I really don’t care about this or have sympathy for the Klan members, as long as Anonymous doesn’t give out addresses or phone numbers. If they really wanted to add some value, publish the names of Klan members from the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. I bet we’d see the names of a lot of Liberal hero, Dem politicians on the list.
I think the emphasis that modern Liberal journalism places on “the Klan” is wildly overblown. The Klan today is just a collection of kooks and cranks, and old holdovers. The Klan mattered when it was the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party back from roughly the 1870s through the 1950s. Then when the Dems abandoned them, the Klan died.
That is the real story of the Klan. It was not some independent racist organization — it was an arm of the Democratic Party, period. It did not have an existence separate from its value to the Democratic Party. It make you realize just how evil and destructive the Democratic Party has been though out the history of this country.
If they really wanted to add some value, publish the names of Klan members from the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. I bet we would see the names of a lot of Liberal hero, Dem politicians on the list.”
Byrd, Fullbright and ???????.
We all know that Superman generally battles evildoers in the fictional city of Metropolis. If you watched the disappointing, overcranked Man of Steel earlier this year, you remember that his nemesis was General Zod.
It’s a little weird to learn that not all of his enemies are make-believe. There was a time when the popular Kryptonian was deployed to sideline a very real threat in the United States: namely, the Ku Klux Klan.
Our story begins with an intrepid young folklorist and activist from Florida named Stetson Kennedy. He noticed that the Klan was experiencing a resurgence—as an example, a few weeks after V-J Day, the Klan burned a 300-foot cross on the face of Stone Mountain near Atlanta (!)—one Klansman later said that the gesture was intended “to let the n*ggers know the war is over and that the Klan is back on the market.”
The fiercely committed Kennedy decided to infiltrate the group and expose its secrets. He was quite successful in this—for example, he learned that when a traveling Klan member wanted to find other Klansmen in an unfamiliar part of the country, he would ask for a “Mr. Ayak”—“Ayak” standing for “Are You a Klansman?” The desired response was “Yes, and I also know a Mr. Akai”—“A Klansman Am I.”
When he took his information to the local authorities, he found, much to his surprise, little inclination to act on his findings: The Klan had become powerful enough that even the police were hesitant to take action against it.
Eventually he realized that he needed a different approach. In the 1940s, Superman was a radio sensation—children all over the country were following his exploits ravenously. Kennedy decided to approach the makers of the radio serial to see if they would be interested in an epic “Superman vs. the Klan” plotline. He learned that they were interested in such a thing.
Stetson Kennedy under cover
In a funny way, Kennedy’s needs and the needs of the Superman radio writers coincided. Superman had spent the war fighting the likes of Hitler and Hirohito, but in 1946 that was a dead letter, and they were on the lookout for fresh villains.
On June 10, 1946, a Superman plotline began bearing the title “Clan of the Fiery Cross.”Â The episodes were broadcast daily, so the 16th and final episode appeared on June 25. In the story, Jimmy Olsen is managing a baseball team, but when he replaces his top pitcher with a more talented newcomer, the sorehead kid who has lost his slot ends up in the clutches of the “Clan of the Fiery Cross,” who volunteer to intimidate the “insufficiently American” star pitcher with burning crosses and the like. Jimmy Olsen (of course)Â takes the issue to Clark Kent, and in short order the Man of Steel is taking on the men in white hoods.
Over the course of about two weeks, the shows exposed many of the KKK’s most guarded secrets, including code words and rituals. The Klan relied a great deal on an inscrutable air of menace and mystery, and the Superman serial stripped the Klan of that mystique utterly. Almost overnight, the Klan’s recruitment efforts began drying up completely.
How successful was Kennedy in his efforts to take down the Klan? In their 2005 hit book Freakonomics, Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt called Kennedy “the greatest single contributor to the weakening of the Ku Klux Klan.”
There is a much bigger story here than can adequately be covered in a post like this—there’s a great deal of information out there. Stetson Kennedy seems to have been a genuinely remarkable person, and his Wikipedia page lists a lot of resources if you want to learn more. A good resource is Richard Bowers’ Superman versus the Ku Klux Klan: The True Story of How the Iconic Superhero Battled the Men of Hate.
All sixteen of the Klan-related episodes of the Superman radio serial are on YouTube, complete with innumerable advertisements for Kellogg’s PEP cereal—the first two are linked below, and you know how to find the others.
Would extend/amend your timeline to account for three distinct versions of the klan. 1865-71, 1915-1944 (with it’s HQ in Indiana and national membership at a zenith of over 6MM in 1924), and then in the 1950s thru late 1960’s (as evinced by multiple bombing/shootings and disparate altercations) and into the 1970s (with the anti-union organizing efforts on behalf of the Cone Mills in NC vs. communists for example). The thread running through all of these iterations is the affiliation of the democrat party in its many iterations and obfuscations (Kennedys, LBJ and War on Poverty, the Clintons grifting machine rewarding the demorat ownership/elitist white dole-out class in the South etc.)