Black Klansman Short Essay - Answer Key

Ron Stallworth
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1. Describe the groundbreaking nature of Ron Stallworth's enrollment in the Police Cadet program.

Ron was not only the first black police officer on the force of the Colorado Springs Police Department, but was also the first black cadet admitted to a program geared toward minority high school graduates between the ages of 17 and 19. While two Mexican people and one Puerto Rican person had been recruited over the four years the program had been in existence, everyone else recruited into the program was white.

2. How did Ron turn his experiences at the receiving end of racist comments into a positive within his job as a police officer?

After telling the reader that he had been the target of racist treatment many times in his life, Ron writes, "By saying 'nigger' he'd let me know he thought he was inherently better than me. That word was a way of claiming some false power. That is the language of hate, and now, having to pretend to be a white supremacist, I knew to use the language in reverse" (3). This comment exemplifies the level of racism Ron experienced, but also points out his ability to understand the mindset of those whom he was investigating, and to turn that understanding to his advantage in fighting their hate-fueled activities in the community.

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