17 Knights of White Supremacist Organization, the Ku Klux Klan, held a rally on the second floor of a City Hall in Ann Arbor, Michigan on June 22, 1996, fully clothed in hate robes. And just outside in the street were 300 angry anti-KKK protesters who wanted the KKK to know they weren’t welcome. In the midst of the protestors, majority black, someone spotted a middle-aged white man wearing a Confederate t-shirt. Through his clothes and “SS” tattoo, it appeared that he was a white supremacist though he was not a member of the Klan. Once his presence was made known, the angry protesters chased him down and began to beat him in the streets, with one yelling “Kill the Nazi”.
Among those protesters was an 18 year old high school girl named Keshia Thomas. That’s when things went from violent to a kind of heroism that will give you goosebumps. Continue.
While there were policeman with gas masks and riot gear protecting the Klansman who wore full garb on the other side of the fence, there was no one protecting the man who chose to stand on the same side as the protestors to observe, while he wore a symbol that represented racism on his shirt.
The man is seen running from the protesters in this gripping photo. Just over his shoulder in the USA shirt is Keshia Thomas.
The mob caught up with him, surrounded him, and proceeded to kick him and beat him.
That’s when Keshia had enough.
She covered his body with her own, screaming for the mob to stop beating him...
They listened and, in tears, she held the racist man in her arms. The man that hated her for the colour of her skin, and nothing else.
This is the photo that the whole world was talking about in 1996. And we should be talking about it today too. Keshia’s actions are inspiring.
Days after this took place, when asked about her actions, Keshia said, “I knew what it was like to be hurt. The many times that that happened, I wish someone would have stood up for me. Nobody deserves to be hurt, especially not for an idea.”
Keshia never heard from the man after that day, but she said months later, someone walked up to her in a coffee shop and said thanks. When she asked why, he said the man she saved was his father.
Everyone needs to be a little more like Keshia. Please share this story with others.