‘Such Backwards and Harmful Rhetoric’: Actor Isaiah Washington Faces Backlash For Fondly Remembering KKK Members as Some of His ‘Best’ Teachers and Neighbors Growing Up

Isaiah Washington’s reflections on his Texas upbringing and the Ku Klux Klan have spurred division among his followers.

The former “Grey’s Anatomy” actor shared a message fondly remembering his perspective of Klansmen and women on Facebook and Instagram. Although he claimed the latter platform removed his initial posts, he re-shared it, where it still remains.

Isaiah Washington. (Photo: @therealisaiahwashington/Instagram)

Washington shared a black-and-white image of an elderly Klansman sitting with a woman and a baby as a cross stood behind them.

Each of the members was dressed in the white supremacist organization’s distinctive white robe and hood, which was pulled up and revealed their faces.

The Houstonian’s childhood memory began, “I had some of the best elementary school teachers and even some neighbors that I knew were Klan Members back in Texas while growing up. I knew where They stood with me and They also knew where I stood with Them. The boundaries were very, very clear.”

Related: Isaiah Washington’s Flawed Suggestion for Chris Rock to “Adapt” To Racial Profiling Gets Ripped by Black Twitter

The longtime actor, who found himself disgraced among his peers when he used a gay slur on two separate occasions in 2006 and 2007, went on to share that he played with children who did not view him as an equal.

“I just couldn’t drink from Their outside water hose or come inside Their house to eat and Their houses were usually much smaller than what I grew up in,” he continued. 

Washington would note that his own mother never turned away his white friends when they wanted a drink of water or to have lunch with her son.

His reasoning, as noted by social media users, may have been to show that despite facing racism in their daily lives, the Washington family did not reciprocate it.

In closing, the “Blue Caprice” star wrote, “I can’t help but wonder today, if Their kids are vigorously supporting me as an actor today, simply because I showed Them love and respect as a true Texan and a true American, even when Their parents and grandparents forbid Them to reciprocate love and respect for me publicly to me back then, but I’m infamous now. I wonder…”

Those outraged by the recollection of his childhood felt Washington should have kept the post in drafts.

One person even suggested that his ability to remember white supremacists as friends and the “best teachers” was indicative of him suffering from Stockholm syndrome, a psychological coping mechanism where a victim of malice develops a fondness for their perpetrator.

Others wrote:

“This is truly disturbing. So you were their “black friend” while they perpetuated white supremacy against you and everyone else who looked like you. And likely still do. And your mother was fine with it too. As long as you felt special.”

“This is such backwards and harmful rhetoric. Nevermind that these children were learning racism and violence in their homes which they will in turn teach to the next generation. Let’s just keep being good stewards and turn the other cheek. Ridiculous!

While some felt Washington was simply shedding light on the truth. “No bigger lesson needed right now that even when people’s views are so far apart, there can still be humanity,” wrote one person.

Another user commented, “These are the kinds of stories people need to hear but I forgot we’re living in the times of lies and delusions.”

This rant comes months after Washington announced his retirement from the entertainment industry in February. He said his final bow was a result of “haters” instigating disputes over race.

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