When looking for an outfit as part of an anti-Muslim protest at the Australian Parliament House, one man opted for a Klu Klux Klan uniform. He was (of course) indignant that he and his fellow protesters were subjected to a search while hijab-wearing Muslim women were not.
The protest was in response to the partial revocation of a partial burqa ban by Australia's legislature.
What's interesting is that of the many face-concealing costumes this man could have worn, he opted for the Klu Klux Klan outfit. He chose to wear something attached to a lengthy legacy of hate, fear, and prejudice.
Perhaps, given the subject, his choice was more or less fitting.
The Klu Klux Klan is an American group that is dedicated to the preservation of America. White America.
So any group that is suspicious of and distrustful of minorities and sees their advances as a constant threat would likely appreciate the message of the KKK.
And this is why America needs to stop pretending that nobody sees its racism or is unaware of the LONG history of bigotry in this country.
The Klu Klux Klan isn't the only symbol of inequality to travel.
The Hawley & Hazel Chemical Company sold a toothpaste named "Darkie" throughout Asia for a number of years. The box featured the grinning image of a white man in blackface. After much protest, "Darkie" became "Darlie" in 1989. It's been noted that the new name is descriptive term for black people in China.
Blackface is a very real problem throughout Asia, much to the chagrin of much-offended travelers who happen to be black:
A variation of the always controversial Confederate flag was seen flying high at a Russian separatist movement. Why this flag? Mikhail Pavliv, credited with designing the flag for the "People's Republic of Donetsk", said that he stumbled across the flag online.
This is a flag that has been associated with American Southern pride and a desire to separate one's self from tyrannical control.
What can Americans do about the ease at which hate groups abroad adopt shameful symbols of intolerance and ignorance? Unfortunately, not too much.
However, it SHOULD encourage all Americans to be more vocal about putting an end to racial prejudice and how persons who act out of hatred and ignorance represent themselves, and not America.