Since there is so much racial tension and prejudices floating around at present, I thought I'd share this story. I hope that it's accepted that even the KKK can be seen with humor.
I was stationed in the Great Lakes naval facility for basic training. We went everywhere with our sister company. Isn’t it strange that they would call two groups of men sisters? We marched everywhere together: to the chow hall, classes, firing range, etc. We were on the first floor of the barracks, separated by a small courtyard sharing a common entrance, for and the bathrooms were connected, aft.
Our company commander was tough, but fair, while the company commander of our sister company was a real bear. He rode them hard without any leeway. Breaks for cigarettes were almost non-existent. He had pushed them to the end of their collective rope. We were hearing rumors that our sister company was going to assault and kill their company commander. Being their sister company, we felt if they did something like that, we’d be stuck in the Great Lakes until the investigation was over.
We couldn’t allow that to happen. The powers that be wouldn’t accept that we had nothing in it or that we knew nothing about it. It would take months. We had to do something before it was too late.
The majority of our sister company was black. An idea slowly formed. We had to break the tension and make them laugh or at least make them smile.
Late one evening, just before lights out, we snatched the sheets form our beds, pulled the cases off our pillows, and started towards the entrance to our sister companies bunk area. We wrapped ourselves in the sheets and put the pillow cases on our heads. We left our faces uncovered, so they would recognize us and not be more upset. Two by two, arm in arm; we marched down the main aisle between the lines of their bunks.
At first they looked shocked, surprised, and then confused. They saw the smiles on our faces and started to recognize us for who we were and not the KKK. They started to laugh. It was great to hear their laughter following us as we exited their sleeping area at the far end and through the adjoining bathrooms. As the last of us were leaving, we heard them clapping.
The next day, our sister company was much more relaxed. Both companies made it through basic training without further incident