When Daryl Davis is talking with one of his friends in the Ku Klux Klan, and that friend says something like “All black people have a gene in them that makes them violent,” he doesn’t respond in anger. Instead, he challenges him to examine that belief:
“After a time I said, ‘You know, it’s a fact that all white people have within them a gene that makes them serial killers. Name me three black serial killers.’ He could not do it. I said ‘you have the gene. It’s just latent.’ He said, ‘Well that’s stupid’ I said, ‘It’s just as stupid as what you said to me.’ He was very quiet after that and I know it was sinking in.”
Davis is an accomplished blues and boogie woogie piano player, but his greatest talent might be getting Klansmen to defect. According to the Las Vegas Guardian Express, he’s credited with “dismantling the entire KKK in Maryland,” after his friendships with several of its members brought down morale.