A Missouri State University professor said that he invited Frazier Glenn Miller, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, to speak to his class two years ago so that students could learn how dangerous white supremacists really are. Miller was charged with murder in connection with the Sunday shootings at a Jewish community center and retirement complex in the Kansas City area.
David Embree, a religious studies professor, said he asked Miller and two other white supremacists to speak to his class in 2012. During his visit, Miller used offensive slurs to refer to the Jewish students in the class, Embree told BuzzFeed.
“When he came to my class the first thing he did was show a video of himself at a Klan rally 20 or 25 years ago,” Embree said. "Those were the best days of his life."
The classroom lecture had the desired effect. Students were convinced that "white supremacy is a real thing and a dangerous thing," Embree added.
"I asked the class, I said, 'What did you think about bringing these people in?'" Embree explained to BuzzFeed. "And they said, 'You're absolutely right, if we had not heard these people we wouldn’t believe such hateful people exist.'"
Miller later reflected about that classroom encounter on his blog:
The two extremely ugly kikes, one fat one skinny, did not deny one single charge I made against the jews. Their several questions were incredibly stupid, really. They did remain defiant with frowns the whole time, though. Noses stuck up in the air as if to dare me to do something about jewish attrocities [sic].
According to the Springfield News-Leader, Miller also told the class that he hoped the next Adolf Hitler was in the room.
Some people disagree with the decision to invite people like Miller to speak. "It legitimizes him," Karen Aroesty, the St. Louis regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, told the Chronicle of Higher Education. "Feeding that ego can be very dangerous."
Embree wants to make it clear that he didn't and doesn't support anything Miller proclaimed.
"My acquaintance with Glenn Miller is a couple of phone calls and one hour in a classroom," Embree said in a statement. "He epitomizes the worst possible manifestation of white supremacy/British Israelism and demonstrated to the twelve students who heard him speak that his philosophy is repulsive and truly threatening (as his actions on Sunday demonstrated all too clearly)."
The professor was also not the first person to decide there was value to hearing Miller's anti-Semitic obsessions directly. In 2010, while campaigning for U.S. Senate in Missouri with the slogan "It's the Jews, stupid," Miller was interviewed by talk radio host David Pakman.
"Compared to our Jewish problem, all other problems are mere distractions," he said. "Jews control the mass media, the United States federal government, and they control the Federal Reserve bank." He predicted that the tea party movement would be "infiltrated by the Jews and therefore led into defeat." And he praised Hitler.