Ron Stallworth Quotes

  1. That was one thing that we learned, that the Klan was making an active recruitment pitch to the armed forces – not just in Colorado Springs, but in other parts of the country as well. With trained military personnel who share that ideology, you know you have a valuable soldier at your disposal.
  2. I joined the police force with one motivation in mind: to become a high school PE teacher. After a year of working, I realized that a) I was making twice as much money as I would in the teaching profession, and b) I was having too much fun. I stuck it out for 32 years and no regrets.
  3. It was extremely dangerous to be a black man in the KKK. If I’d been exposed, it could have all gone horribly wrong. The Klansmen were armed, and there was always a peril.
  4. I’m just a kid from El Paso, Texas.
  5. My experience working the KKK assignment influenced the rest of my career in law enforcement in that it taught me to think and act on my own initiative when my superiors in the department stood in my way.
  6. John David captured the 25-year-old essence of me very well. I’m proud to call him a Stallworth brother.
  7. I know that in spite of my varied career accomplishments, the one that will always excite and intrigue is the KKK investigation. It has defined me in ways unimaginable and has always fascinated those who hear its tale.
  8. When he was not talking about race, David Duke was a very pleasant guy to talk to. He was a very nice conversationalist. He seemed like a regular guy on the phone when the subject wasn’t on race and on Jews and ethnicity.
  9. I had to learn to navigate the political and religious currents in a state where Mormonism dominates despite not being Mormon.
  10. That’s one reason I retired as a sergeant and not at a higher rank… I refused to ‘play the game’ the way the bosses wanted the game played. It is a decision that has cost me money in retirement pay but one that I have never regretted.
  11. I didn’t take a lot of crap from people, and I didn’t follow the conventional rules of behavior that we’re supposed to follow – because if I had, I never would have accomplished what I did.
  12. The KKK members that I was dealing with never saw me because my interaction with them occurred over the phone. They were convinced that I was 1) white, and 2) a racial supremacist like them based strictly on my telephone conversation with them.
  13. Racism is a part of human nature, and you’re not going to eradicate it; all you can do is try to keep it in check.
  14. I wanted to be an undercover cop, blending in with the public, looking like a black militant or a long-haired hippie yet having a gun on my hip, a badge in my wallet, and able to enforce the law. To me, that was the neatest thing in the world. It was also challenging.
  15. My mother never liked that I worked undercover. She always worried.
  16. You cannot sit quiet while the KKK and other white supremacist groups rear their ugly heads.
  17. Personally, I never had any negative encounters with the law growing up.
  18. I would sit at the table with the black kids during lunch, and we’d do our banter back and forth. But occasionally, I’d get up and I’d go sit down with the white kids and chat with them and what not. Of course, because I come from the black table they would look at me like, ‘Why are you here?’
  19. The military is a microcosm of American society, so it really is not unusual that they would have Klan people and white supremacy people connected to them.
  20. I have never had a fear of white people.
  21. We had a cop or two that were questionable, and probably they shouldn’t have been on the job, but they were. You have that: a police department reflects the community that it serves, and it’s going to have a bad apple or two, but when those bad apples are discovered, they need to be discarded as quickly as possible so the whole bureau doesn’t rot.
  22. I phoned the KKK Grand Wizard David Duke in Louisiana and asked why my membership was being delayed. He said my application was on his desk and promised to deal with it personally. It was the first of many conversations with David Duke. We talked about his family, the weather, and about his political ambitions.
  23. When I became a cadet, I immediately decided I wanted to be an undercover cop because I don’t like uniforms.
  24. Two Klansmen were working for NORAD monitoring U.S. air space for missile attacks. I contacted the Pentagon, and the next day, they were reassigned to a posting near the North Pole.
  25. When people come up to me and ask for my autograph and everything… I find it funny that people want my autograph.
  26. As a black man in America, I have lived the truth.
  27. I would be very honored to meet President Obama.
  28. I was playing a role and acting. But it was different than Spike Lee’s movie. Spike can say ‘cut’ and move to the next scene. But I was pretending to be a white supremacist, one of them. I had to act like them to make the ruse a success.
  29. That was part of David Duke’s agenda, is to turn the Klan from a racist organization in the eyes of the public into something that is respectable and acceptable.
  30. If one black man aided by a bevy of good, decent, dedicated, and open liberal-minded whites and Jews can succeed in prevailing over a group of white racists by making them look like the ignorant fools that they are truly are, imagine what a nation of like-minded individuals can accomplish.
  31. Cross-burning is a domestic act of terrorism. It’s been classified as such.
  32. ‘Malcolm X’ is my favorite Spike Lee movie.
  33. In many respects, David Duke was the playbook. He established the playbook by which Donald Trump ran and ultimately became – I won’t even use the term – let’s just say he became the occupant of the White House.
  34. Skinheads and Neo-Nazis are commonly known to openly attack people who get in their way or don’t agree with them and their agenda.
  35. What I am is what you get. My wife will tell me all the time, ‘You probably shouldn’t say that.’ But the fact of the matter is, when you get under my dander, I have to express myself.
  36. Donald Trump is the physical embodiment of what David Duke wanted to achieve and failed.
  37. I don’t feel like I’m a hero.
  38. I laugh all the time about our investigation, especially about making a fool of David Duke, who likes to think I don’t have the intelligence of an ape because he thinks I’m genetically inferior.
  39. Let’s face it. Nobody predicted Trump. He’s a fairytale nightmare that none of us could possibly have imagined. Shame on those 63 million who – especially those Obama voters who crossed over and voted, shame on them for putting this idiot in the White House.
  40. I think Black Lives Matter is a necessary, modern group of activism and should be applauded. I encourage them to continue in their efforts.
  41. It’s the whole white-supremacist movement, no matter what they call themselves – be it Klan, Nazis, alt-right, skinheads – the basic ideology is the same. They consider themselves superior to others because of their white skin, and we should not sleep on that.
  42. This celebrity thing has been interesting. It’s hard to get used to, because I don’t see myself as a celebrity.
  43. I never thought America would be stupid enough to put this idiot in the White House. Up until a half hour before they declared Trump the winner, I still thought that it wouldn’t happen. I never thought that we, as a nation, had fallen so much that we would be foolish enough to do that.
  44. I’ve never concerned myself with what anyone thought about my activity, be they people within my profession or people outside of it, and I definitely wouldn’t concern myself with anything coming from a racist bigot like a Klan member.
  45. Too many people are afraid to talk about the issue of race. We should be willing to address it, and more importantly, when it rears its ugly head, we should be willing to take a stand and try to stomp it out, whatever the action may be at a particular time.
  46. How I conned the Grand Wizard, David Duke, and his coterie of followers… It has defined me in ways I never could have imagined.
  47. To me, race is the single most divisive factor affecting American society. It’s an issue that we are afraid of, that we shy away from, and quite frankly, it amuses me that we are so sensitive to the issue.
  48. It’s kind of like an out of body experience, watching my words being spoken by the actors, watching the portrayal of me by John David Washington.
  49. I learned at an early age how to traverse the white world, the white-dominant world. I learned, and I was successful at it. I learned the nuances – I learned how to act, how to be – but I always was conscious and aware of my blackness.
  50. A lot of people said I tried to speak white on the phone. That is farthest thing from the truth and offensive.
  51. When you hear Donald Trump say ‘America First,’ that was a Klan slogan from the early 1900s. Trump simply resurrected it. It’s a clear example of his racist attitude.
  52. People in Hollywood will say things one minute and change it the next.
  53. I went to school with a lot of kids whose fathers and mothers were part of the El Paso black history.
  54. At various times in my undercover career I had either a full beard, a short-cropped beard, Fu Manchu, a plain simple moustache or just a goatee. We did that – generally we would have a look that we would maintain for anywhere from 3 to 6 months.
  55. What David Duke was preaching to me in 1978 about the Klan and what the Klan wanted to do regarding immigration is the same rhetoric, the same position that Donald J. Trump advocates and ran on and is trying to implement.
  56. In my opinion, Spike Lee is a national cultural treasure – to the black community in particular but to America in general.
  57. When you’re undercover you try to stay as true to your identity as you are. You know who you are, and you know how you normally function. If you try to put on a pretense, such as assuming a fake voice, you have to put on that fake voice all of the time. And you can’t afford to slip out of it. It’s too dangerous.
  58. I felt that if the public found out that a black man made a fool of David Duke, his attempts at a political career would have fallen by wayside.
  59. The black community has always complained about abuse from cops. It’s nothing new. But now, more people are seeing visual examples of what they’ve been complaining about. That’s one thing that has changed over time.
  60. The white nationalist position, David Duke has always espoused that. The belief that immigrants are a threat to America and that we need border control, David Duke espoused that, and he talked about it during the time I was dealing with him.
  61. The Klan was one of the most violent terrorist groups that has ever existed in the United States.

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