Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by Syriusly, Jan 11, 2017.
Yes, I can read that even without boldface. That's a writer's opinion (Eric Foner) about some of the effect of what they did. That's not the same thing as describing an entity controlled by a political party --- of which there's, again, no evidence.
And I don't own the Foner book and have never seen the context that sets up the statement, but I strongly suspect he's talking specifically about the political effect, when their actions involved elections and voting, in that some of their victims would have been Republicans. But it's a leap to conclude they took those actions because they were Republicans. Rather, we know they persecuted blacks in general who had broken an imaginary ''social code" --- or for sheer intimidation; we know they also persecuted "carpetbaggers", which were commercial opportunists from the North, that they attacked the federal personnel themselves, and that they even attacked local philandering husbands, drunks, debt deadbeats, even people who weren't sufficiently visible at Church, none of which served no political party's interests at all.
Again they saw (and sold) themselves as a social force, keeping "order" in postwar chaos, preserving traditions they couldn't deal with giving up, and resisting forces they saw as "interlopers", whether they were federal troops, carpetbaggers or political activists. Some of it served in effect to sabotage elections, some of it was unrelated.
But again there's no evidence it was controlled by a political party. For most of the period of the first Klan it wasn't controlled by anyone --- it was a disparate gaggle of similarly-oriented groups, and again one of dozens of such groups that existed in various degrees of extremity.
In April of 1867 when the these disparate coalesced in Nashville seeking organization they drafted Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest as a figurehead to cash in on the status of his name as a respected military figure to attain a 'legitimacy'. Forrest wasn't present, but when notified did not decline, and the Klan was organized for the first time. That lasted less than two years, until January 1869 when Forrest issued his first (and only) General Order, dissolving the Klan and ordering its regalia destroyed. Many of those disparate groups ignored that order and continued for roughly five more years in the autonomous fashion they had used previously.
Give me something TO read. I've got volumes and volumes and volumes on this. None of it mentions their having political parties. Or activities.
Not that there would have been political activity going on in 1865 Tennessee anyway, since it had been disenfranchised.
We speak of "the Klan" as if it were a single isolated incident; it was anything but. Here's a partial list of similar groups formed around the Confederacy in the same era, purveying more or less the same objectives:
Caucasian Club(s) (Louisiana 1869)
Constitutional Union Guard (North Carolina 1868-70)
Heggie's Scouts (Mississippi)
Heroes of America (South Carolina)
Knights of the Black Cross (Mississippi)
Knights of the Rising Sun (Texas 1868)
Knights of the White Camellia (Louisiana 1867-69)
Knights of the White Carnation (Alabama)
Native Sons of the South (Mississippi)
Order of Pale Faces (Tennessee 1869 or 1867)
Red Caps (Tennessee)
Red Jackets (Tennessee)
Red Strings (South Carolina)
Robertson Family (Mississippi)
Society of the White Rose (Mississippi)
Seymour Knights (Louisiana)
White League (Louisiana 1874)
White Brotherhood (North Carolina 1868-70)
Yellow Jackets (Tennessee)
--- The Klan would have been an also-ran among this list, had it not been for Simmons re-starting it in 1915 after the original Klan, and all these groups, were long gone. More on that momentarily.
Notice the recurring incidents of noble terms like "knights" --- as well as "brotherhood", "family", "native sons" and the ironically named "union guards". These socially-oriented icons recall the social-warriors they fancied themselves to be; references to Family and Heritage and Brotherhoods, rather than politics. In fact when "Colonel Joe" Simmons restarted the Klan on Stone Mountain on Thanksgiving Day 1915 he officially called it the "Knights of the Ku Klux Klan". This reflected their vision as "champions" of heritage, tradition and their favorite crutch --- white womanhood. There's very much a masculine crisis going on here as well.
Simmons had been part of, and brought with him to Stone Mountain, members of, an ad hoc group called the "Knights of Mary Phagan" who had taken and lynched a factory owner on specious evidence after a young white girl by that name had been brutally murdered at his factory. So however sincerely or not they portrayed themselves as social "defenders". The victim of that lynching was Leo Frank, a Jew.
Simmons' version grew to be far larger and far more widespread than the original Klan, which lasted at most a decade, and it is from the Simmons Klan we get most of our imagery, accounts of incidents and the idea of burning crosses, which did not exist with the 19th century Klan. Simmons took this idea from the film "Birth of a Nation", which in turn took it from Sir Walter Scott's writing.
There's actually no evidence to my knowledge that Simmons was even a racist, let alone had any political affiliation. What he was above all was an opportunist, looking to skim an easy paycheck from selling memberships --- which he did, especially after hiring a PR team, which sold the Klan on the outstanding bigotry of the period ---- blacks had been suffering lynchings, Jim Crow, segregation and a hammer of demeaned social class since Emancipation (at least in the South) but now they were joined as targets by Jews, Catholics, immigrants, labor unions, gays, moonshiners (the Klan was strongly pro-Prohibition, which movement has its own history), "loose women" and later, communists. This was the hyperconservative, traditionalist, nativist element, which is why I referenced the Know Nothing Party. Nativism and Protestantism "sold" well in this era, the latter especially in Indiana and Maine, where anti-Catholic riots had already dated back for decades.
It was in this period of strong Klan growth, especially the 1920s, that it dabbled in politics to the extent of actively supporting or opposing candidates it deemed either conducive or antagonistic to its ideals. These included, as noted before, supporting Democrats where Democrats could win, and Republicans where Republicans could win. The former dominated the South, the latter got elected in the West, New England and the Midwest, especially in Indiana where it was estimated that one-third of the adult male population was in the Klan. Sometimes they supported a Democrat on one level and a Republican on another level within the same state.
But none of these candidates were supported or opposed because they were Democrats or because they were Republicans. They were singled out for support because that candidate personally would benefit the Klan, or singled out for opposition because that candidate personally opposed them. There are myriad examples of both types from both parties. Because again, the Klan wasn't out to elect this political party or that one; it was out to promote itself.
Dressed in robes and sheets, intended to prevent identification by the occupying federal troops (and supposedly designed to frighten blacks), the Klan quickly became a terrorist organization in service of the Democratic Party and white supremacy.
Robert Byrd was 150 years old?
Looked darn good for that age.
the kkk was created by democrats and used by democrats to murder freed blacks and Republicans. Today...racists of all races have gathered in the democrat party...the democrat party has been and always will be the party of racism...
Obama sat in an openly and proudly racist church for 20 years, under reverand jeremiah wright who married obama and michelle and baptized their children...he has had the racist al sharpton to the White House as well as the racist, black lives matter ......he is a racist..
Yes...keep selling that to the democrats...to claim that former confederate officers would not have been voting for and part of the democrat party is simply ridiculous....
Tell us...did they vote Republican?
Today...the new racists groups....black lives matter, la raza, the Southern Poverty Law Center....are still democat.....the obsession with race and race hatred is all in the democrat party..the new klan....is made of of the racists of all skin colors...and they call he democrat party home.
Myths are so fun aren't they. And so much easier than dealing with the complexities of the real world, where not everybody automatically fits into the binary box that simple minds prefer their world to be.
Separate names with a comma.