Radical Right

Return of the Klan Panic

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The Anti-Defamation League, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Associated Press have been hyping an alleged revival of the Ku Klux Klan. David Garrow, author of the Pulitzer-winning Martin Luther King biography Bearing the Cross, is skeptical:

The ADL document identifies several Klan groups as especially active in 2005-06. One is the Brotherhood of Klans, based in Henderson, Tenn., which sponsored a number of public events during that period—but whose leader, Dale Fox, died of a heart attack in November.

Another is the World Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, based in Sharpsburg, Md., which mustered a turnout of only about 30 Klansmen at the Civil War battlefield near Gettysburg, Pa., in September. World Knights leader Gordon Young "used the event to denounce multiracial marriage and immigration," the ADL reports. Two months later, however, the World Knights unexpectedly disbanded, and in January, Young was arrested on multiple felony charges of sexual abuse of a minor. He remains in jail on $350,000 bond and faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted….

[T]he turnout of a mere 20 KKKers at an anti-immigration rally organized by the Empire Knights in Amarillo, Texas, in August may be indicative of the Knights' lack of strength. The ADL emphasizes how the Knights' website features "an Internet-based radio station…which broadcasts white power music" as well as links to the 20 state "realms"—but the available evidence suggests that the "Empire" may be a Potemkin village.

The whole critique is here.

Elsewhere in Reason: In 2005 I interviewed Garrow about incapacitated Supreme Court justices. Later that year, I looked back at an earlier, more powerful version of the Klan.

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  1. Meh, the Klan is so 1950s. If you really want to be on the cuttingof open racism and antisemitism try the Minutemen or the right-wing factionsof the “Truth” movement.

  2. Let’s try that again:

    Meh, the Klan is so 1950s. If you really want to be on the cutting edge of open racism and antisemitism try the Minutemen or the right-wing faction of the “Truth” movement.

  3. “the right-wing faction of the “Truth” movement.”

    I hate those dumb anti-smoking ads too, but I didn’t know they were racist and anti-semitic.

    Do they require the special white dress and headgear?

  4. The days of socially acceptable overt racial hatred have long passed here in south Alabama. The way they do it now is this; ya hire the illegals to work instead of the blacks in construction or at the chicken plant. ya pay em less than the colored folk and no benefits. they dont complain cause they’re illegals. You have increased your profits and ruined the black community financially. And on sunday you thank God almighty in your lily white church for his bounty. Cross burning is so yesteryear and violence nowadays gets you in jail. The Klan have evolved. And they are growing

  5. ” Meh, the Klan is so 1950s. If you really want to be on the cutting edge of open racism and antisemitism try the Minutemen or the right-wing faction of the “Truth” movement.”

    No the real cutting edge of open racism is the IT people who whine about H1b visa immigrants.

    The Left has a near monopoly on anti-semitism
    General Wesley Clark is the current leader of the “moderate left” anti-semites- the Right Wing is really slacking in the Jew-hatin’ department. Jews being essential to the War on Innocent Muslims and the Rapture.

  6. One way – and probably the correct way – to look at this “report” and the MSM reports on it is as propaganda designed to a) bring in donations, and b) make anyone who opposes IllegalImmigration look similar to the KKK.

    Last year the ADL got the LosAngelesCityCouncil to pass a ProIllegalImmigration resolution; details at the link.

    See also this:

    rhymeswithright.mu.nu/archives/174112.php

  7. “Meh, the Klan is so 1950s. If you really want to be on the cuttingof open racism and antisemitism try the Minutemen or the right-wing factionsof the “Truth” movement.”

    Yeah, today we have Lou Dobbs, Tom Tancredo, and (of course) Lone Wack to defend our Great White Western Civilization from the Mestizo Hordes bent on destroying it.

  8. Should read “Lone Wacko”

  9. Some david Duke stuff has popped up on Hit and Run from time to time.

  10. J. Edgar Hoover (with some help from the House Committee on un-American Activities) broke the back of the Klan in the late 1960s, and Klan groups since then have been pretty pathetic. The legality of Hoover’s Klan-busting activities wouldn’t pass libertarian examination, of course.

  11. Great, more Southern Poverty Law guest spots on NPR. Just when you thought it was safe to listen to the radio…

  12. The Mestizo Hordes aren’t going to destroy Western Civilisation- the State will. Skewing our immigration balance to the unskilled and undeucated while fast-tracking them for entitlements and benefits is a disaster for what liberty we have left.
    I don’t here the “racist” nativists making a fuss over legal immigrants from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.

  13. cutting edge of open racism and antisemitism try the Minutemen

    I know, in my neighborhood, the Minutemen have lynched seven Mexicans and a guy from Costa Rica wearing a Men’s Wearhouse suit just since the first of the year.

  14. ?Ay, el Blog del Solo Loco viva!

  15. ?Ay, el Blog del Loco Solo vive!

  16. “I know, in my neighborhood, the Minutemen have lynched seven Mexicans and a guy from Costa Rica wearing a Men’s Wearhouse suit just since the first of the year.”

    It wasn’t me.

  17. “J. Edgar Hoover (with some help from the House Committee on un-American Activities) broke the back of the Klan in the late 1960s, and Klan groups since then have been pretty pathetic.”

    Actually, it was probably the Superman radio show that started the decline.

    A Klan insider sent the writers copies of internal Klan documents, and the writers wrote some episodes where Superman fought the Klan, using the Klan’s actual super-silly jargon, thus turning them into silly men in sheets.

  18. These days, the Klan seems to be little more than a group for the advancement of white trash self esteem. They are, essentially, irrelevant.

  19. Yep, can’t have the Klan going away. The klan threat needs to be right up front. And since that threat is there, we’d better donate funds to these groups to fight the klan. Sure, if the klan was minimalized, these guys would run out of money, since there’d be nothing much left to panic about. So yeah, can’t have the klan going away.

  20. “Actually, it was probably the Superman radio show that started the decline.”

    Ah, Superman vs the Klan. Proving once again that there are no problems that punching someone real hard won’t solve.

  21. I know, in my neighborhood, the Minutemen have lynched seven Mexicans and a guy from Costa Rica wearing a Men’s Wearhouse suit just since the first of the year.

    I read this maybe 10 hours ago, and I’m still trying to figure out what it means.

    I just read a bunch of letters-to-the-editor explaining why there is indeed cause to worry, but I just can’t get worked up- It’s so statistically insignificant. 20-30 people at a rally? You could get that many people advertising a Fassbinder film festival. Or a Libertarian Party event. And it’s about as likely as those things to affect anything. Look at the Illinois Nazis. All that rallying and Dan Ackroyd just makes them jump in a river. God I hate Illinois Nazis.

  22. And yes, I’m quite aware I just referred to a fictional movie to prove an argumentative point. EVERYBODY DRINK!*

    *If that wasn’t in the original drinking game, it should have been!

  23. dont forget the National Socialist Libertarians and the other KKK nutjobs LP candidates supported.

  24. If you really want to be on the cutting edge of open racism and antisemitism try the Minutemen or the right-wing faction of the “Truth” movement.

    See, I was going to nominate the Jesse Jacksons of the world.

  25. R C Dean,

    Don’t forger Rev. Sharpton and that Silent Spring woman.

  26. Dead,

    Akira said that the Minutemen are the modern cutting edge racist threat, my comment was meant to show that compared to the KKK the MM are a bunch of weenie putzs, ie, all show and no go. In terms of threats the old KKK was light years worse than the new MM, who may hate swarthy people, but haven’t really done much more than throw a couple of rocks.

  27. This KKK talk is just a distraction from the killer bee crisis.

  28. What do you expect from the ADL? This is the same group that has never met a “hate crimes” bill that was too onerous for it to support. They are a totalitarian group that should be regarded as fundamentally hostile to everything this country stands for (or used to).

  29. And that’s why one of the two leaders of the MinuteMen who spoke at Columbia was a black man, right? I also suppose that hispanics working for the Border Patrol are self-hating latinos by your definition.

  30. Hey so nobody explained why the anti-smoking ads are racists. I want to know.

  31. SIV-

    Tom Tancredo wants to end immigration from Asia. He thinks not only is there a secret plan from the Mexican government to take over the southwest, but China wants to secretly take control of our country through sending their people here. He referred to Miami, a place made up almost entirely of legal immigrants, as a “Third world cesspool” or something along those lines.

    SIV, btw I’m not against cockfighting, only *illegal* cockfighting. Thats why we need tougher cockfighting laws.

    Yes MikeT, nothing brings white and black together like hating foreigners. The people who work for the border patrol hardly subscribe to minutemen politics, either. In fact, the border control thinks the minutemen are a royal pain the ass.

    At the end of the day, no matter what they say, the minutemen and their enablers are a xenophobic group.

  32. And the fact that the minutemen stole their name from the real Minute Men is as laughable as when the xenophobic Know-Nothings of the 1840s called themselves “Native Americans”.

  33. the minutemen stole their name from the real Minute Men is as laughable…

    I sort of thought they got that name from their wives.

  34. Come again?

  35. Maybe the Klan should call John Edwards a faggot so David Bonior could send out a “Klan Kash” fundraising letter and soak up some of that money
    that otherwise would end up in the coffers of the ADL and the SPLC.

  36. If cockfights are outlawed, only outlaws will have cockfights.

  37. I realise Miami has a lot of immigrants but aren’t native (born) Americans still the majority? So-called “second generation immigrants” would actually be native Americans.

  38. I’m pretty sure the claim that Tancredo wants to end AsianImmigration is false. If you think about it and do your research, you can find instances of countries gaining influence or territory through “SoftInvasions” by sending people into the territory. Why, we’ve got examples right in our own history!

    So, when you think about it, you’ll see that what Mexico is *in effect* doing is similar to what has happened here and in other countries, and those who try to claim otherwise are apologists, ignorant, or worse. Now, that doesn’t mean that Mexico or China have explicit plans, but those of us with knowledge and experience realize it’s a jungle at the country level, and countries are not about to pass up an opening.

    And, of course, those of us who are actually familiar with this topic realize that Mexico has admitted that they have helpers inside the U.S. In fact, they may have even used proxies to agitate their citizens to march in our streets and make demands (details at my name’s link).

    And, Reason and most of its commenters think that’s OK.

  39. LoneWacko–

    When the Europeans came to America, they had an enormous technological superiority and epidemic diseases which the natives had zero resistance to. This is similar to Mexican immigration, how?

    If we had a lot of Dutch immigration to New York, would you be worried that the Dutch government was planning a secret *De herovering* of New Amsterdam?

  40. south central Idaho is suffering a huge outbreak of scarlet fever that originated in the “undocumented” mexican workers camps….as far as technological superiority, are you familiar with the term “beater” as it refers to an automobile? Mexicans can keep those running for decades

  41. LW, You people are so afraid that Pedro is going to make a taco in downtown LA that you will sacrifice every constitutional right that we Americans came down the chute with to make that happen.

    Well, Dude, I don’t want your retina scans, your national ID cards, your freeway checkpoints that operate without probable cause and impede my day on I-15 and I-5. I don’t think the government has the right to decide if I am allowed to get a job.

  42. TWC, seeing you are from the People’s Republic of California, how much headache do immigrants *really* cause there compared to the general population?

    We have many immigrants in Virginia, despite having what is probably the least generous welfare system in the union. We don’t generally get Mexicans, but we do have many Guatemalans, Hondurans, and southeast Asians. There doesn’t seem to be nearly as much consternation over them here as I think there is in California.

  43. Yes, I’m sure the solitary lunatic never eats anything but boiled beef and vegetables and never utters anything but pure Anglo-Saxon words words to preserve our true American heritage.

    And while we’re at it, just where did those Tancredo’s come from, anyway? Sounds like some sorta greaser name to me.

  44. Them dang mexicans is tryin to be indian givers about California,Arizona,New Mexico, Texas and sometimes Colorado.

  45. as laughable as when the xenophobic Know-Nothings of the 1840s called themselves “Native Americans”.

    Well, if one was born here they are a native. Perhaps I don’t know enough about what you are talking about to be shocked.

  46. LW, You people are so afraid that Pedro is going to make a taco in downtown LA that you will sacrifice every constitutional right that we Americans came down the chute with to make that happen.

    Well, Dude, I don’t want your retina scans, your national ID cards, your freeway checkpoints that operate without probable cause and impede my day on I-15 and I-5.

    How bout skipping all that and just controlling our borders and enforcing the laws on the books? That’s all I ask.

  47. I read this as the return of the klan picnic. Clearly, I need more sleep.

  48. Clearly anyone who wants to limit immigration is a hateful bigot. It’s either “Just let them all in” or “Heil Hitler!” There is nothing in between.

  49. Cesar doesn’t understand which republic I was getting at, but regarding “Dutch immigration to New York”, I most certainly would be worried about that if everything else were the same. However, it would never have been able to get to the point where I would have had to be worried. Can you figure out why?

    TWC raises a strawman, claiming that I support the opposite of what I support. If we enforce our ImmigrationLaws, we won’t have to do those things. We will get those things as long as we continue to halfways enforce those laws. Can you figure out why?

    tonto, sounding like a racist and someone who’s ignorant of what’s going on, says “mexicans is tryin to be indian givers”. The problem, of course, is that that property now joinly belongs to U.S. citizens, and if you support foreign claims to those areas then you are behind enemy lines. And, the MexicanGovernment also uses UsefulIdiots in the U.S. to DistributePropaganda supporting their view of the MexicanAmericanWar to schoolkids in the U.S. Details on that here; that last link should remind everyone that most of Reason’s authors and commenters have no real knowledge of this issue.

  50. TLB-

    If you are referring to the Americans who moved to California and Texas in the early 19th century, there are again huge differences between them and Mexican immigrants today. The biggest difference being, *there were almost no people in Texas or California* aside from Native Americans before American immigration. The few Mexicans that lived there were Catholic missionaries.

    I don’t think the Mexican-America war is a very proud moment in either the history of the US or that of Mexico. It wasn’t a proud moment for Mexico because they were under the thumb of an autocratic dictator who destroyed their constitution.

    It wasn’t particularly a proud moment for America because, lets face it, one of the reasons for which both the Mexican-American and Texan wars were fought was for the propagation of slavery. Thats not to say that the US has no right to the southwest today because of that, thats bull. There are plenty of wars fought under bad pretenses, that doesn’t nullify their outcomes.

    I’m sure there are Mexicans that are still upset over the conclusion of that war. Where I live, there are many people still upset by the outcome of the Civil War. There are many wacko organizations here–such as the League of the South–that thinks the south should secede again.

    But what do you think the chances are of the Confederacy rising again? Probably next to zero, which is the same probability that the southwest will ever return to Mexico.

  51. Should read “Lone Wacko”

    Should read “Lone Whacker”

  52. TLB, yes I sound like an ignorant racist. The point was that with the hispanic community might harbor a bit of resentment about the past. In the modern world, the surest way to take over a nation is socially and economically. If the mexicans migrating to America arent willing to blend into the national “culture”, are americans willing to adopt theirs? To me that is what the arguing is about. We hear a lot of numbers thrown around about their economic impact, both good and bad. They are also having a large impact on the social landscape in the southwest. I get that they are just trying to improve their station in life and I respect that, but at what cost to the fabric of American society. The mexicans might want the southwest back,and it seems as though they are succeeding.

  53. This is the last reply from me on this thread.

    I’m quite well aware that many or most Mexican-Americans have a chip on their shoulder. However, most of our thought leaders are unaware of that or at least have no personal experience. Most of them are idiots like LarryKudlow. And, obviously, that includes Reason’s writers.

    Regarding the South rising again, it would take a cataclysmic event to get that to happen. While there might be some sentiment, it’s been made so disreputable that nothing short of a physical attack could counteract that.

    However, relating to my Dutch comment, the same reconquista sentiment is allowed to develop, encouraged, and apologized for by “liberal” forces.

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