How a black cop infiltrated the KKK — the true story behind Spike Lee’s ‘BlacKkKlansman’

Spike Lee’s new movie “BlacKkKlansman” chronicles the true story of an African American police detective named Ron Stallworth, who, in 1978, launched an investigation into the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado Springs, Colorado. By speaking with KKK members over the phone, Stallworth established himself as a viable candidate for membership. He then coordinated with a white detective who assumed his identity when he needed to meet the Klan members in person.

We spoke to the real Ron Stallworth, played in the movie by actor J.D. Washington (son of Denzel), and he told us the amazing story of the investigation and its results. The movie arrives in theaters on the one-year anniversary of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one woman lost her life during a protest. Lee incorporates imagery from the rally in the film. Following is a transcript of the video.

WARNING: This video contains graphic language.

Graham Flanagan: So you said you have the card in your wallet.

Ron Stallworth: I do.

Flanagan: Can I see that?

[This man infiltrated the KKK. His story inspired the movie "BlacKkKlansman.”]

Stallworth: I’m Sergeant Ron Stallworth, retired. When I was the detective at the Colorado Springs Police Department, in 1978, I launched an investigation into the Ku Klux Klan, a chapter that was forming and trying to expand, in my city. I launched it based on seeing a want ad in the classified section of the newspaper, and there was a P.O. Box number. I wrote a note, a letter if you will, to that P.O. Box. I basically said, “I hate n******, s****, c*****, J***, J***, and anybody else who isn’t pure Aryan White like me.”

And, I wanted to join something that would allow me to direct my attention towards that. About a week, two weeks later, I get a phone call in my office. The voice on the end of the phone said, “Hi, this is Ken O’Dell, I’m the local chapter president of the Colorado Springs Ku Klux Klan.” His response to me was, “You’re just the kinda guy we’re looking for, when can we meet?” That’s when I said, “Oh hell, what do I do now?”

I immediately formulated a strategy and it was simply to get a white officer, posing as me, to go meet this guy. Chuck, that’s not his real name, I knew Chuck well, he was a good undercover officer, and so I chose him. When I set off to do this, it was simply to gather information on the Klan, who they are, what they are, where they are, how many they are, and take it from there. Chuck, his lieutenant said, “This’ll never work because Chuck will walk into the meeting and they’ll immediately recognize from his voice that he’s not black.”

I said to the lieutenant, “What does a black man sound like?” And then he said, “You know, shucking and jiving, and saying mother blank-blank.” I said, ” I can shuck and jive if I have …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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