Here's The Moment A Black Woman Protected A White Man At A KKK Rally

Rossalyn Warren

Here's a throwback to the mid-'90s with a story of a woman named Keshia Thomas. Keshia was attending a protest against the KKK, which was holding a rally in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1996. At the protest, someone announced over the megaphone that there was "a Klansman in the crowd." In the crowd stood a middle-aged white man who was wearing a t-shirt depicting the Confederate flag and an SS tattoo. The crowd began to kick and beat him with placards. Yet Keshia bravely stood forward, shielded the man from the crowd, and protected him from the attacks.

The police confirmed later that while the man was not a Klan member, he was indeed there for the rally. Keshia commented afterward that while the man was "wrong for the views he sanctioned," the protesters were also in the wrong "in their violence against him." Keshia showed a selfless act of courage and kindness that few people demonstrate because she "knew what it was like to be hurt ... . The many times that that happened, I wish someone would have stood up for me."

And yet the reality is that black people in America are still not treated with the same level of kindness that Keshia demonstrated. Agirl can be shot dead at the door of someone they're asking for help from, young men can be shot by the police while innocent of any crime, and an 8-year-old girl can be killed during a nighttime raid. Keshia demonstrates the selflessness that so many people should aspire to have.

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The scene shown was captured most famously by an iconic black-and-white photo by Mark Brunner. However, the actual photograph above is a color photo of that iconic moment, taken by Stephanie Grace Lim, who kindly gave me permission to use it.

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