “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.”
Davis’ efforts are controversial, though: Activists from Black Lives Matter, for example, have questioned his choice to speak with white supremacists. And in an interview with The Atlantic, he recounted an episode in which a member of the NAACP criticized him, too:
“I had one guy from an NAACP branch chew me up one side and down the other, saying, you know, we’ve worked hard to get ten steps forward. Here you are sitting down with the enemy having dinner, you’re putting us twenty steps back. I pull out my robes and hoods and say, ‘look, this is what I’ve done to put a dent in racism. I’ve got robes and hoods hanging in my closet by people who’ve given up that belief because of my conversations sitting down to dinner. They gave it up. How many robes and hoods have you collected?'”
Read the original article on Insider.