Standing up to the Klan

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by Story, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

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    http://www.tampabay.com/features/hu...s-match-in-putnam-county-in-the-1920s/1257351
     
  2. Talbot

    Talbot One Too Many

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    Fascinating. What a man.
     
  3. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    There was a saying during the Klan's brief period of resurgence in the twenties: "You think influential people belong to the Klan? Look at their shoes. The nightshirt doesn't hide the shoes."

    Among the other Southern politicians who called the Kluxers' bluff was Huey Long, who sent a loud public message to the Imperial Wizard: "You tell that Imperial ba***rd not to set foot in Louisiana, and when I call him a ba***rd I'm not calling him a name but referring to the actual circumstances of his birth."
     
  4. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

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  5. SilkDoll

    SilkDoll New in Town

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    It's easy now in our generation to see the horrors of the klan and it's racism. It's interested to try to go back 2-3 generations and understand how ordinary people, in the context of society and the times, developed their points of view.
     
  6. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

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    The Klan at that time did not present itself as a racist organization especially in the north. I have seen an anecdote by a man whose father got one of their handouts and decided the Klan was just the thing to deal with the bootleggers and hoodlums that the law seemed powerless to control. He returned from the first meeting in disgust - all the bootleggers and hoodlums were already members :). This was in the midwest US in the early 20s.
     
  7. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

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    H L Mencken wrote an article on the Klan about the same time. It was straight reportage of a rally in a public park. He didn't think much of the organization or its members.

    The Klan put on a nation wide recruiting drive in the early 20s and soft pedalled the racist angle but it didn't do much good. They got a lot of attention for a while but it soon faded away. Back then Americans weren't interested in fascism, unlike today.
     
  8. Richard Warren

    Richard Warren Practically Family

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    A remarkably offensive and ignorant remark.
     
  9. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

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    Offensive? Perhaps.

    Ignorant? Well, the poster does not, perhps realise the extent of the Klan's influence. Here in Southhern Michigan and in nearby Indiana they really ruled the roost. Klan influence was national in scope. The Klan was to a great extent responsible for the Immigration Act of 1921, and was almost entirely responsible for the far more restrictive (and racist) Immigration Act of 1924. We can be thankful that the hypocracy and overreach of a certain Grand Dragon inspired a,wave of revulsion against the Klan among right-thinking folk in the Midwest. Poor little Miss Overholser! May she rest in peace.
     
  10. Mahagonny Bill

    Mahagonny Bill Practically Family

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  11. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    The Klan of the 20s was essentially a merchandising-driven ancestor of the white nationalist movements of today -- it had no connection to the Reconstruction-era Klan other than the name and some of its imagery. Most of it was created out of whole cloth as a pyramid scheme by a promoter of fraternal orders by the name of W. J. Simmons, who realized there was good money to be made by selling impressive-sounding titles and charging two dollars for a fifty-cent nightshirt. He made a good living out of it before selling out to Hiram Wesley Evans in the early twenties, just before it peaked. It collapsed as quickly as it rose, however, and was basically defunct by 1940 except in scattered, insiginficant pockets with no particular influence. The terrorist-oriented Klan of the Civil Rights era had no direct connection to the twenties Klan, other than, again, its name and imagery.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  12. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

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    The Klan came to my grandfathers farm in the 20s, since he was Irish Catholic! Luckily, he new who the head member was, told him, "if you want to have a go, lets do it here," the Klan leader backed down! My grand father raised champion Clydesdales, so his for arms were as big as my legs.
     
  13. IndianaWay

    IndianaWay New in Town

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    Great thread!

    When I was a freshman in high school I did a term paper on the history of the KKK. I'm still fascinated/appalled by how "nice" people in that era got involved in that organization in Indiana. Turns my stomach, honestly. There's a whole lot I love about Indiana, but looking into that 1920's time period (largely brought to us by just a gem of a man, D.C. Stephenson) is like watching a train wreck even in retrospect.

    About the time I was writing the term paper, there was a locally done PBS special about the Klan in Indiana in the early 80's. I very vividly remember "little kids" saying just horrifically racist things. Even 10 or so years ago, some moron "delivered" Klan under cover of a daily newspaper in our small town. Made me mad, but it was anonymous with nothing linking it to any individual source so I didn't see anything I could do. Point is, there are still segments where this... nonsense still lives. Sadly.

    I am very glad we generally look at the KKK now through the lens of "what a bunch of freaks" as opposed to "hey, that's a really good idea." Thanks for the posts - this topic is really fascinating to me, because those who stood up to the KKK really, to me, embody the good things of the golden era.
     
  14. IndianaWay

    IndianaWay New in Town

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    * "delivered Klan" should be "delivered Klan propaganda..." Sorry!
     
  15. My Father was in downtown Marion,Indiana when they hung a black man on the courthouse square. Sadly some of those responsible where from my hometown.
    HD
     

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