In 1996, a black teenager protected a white man from an angry mob who thought he supported the Ku Klux Klan. It was an act of extraordinary courage and kindness.
Keshia Thomas was 18 when the Ku Klux Klan, the white supremacist organisation, held a rally in her home town in Michigan. Full story here.
For Mark Brunner, a student photographer who witnessed the episode, it was who she saved that made Thomas' actions so remarkable. "She put herself at physical risk to protect someone who, in my opinion, would not have done the same for her," he says. "Who does that in this world?"
"I knew what it was like to be hurt," she says. "The many times that that happened, I wish someone would have stood up for me."
"That some in Ann Arbor have been heard grumbling that she should have left the man to his fate, only speaks of how far they have drifted from their own humanity. And of the crying need to get it back. Keshia's choice was to affirm what they have lost. Keshia's choice was human. Keshia's choice was hope." ~ Leonard Pitts, Jr. (The Miami Herald, June 29, 1996)
"Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness.
We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.