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Word Count: 694
He was a white man in a Confederate flag T-shirt come to a rally of the Ku Klux Klan She was a face in the crowd a black teen-ager who wanted to verbally harass him But the crowd became a mob They descended upon him pummeled him to the ground started stomping him with their feet and hitting him with signposts And Keshia Thomas faced a decision to join the mob or to be a human being This was Keshias choice She fell atop the prostrate man used her body to shield him from the blows Ask why she did it and she says I was just doing what my parents taught me Do whats right You cant change a mans view by killing him It happened a week ago in Ann Arbor Mich the compelling sideshow to a human carnival Fifteen Ku Klux Klansmen had come to rally for the cause of hatred But an estimated 1000 anti-Klan demonstrators a multiethnic tidal wave of outraged humanity went after them They broke windows threw rocks and eventually had to be driven back by police using tear gas Eleven people were arrested at least two were reported injured Its a story with multiple morals that we must defend free speech especially for those views we abhor that it is too frighteningly easy for a rational group to become a blood-lusting mob that supporting a noble cause doesnt give you license to beat a mans head in with a signpost But the most compelling lesson is embodied by Keshias choice She is in some ways a standard-issue teen-ager Eighteen years old laughs easily dreams of becoming a forest ranger wants to go to college but worries that she cant afford it She says when she rushed at the man in the Confederate flag shirt I wanted to say what did I ever do to you Theres no reason to fear me
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