Orchestra boss is shocked by anti-diversity letter

Orchestra boss is shocked by anti-diversity letter


norman lebrecht

April 22, 2021

A hostile letter about the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s new season has been tweeted by its VP and general manager Erik Rönmark (pic).

It says: ‘I find it offensive and discriminatory that you are planning your upcoming season on a particular ethnic group. I feel you are doing so just to jump on the current band waggon (sic) of playing he diversity card… I will not be renewing my seasons seats to the DSO.’

Rönmark added the caption: you win some, you lose some.

But there’s more going on here, not least some internal jostling ahead of Anne Parsons’s retirement as CEO and a wider discontent among older subscribers across US orchestras that their loyalty being taken for granted.

This letter may well be the tip of an iceberg.




  • Farmer Joe says:

    Older “white” subscribers, NL.

  • M McAlpine says:

    Of course, if they play second rate music in the name of ‘diversity, what can they expect?

    • MacroV says:

      All music is second-rate to Beethoven and Brahms, so any orchestra is going to play second-rate music by lots of dead, white European men. So why not give other music a chance? And anyone who thinks non-white musicians of today can’t produce first-rate music really isn’t getting out enough.

      That said, hidebound as we may think many classical music lovers are, pop music fans are just as bad. People going to hear Paul McCartney want to hear his Beatles songs; at Queen (minus Freddie, but still great)
      they want to hear We Are the Champions and Bohemian Rhapsody. And so on…

      • John Borstlap says:

        “All music is second-rate to Beethoven and Brahms…”

        I did not know that Schenker was still alive.

        And meanwhile we know he was wrong.

        Very wrong.

      • M McAlpine says:

        I’m all for giving other music a chance but I prefer to hear music I like and not something that is forced upon me because someone thinks it is PC to play it. Music should be played on merit not because it fits someone’s idea of diversity culture.

        • John Borstlap says:

          OK, but that has nothing to do with the idea that Beethoven and Brahms tower above any other composer – Debussy? Ravel? Mahler? Etc. etc…

          Above a certain level, everything is top.

        • BRUCEB says:

          As you might be aware, history shows that it’s not always easy to tell what “deserves” to be played or what’s going to last. Knowing that >90% of new music is going to end up in the dustbin — if it even gets performed at all — some organizations see it as their duty to give composers from under-represented groups (that could include “living,” btw) a chance to have their music heard. It’s always a long shot that any piece is going to survive in the long run (ask Cherubini or Meyerbeer about their box-office receipts lately), but it’s possible — not for you, but for some people — to look at this as an interesting opportunity to see/hear what’s out there and take a gamble on it.

          Meanwhile there’s a very simple solution to your dilemma besides the obvious “boycott the symphony”: check every program for composers whose names you don’t recognize, and don’t go to those concerts. (I almost wrote “decide on the basis of their ethnicity and/or gender if their music is worth hearing,” but you’ve already done that.) (Caveat: the Detroit Symphony has one program with a Mozart concerto played by a Black soloist; you’d have to make up your mind about that one.) The likelihood that you’ll miss something good that you don’t already know is so small as to be nonexistent, so it seems like a pretty safe bet.

    • Ainslie says:

      I’ll ignore the subtext of your animosity toward ‘diversity’.

      But I’ll raise a glass to the glories of “second rate music”.

      Someone once observed that the ‘great’ is the enemy’ of the ‘very, very good’. In our obsessive drive to play ‘great’ music, it’s too easy to crowd out the thousands of works that are beautiful, expressive, majestic, masterfully conceived, thought-provoking and sometimes just plain fun to listen to.

      No music ever written was conceived and presented as a masterpiece, fait-accompli. They required performances, repeated performances, repeated interpretations and repeated hearings before being acclaimed as ‘great’.

      In the smoke-filled rooms of old Chicago politics, newcomers were told, “We don’t want nobody nobody sent”. Do we really want our orchestras to say, “We don’t want no music nobody heard of”?

  • a fan in Ohio says:

    Nonsense. He wasn’t shocked in the least. The letter was tripe, and the patron couldn’t even sign their name to its odious content.

    Detroit’s 21-22 season is full of great programming featuring a wide range of composers. By my count, 17 works by currently living composers are spread across ten of their twenty weeks. For those intimidated by anything new, don’t worry. You’ve still got two Beethoven Symphonies, one of his piano concerti, and his violin concerto, plus a healthy dose of Dvorak, Mozart, Mahler, Rachmaninoff, and Strauss to hear in the season.

    The patron was being patently racist in their reaction to multiple composers of color being included, and unwilling to acknowledge that perhaps these works are as worthy of performance as Mozart and Dvorak and Beethoven. If Beethoven should resonate with a Black audience member, why can’t a White audience member also gain something meaningful from Florence Price’s Symphony no. 3, or Adolphus Hailstork’s Fanfare on “Amazing Grace.”

    Detroit, and other orchestras, may lose one or two anonymously racist patrons as a result of programming more representative of the vast number of human perspectives, but they are opening their arms to the full range of the community in which they exist, and will gain far more new patrons as a result. I look forward to watching some of next season’s concerts via DSO’s streaming initiatives.

    • Concertgoer says:

      Price left a Symphony in E Minor (1932) and another in C Minor (1940). I think the effort to number them depends on the outcome of still incomplete research, not least into her intentions; there may be four altogether, or fewer.

      • Pricefan says:

        She has 4 symphonies the scores are available for rent

      • “FP 4”? What a joke says:

        Oh please. Yes, she has four symphonies available, all cut the same mediocre cloth. Second year undergrad level. Worrying about the numbering is like mounting an exhaustive bibliographic documentation of the four leftover users manuals from your family cars over the years. Probably a job for Philip Ewell.

        Imagine Francis Poulenc laughing.

  • PComintern says:

    Go woke, go broke.

  • drummerman says:

    Agree with a fan in Ohio and not sure what this subscriber’s letter has to do with Ms. Parson’s retirement next year. Norman, can you please elaborate?

  • sam says:

    “planning your upcoming season on a particular ethnic group.”

    OK Boomer, better get used to it, the orchestra’s future audience, when you and your cohort die out, is in the hands of that “particular ethnic group”:

    Demographics of Detroit:

    White 14.7%
    Black 78.3%

    Or else petition to have the Detroit Symphony be renamed as the Michigan Symphony, where the State’s demographics may be more to your liking:

    Demographics of Michigan:

    White 79.2%
    Black 14.1%

    • Barry says:

      Perhaps it should be the Detroit Suburbs Symphony.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if some of this happens in Philadelphia. The P.O. has been showing increasing signs of wokeness during the pandemic with periodic online discussions about race-related issues that have nothing to do with music and a strong emphasis on gender, as opposed to race, in programming.

      I’m not sure the new programming will be bring in more people from the city to make up for those lost from the burbs. But I suspect we’ll find out.

      Actually, the music programming may not matter. The street violence and looting of the past 10 or so months may be enough to keep some of those suburbanites home.

      • The View from America says:

        Although tempted to dismiss this concern as unfounded, several friends have told me just that — and the concern is around personal safety, not COVID.

        Anecdotal evidence, of course, but in two of the three cases I was surprised to be hearing them say it, knowing the people involved and their pre-2020 views/inclinations.

        • Barry says:

          I may have been surprised at one point. But after seeing yet more video of outdoor diners being harassed by a woke mob in NYC a couple days ago, I am not any longer.

      • SMH says:

        That’s already happened for the Detroit Institue of Arts:

        The renewal millage for the Detroit Institute of Art passed in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties Tuesday, meaning the museum will continue to receive about $25 million a year from Metro Detroit taxpayers.

        With all precincts reporting in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties the 0.2-mill, 10-year tax was approved. About three-fourths of voters in Wayne and Oakland voted in favor, while in Macomb, the issue received approval from about 62% of voters.

      • SMH says:

        The renewal millage for the Detroit Institute of Art passed in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties Tuesday, meaning the museum will continue to receive about $25 million a year from Metro Detroit taxpayers.

        With all precincts reporting in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties the 0.2-mill, 10-year tax was approved. About three-fourths of voters in Wayne and Oakland voted in favor, while in Macomb, the issue received approval from about 62% of voters.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Does anybody care? If so, why? If not, good.

    • James Weiss says:

      Anyone who thinks that this kind of programming is going to bring in hordes of black audiences is either stupid or fooling themselves

      • Ainslie says:

        Did anybody say that the purpose of the programming was to bring in Black audiences?

        Maybe the goal is to bring to light worthy music that is normally crowded out of concert halls by the slavish devotion to DWEMs.

    • Save the MET says:

      Despite the demographics, perhaps you should have the orchestra share their ticket buyer and donor ethnic demographics. They will clearly show that the numbers you share above do not reflect their customer/donor base. No dog in the fight, just stating a fact.

  • George says:

    God forbid they don’t play Beethoven’s old faithful for the 10 billionth time, and they probably wonder why audiences to classical concerts are drying up too ‍♂️

    • Save the MET says:

      They come for Beethoven’s “old faithful” as you call it and put butts in seats. It’s the new and experimental classical music which leads to empty halls in regional orchestras. It is the reason you have to be a very special classical composer, with real appeal to make it. This is not new news by the way, it’s been going on for years. Why do you think Rachmaninov’s 2nd piano concerto, Beethoven’s 5th piano concerto, the Beethoven symphonies, the Mozart symphonies etc. etc. are programmed so heavily. They bring subscribers, ticket purchases and donations.

    • BRUCEB says:

      Detroit actually does have the 9th Symphony (as well as several other works) on their 2021-22 season.

  • John Borstlap says:

    It has become rather dangerous to refer to whatever ethnic group whatsoever. I got three angry protest letters from American zoos after I had mentioned the motoric clumsiness of giraffes in an article on piano technique.

  • Karl says:

    But Beethoven was black. I read it on twitter.

  • Alviano says:

    I always stop reading when someone starts “I find it offensive….” So many are offended now that I half expect to read that some poor thing is offended that the sun always rises in the east, thereby discriminating against the other directions.

    • John Borstlap says:

      The ‘right to be offended’ has been inscribed in the Charter of Human Rights.

    • The View from America says:

      The sun always sets in the west, so no legitimate complaints should be coming from there.

      I guess that leaves the north and south out in the cold (or heat). Come to think of it, they got a war named after them so maybe things are actually even …

    • O. Bergine says:

      A typical comment, failing to bother to understand someone else’s point of view, to cancel them, to pretend they do not exist, the essence of totalitarian puppetry.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    “You win some, you lose some.”
    Bravo, Erik!

  • Hayne says:

    Orchestra boss pretends to be shocked by anti-diversity letter.
    FIFY Norman…

  • James Weiss says:

    The letter writer is correct. Period.

    • PrincipalBass says:

      Continuing to silence a group of composers long-discarded due only to ethnic background is necessarily correct? An interesting misuse of punctuation on your part.

      Those of us that are actual musicians, empiricists, and not operating solely from the amygdala (that is, those unlike yourself, given your statements) disagree, and rather universally too.

      Unfortunate that (apparently) a thorough reading of history and continued critical thinking weren’t an element of your education’s curriculum; there are many online sources of learning from which you might benefit.

      Classical music deserves far better than your “fight/flight/crouch and wait for death” perspective (given your statements).

  • Friend in the Know says:

    After reading anonymous ex-patron letter I agree with one thing. The DSO is heavily focused on Compositions of Black composers now and in the upcoming season. This is, yes “jumping on the WOKE bandwagon” but also something the DSO has been doing for a long time and frankly should be doing. There are wonderful compositions being performed now that have long been forgotten, and I LOVE it.
    The one this is, the DSO is focused on marginalized groups more (Ethnic minority, women composers, etc) to be relevant and current. I think though, that they are sincere and believe in the cause. However there are some rather serious offenses that the Detroit Symphony organization is guilty of and for the most part have skated free from. For example the not so discreet power grab of the concertmaster position. Just a bit if backstage scandal that has been covered up for too long.
    The truth is, the previous occupant was hustled out and shunned so thoroughly that she was completely omitted from the Orchestra Hall centennial book by Mark Striker (I think not his idea). The full extent of whipping the slate clean even extended to a certain guest conductor who was scheduled to come to Detroit at the end of the same season, in which the previous concertmaster had relocated to Houston. It was suggest that Gabor did not want to come to Detroit and be considered for the then vacant conducting position. The truth was that the visa application was submitted too late by the DSO and it was submitted late by the DSO on purpose. Gabor’s appointment was requested by the previous concertmaster who had worked with him many times during the summer months in Hungary. Slate whipped clean.
    Rather dishonorable on managements part but the current acting concertmaster has always been favored above the previous occupant. There are times I wonder why (ahem most recent awful and gaudy Mozart 2 performance). We will see if the corruption will extend through the still to be named auditions. Once auditions are announced perhaps a person of color will win the chair, won’t that be interesting.

  • Genius Repairman says:

    Looks like a great season to me! Detroit is reflecting the flavour of their own city. Plus they are still playing the classical music “pillars” of Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven, Dvorak and Mahler.

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    My comment from Zsolt Bognar’s post on FB: There will be varying opinions about everything going on. If we step back and see history unfold and our times evolve, where we’ve come from, where we are, where we are going and how to continue, it can offer perspective all around. Music has always echoed and reflected the times in which it was written. Now is no different. But, it must be done respectfully. In 1998, when I created the first largest commissioning project, I chose Ellen Taaffe Zwilich because she is respected, and her music touches the souls of everyone who experiences her sonic language. It honestly didn’t dawn on me to choose Ellen for any other reason. When I recorded Duke Ellington’s ‘New World a-Comin’ in a recording with three other composer’s music, it didn’t dawn on me that it was for any reason other than I liked the piece and it fit the theme of the recording project. An upcoming premiere will be by a composer who happens to live in Iran. When he approached me on messenger, I had no idea where he was from. We became friends because of music. This may not answer the question totally, but hopefully provides a response as to how and why pieces become part of programming and recording. Of course we owe it to all composers to find ways to share their musical creations, however, it may appear to be done so for the sake of diversity now, because it is an open topic. But many organizations have been doing this before the word diversity became more open. Look, the world continues to evolve, and humanity has to continue evolving with regard to the challenges of acceptance along the way. We can do our best, and we have a long way to go. But it has to start somewhere so everyone embraces it for the right reasons. Respectfully and musically. As for the DSO patron, one has to understand that humanity has not reached perfection. Time doesn’t bring change, time makes things evolve. We are all a part of evolution and can try to work it all out as we move forward. Yes, we will make mistakes, but we instinctively want to make things better, and sometimes, we need to collectively take the band-aid off the wound and help it to heal.

  • E Rand says:

    Trust me – there is a LOT of similar anger about this stuff out there. Problem is, it will be hard to parse out the patrons who throw up their hands and walk from the patrons who push up daisies. Classical music is surely in a precarious place, but leaping onto the woke band “waggon” is peak cringe.

  • J Barcelo says:

    This reminds me of an incident with the Phoenix Symphony over 40 years ago when Eduardo Mata was music director. When he announced he was leaving to take the post in Dallas, one local was delighted as he was sick and tired of hearing so many “Mexican hat dances” at concerts. Reveueltes, Moncayo, Chavez, Ponce…said critic didn’t realize that it was exactly those hat dances that enticed many of my peers to go to the symphony. Bravo Detroit!

    • Karl says:

      We got to hear Revueltas’ Score for Redes at the New Hampshire Music Festival a few years ago. I was happy to hear something different and interesting.

  • David says:

    I wonder if people understand how easy it is to fake an anonymous “hate” letter?

    • The View from America says:

      An interesting point. Trolling, perhaps?

      If I were a season’s ticket holder who was honestly thinking about dropping my subscription, and I thought that my reasons for doing so were valid, I would want to sign my name so that I could engage in an actual dialog with a DSO representative about it.

      As it is, it’s quite likely that this anonymous person doesn’t have a subscription to the DSO, and doesn’t have much else “invested” in the orchestra, either. It’s a virtual pipe bomb thrown by a virtual person, intended to foster dissension. We’ve seen this movie before.

    • Marfisa says:

      Do we know it was anonymous? Perhaps Rönmark withheld the name when he tweeted it. And it falls short of being a “hate letter”. Programming on the basis of skin color, if that is what DSO is doing, would be questionable. However, if the letter is genuine, and if the writer feels offended by the idea of listening to music composed by people of African descent, then I have no sympathy with him/her/them.

  • NotToneDeaf says:

    How nice for the subscribers of the DSO to know that their complaint letters are publicly mocked. Mr. Ronmark clearly lacks judgement and maturity.

    • Friend in the Know says:

      Ronnmark is new to the business. He basically conned and charmed his way through the ranks. Smart and quick but cocky.
      Most people at DSO are impressed if one, you’re from Europe and two if you carry yourself with enough clout and ego to convince them that you actually know what you are doing. One exception to this is a certain ex principal violist who may have written the letter to begin with…

      • Musicman says:

        Also of note is that Ronmark’s wife, Adrienne, is a violinist in the orchestra. If Norman is suggesting that Erik is posturing for Anne Parson’s job, then this is a reason that he should NOT get it! He would then be his wife’s boss! One could argue that her presence makes it a conflict of interests for him to even have been promoted to his current position.

        • Friend in the Know says:

          Agree about conflict of interest but it’s not ok to bring up his wife. Definitely should not have named her. Not cool Musicman!

          • Musicman says:

            It is public knowledge that she is in the orchestra and he opened himself (and her) up to criticism when he took that job.

          • Friend in the Know says:

            Okay, point made, keep your hair on. I just don’t think she had anything to do with her husbands foolish decision, and it’s hardly fair to blame her for what he did. However, she has benefitted greatly from her husbands position and for this, it does present a conflict of interest.
            For example, she participated in the Lincoln car alerts project and was featured prominently in their commercial. She was featured in the PBS OH centennial series; she did a live interview with local Detroit news, representing the DSO for their new music therapy collaboration, and maybe she has done more.
            Given that she is not a section leader, let alone concertmaster, head of any committee, or in management, it is ridiculous for her to be given such a spotlight. Truth be told she did a very fine job of it, she’s poised and well spoken but (as everyone here knows) there is a pecking order and just she without her husbands proximity, under her own position, just doesn’t qualify. Roles like these are for a concertmaster, even one who is in an “acting” capacity.
            It is very obvious, power has been abused, liberties have been taken, and agendas have been exposed. The Detroit Symphony board should put an end to it once and for all. I hope all mature parties here can agree that a professional symphony is not a play ground for power hungry millennials in search of their 15 minutes of fame. It’s time to scout out mature, seasoned, and experienced personnel to guide the DSO into its next chapter.

          • Musicman says:

            I never blamed her for anything. I was simply pointing out a conflict of interest that needs to be addressed and should preclude any further promotion for Erik Ronmark

          • Musicman says:

            It is public knowledge that she is in the orchestra and he opened himself (and her) to criticism when he took accepted that position.

  • O. Bergine says:

    Waggon is an English spelling. And the cavalier attitude of the administrator is callous, unprofessional, and repeating the letter was unethical. He should be fired. The subscriber is right. An orchestra concert series is about art, not politics.

  • Geigerin says:

    That’s one seat freed up for a real music lover with better spelling skills. We all win.

  • Save the MET says:

    The trendy thing to do in entertainment of all forms now is to play the ethnic card. Even HBO and Showtime networks are playing a high percentage of African-American centric broadcasting from original shows, to movies to documentaries. There is a way to do this, but it currently has gone way over the top. In 2019, African Americans were 13.4% of the U. S. population. While I agree composers like William Grant Still and Harry Burleigh’s music has been neglected, orchestras will end up losing their subscriber base very quickly if the preponderance of their programming becomes heavily African-American. The trend for opera companies is even more precarious as the number of African-American ticket buyers remains exceedingly low. There is a right way and a wrong way and unfortunately, it appears these companies are heading in the wrong direction. The letter speaks volumes and it was wrong of the orchestra VP to share it. That subscriber likely is the tip of the iceberg.

    • Saxon says:

      The premise here is that: “white people want to listen to music written by white people; and black people want to listen to music by black people”.

      It is this which many of us object to. Why should it matter whether the person who wrote the music is white or black. Why should we have a quota on the number of people of each ethniticity we listen to?

      And while white composers seem to dominate classical music concerts, black musicians have had an enormous influence of popular music and are listened to much more than would be expected through a quota system. This alone suggests most of the public doesn’t really care about the colour of the musician.

  • Ainslie says:

    A local Equity theater company had a stated “color-blind” casting policy. The Artistic Director, a friend, shared that every year he would receive one or two anonymous letters from “long-time season subscribers” vowing to cancel their subscriptions if Blacks were continued to be cast in “White” roles.

  • Patrick says:

    Look at the season brochure. It seems to be very well balanced. Lots of familiar works. Many old standards. The complainer is free to unsubscribe, but they’ll miss out on a spectacular season by a great orchestra.

  • BRUCEB says:

    Rönmark doesn’t actually sound very shocked.

    It can’t be much of a surprise that there are racists among its audience members.

  • guest says:

    New concept for a series or festival:
    Program only works by deaf, blind and dumb composers who are also trans, BIPOC, and deformed. It shall be called “Wachet auf”.

  • Dave Assemany says:

    Internal Jostling? Normie, please stop with the clickbaiting – you have no idea what you are talking about.

  • BigSir says:

    Detroit is likely headed toward another iceberg with this guy as a top administrator. Tweeting a letter that criticizes your programing with an “I don’t give a s$%t” comment attached? Does he truly represent the DSO’s attitude toward its subscribers?

    • Friend in the Know says:

      Yep for the most part. Their flagship claim is “a community supported orchestra” but they want to dictate which communities support them and cancel the rest. The climate at OH is “if you disagree, keep your opinions to yourself or else”. A far cry from pre 2011 strike where the union had some teeth and musicians were willing to stand up for each other. It is now about how much anyone can do for themselves by agreeing with the company line. Half of the orchestra doesn’t know anything else. They were hired directly or close to, right after graduation. They truly believe they have arrived, they have no idea what the professional standard is or what professional musicians should expect from their management and board. The older leaders of the orchestra are complicit and the younger are too ignorant to know the difference. Right now with all the attention the Detroit Symphony is receiving, they are living high but once the big guns get back on their feet (and they will) it’s going to be a “bye Felicia” situation.

      • Hayne says:

        One could substitute almost any orchestra in the US in your post about newer musicians not knowing anything else.
        Excellent post!

  • Dave Assemany says:

    The fact that this letter was unsigned makes me think the person who wrote it was neither a subscriber nor a patron – but rather just some random pot stirrer…

    • Anon says:

      I don’t understand your reasoning.
      Regardless of how you feel about the content of the letter, it would be quite dangerous for a person to sign their name to it.

    • The View from America says:

      My thoughts as well (see my comment above) …

  • Professional says:

    Classical music is, by it’s nature and traditions, an extremely exclusionary art form. So now someone different is being excluded. So it goes.

  • Marfisa says:

    I see that tonight, Friday 23rd, DSO is giving a digital concert billed as “Saint-Georges’ 2nd”. It also includes Mozart’s K 425, the Linz Symphony. This may be unfair to Saint-Georges. His ‘Symphony’ is just a comic opera overture (to L’Amant anonyme), and it is rather humdrum. Surely the program can’t have been designed to demonstrate how immeasurably much better Mozart is?

  • Wise Guy says:

    Its not a binary choice between Beethoven/Brahms/Mozart and Woke New Music. There’s tons of great music that has become marginalized for 5o years because of race-baiting diversocrats who are probably the same mafia that were demanding last year for more unlistenable new music by women and before that, boring ugly shite to be crowbarred into programs. (More Hans Gal, Kinsella, Matthews, Martin, Honegger, Barber….)

  • “The End of Classical Music as a Thriving Western Institution #90348”

  • KD says:

    Love to pop by and see the racists and the musically illiterate fully showing their asses here at SD! Some things never change. Remember, “wokeness” is just a conservative term for “consideration and empathy for other people,” which is a bridge too far for your average SD reader.

  • Tom Phillips says:

    Michigan – particularly the Detroit-area suburbs where most of the DSO’s audience comes from – is well-known as a state with a particularly high concentration of racist whites (a significant percentage of whom were in accord with the right-wing death threats to the Democratic female Governor). So this letter comes as no surprise.

    • Hayne says:

      I envy your amazing insight of what these people think!
      Can you tell when it’s time to short the stock market?
      How about the next powerball numbers?

      • Michigan Man says:

        Racism isn’t about knowing what people will think. It’s not magic or psychic. It’s about definitive past actions, aggregate data, and history. What Tom posited can be proven (or disproven) by facts already in evidence. So when I say that southeastern Michigan had one of the largest KKK memberships outside of the south beginning in the 1910s, and that a lot of these beliefs migrated into the militia movement by the late ’90s, this is well established fact.

        • Hayne says:

          “Racism is about…definitive past actions, aggregate data, and history.”
          How does past injustices done by others include the individual of today who has done none of these things?
          How did the KKK “migrate” into the Michigan militia exactly? They don’t like oppressive government? Very racist, obviously…How does this translate into all these racist individuals in Detroit suburbs as your friend Carnac the Magnificent states? I know, it is “well known” established fact.