Beliefnet

"An Annapolis man who has acknowledged being a Ku Klux Klan member is a target of neighborhood outrage after building an oversized snowman in the shape of a Klansman next to a Confederate flag on his front lawn....

"It's very innocent. It's a snowman. It can't move or anything," said Gene Newport, 32. "I'm a creative person. So I just made the snowman. I don't see what the big deal is."

--actual story from The Baltimore Sun



From Civil Liberties, the ACLU newsletter:

Even Snowmen Have Rights

Civil libertarians from around the country are rallying to defend Gene Newport, whose finely rendered portrayal-in-snow of a Caucasian on his front lawn in Annapolis, Maryland, is being challenged in federal court.

"I'm an artist," said Newport. "I die inside if I can't create. The 'Klanman' is something I've been struggling with for two or three years. This work-in-snow was a celebration of the inner Klan in all of us."

Newport's attorneys expect to draw parallels between litigation against the "Klanman" and a recently defeated suit in Providence, Rhode Island, that affirmed the right to allow a burning cross to be placed outside City Hall on Christmas Eve.

"Bad taste, even in art, can't be legislated," said Ernest Tort, the lawyer who defended the free-speech rights of the cross burners. "The parameters of disgusting creativity should be left to the people, not to the courts."


From Art News:

Cool Outsider Art In Annapolis

Being an outsider has been a constant in the life of Greg Newport, a self-styled agitprop artist who resides in the quiet Maryland capital of Annapolis. For years, Newport has been on the fringes of society, disgruntled with the values and direction of a contemporary America that he rates as rotten to the core.

In his quest to steer the country in the right direction, Newport joined the Ku Klux Klan a few years ago, convinced that paganism, racism, and fundamentalism--as well as chain gangs, lynchings, and the constitution of the Confederacy--could invigorate an amoral Union.

But Newport, always looking for new audiences for his message, became concerned that the Klan was speaking only to itself. So he began using the broad lawn in front of his mini-plantation on an Annapolis side street as a venue for his fanciful creations. This let him push the envelope of "outsider" work into previously uncharted waters:

  • For Yom Hashoah, when Jews remember the Holocaust, Newport invited his multiracial neighbors over for a piece of performance art that he titled "Cooking With Gas," in which he deliberately burnt kosher hot dogs on his propane bar-b-que.
  • When "Roots" was recently rebroadcast on TV, Newport used his amateur electronics skills to jam TV reception for a 12-block area.
  • During last year's anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Newport built a life-size model of the Enola Gay out of toothpicks and exhibited it outside Shogun, Annapolis's premier Japanese restaurant.
Stung by some of the criticism he has received for these efforts, a frustrated Newport told Art News, "As a creative person, I'm trying to use art to make a point." He then excused himself to join his wife, who was inside watching their favorite film, D.W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation."


From The Final Call, the Nation of Islam's newspaper:

Zionists Fund KKK Snowman

The historical-research department of the Nation of Islam, the same scholars who wrote "The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews," has determined that Jewish money financed the towering Ku Klux Klan snowman that a Klan member built last week in Annapolis, Maryland.

Nation of Islam historians have unearthed the laundering of hundreds of thousands of dollars, shekels, and Krugerrands through Tel Aviv, London, Zurich, Moscow, and Johannesburg. These funds, which came from an international conspiracy of bankers and financiers, were covertly funneled to Gene Newport, a Klan member in Annapolis who fancies himself a "snow artisan."

"The Jews were the geniuses behind the slave trade," said the chairman of the Nation's historical research department. "Now they're allied with the Klan to harass and intimidate blacks who live in their neighborhoods. "

The chairman of the NOI's research department said it was "no coincidence" that the so-called "Klanman" snowman appeared in the capital of a state that would have joined the Confederacy if Abraham Lincoln had not sent troops to Annapolis to prevent the legislature from seceding.

"Maryland's blue-eyed white devils have not changed their tune in more than 136 years. Let's look at that number: `Thirteen' is the year of a Jewish male's bar mitzvah. `Six' is an upside-down nine, which, when multiplied by the latitude and longitude of Annapolis and then by the address of Annapolis's only Orthodox Jewish synagogue, is the same as the Social Security number of Louis Farrakhan. Obviously, America's Jews have made the Honorable Louis Farrakhan their target. Oh, wicked America, we challenge you to a snowball fight!"

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