The Troubles are upon us again.
The forces of Beelzebub are mustering their infernal powers. Oh, how they loathe the existence of white Christian enclaves who are wise to their nefarious purposes. Their machinations are relentless. They begin by falsely promising the stalwart bowls of pottage in exchange for their souls. When these lies fail, they poison the mind of the populace at large with slanders and accusations against the just. They leave a trail of mutilated corpses on their way to victory, and upon attaining that victory they unleash the full force of their necromantic arts to spread chaos. Armageddon is the inevitable result.
Or, to put it another way, another midterm election season is here.
It’s always depressing to witness how pumped the ‘rite’ wing gets over an election. It isn’t just that, once again, they’re deluding themselves into thinking their vote counts for anything. It also isn’t just that they can be counted on to support a Republican party inimical to their own best interests, because that’s what Grandpa always did. No, the truly depressing spectacle is witnessing how far they’re willing to descend in their unholy quest for just one more vote – in particular, by playing the ‘anti-racist’ card for everything it’s worth. We have witnessed one such occurrence already with Thad Cochran’s primary victory. The spectacle of his machine shamelessly catering to blacks who showed zero inclination towards Republicans in the past, for the sole purpose of his eking out a twilight win before going to that Big AIPAC Conference in the Sky, reeks of career politicizing at its very worst.
It should also come as no surprise that, when the race-pandering appears, so do the Marxist assumptions that underlie this tactic, in particular, that white Christian heritage is something to be destroyed. Thus, those two reliable bugaboos of ‘right-thinking’ people the world over – the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan – are trotted out. As the latter seems to be more popular in the political realm, it will be the subject of this article.
As can be expected, diatribes of this sort come most frequently from the paltry number of blacks whom Republicans have managed to cozen into positions of rank. Typical is this harangue on the National Black Republicans’ Association’s page:
History shows that the Ku Klux Klan was the terrorist arm of the Democrat Party. . . . Democrats in the last century did not hide their connections to the Ku Klux Klan. Georgia-born Democrat Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan wrote on page 21 of the September 1928 edition of the Klan’s “The Kourier Magazine”: “I have never voted for any man who was not a regular Democrat. My father . . . never voted for any man who was not a Democrat. My grandfather was . . . the head of the Ku Klux Klan in reconstruction days. . . . My great-grandfather was a life-long Democrat. . . . My great-great-grandfather was . . . one of the founders of the Democratic party.” . . .
“White gangs roamed New Orleans, intimidating blacks and breaking up Republican meetings,” wrote Dr. Foner on page 146 of his book. On page 186, he wrote: “An even more extensive ‘reign of terror’ engulfed Jackson, a plantation county in Florida’s panhandle. ‘That is where Satan has his seat,’ remarked a black clergyman; all told over 150 persons were killed, among them black leaders and Jewish merchant Samuel Fleischman, resented for his Republican views and for dealing fairly with black customers.”1
Isn’t that a neat trick, quoting ‘Nathan Bedford Forrest’ – not the Klan’s founder, but his grandson of the same name, the Grand Dragon of the second incarnation of the Klan, which was considerably different from the original organization of General Forrest’s day? It’s all one big homogenous mass of hatred, so who cares about petty details like that?
Since this issue is such an obvious electoral winner, white Republicans have also keenly adopted it, parroting it every chance they get. The following excerpt sums up their entire argument nicely. Sadly, it also comes from Taki’s website. Even he is not wholly immune from the virus of political correctness:
Who wrote the Black Codes and the Jim Crow laws? Democrats. Who fought against the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments? Democrats. Who consistently opposed anti-lynching legislation? Democrats. Who endorsed Anglo-Saxon destiny and white racial purity? Democrats. Who came up with the poll taxes, literacy tests, residency requirements, and wholesale disfranchisement of the poor? Democrats, And which party did the Solid White South vote for starting from Reconstruction all the way up to the 1960s? Democrats, Democrats, Democrats.2
Democrats, Democrats, Democrats. Wait just one minute, though – what are we talking about when we mention ‘Democrats’? Or ‘Ku Klux Klan’ for that matter? There’s no chance when a kinist and an alienist discuss these terms that they’re talking at cross purposes to each other, is there? After all, a word like – oh, let’s say ‘holocaust’ – means exactly the same to everybody the world over, doesn’t it?
Of course that’s true. Only birthers, truthers, and deniers would try to say otherwise. Still, in the interest of clarity, I suppose we had best take a closer look at both of these organizations.
Republicans will be loath to admit it – shoot, even I’m loath to admit it – but the Democratic Party is the single most successful political entity in the history of the United States. Take note that success does not equal greatness, and certainly not morality. Still, the fact remains that since its inception in 1828, the party has survived factional divides, periods of electoral oblivion, and scandals galore to become, arguably, the natural governing party of the United States. This table of Gallup results from 2004 to the present shows that those who identify as affiliating with the Democrats usually outnumber those who identify as affiliating with Republicans – often by very wide margins.
How this success was historically brought about has been very simple: for better or for worse, the Democrats have always been perceived as being a populist party, standing up for the ‘little guy’ and his way of life. They were the party of William Jennings Bryan and his ‘cross of gold’ speech; the Republicans were the party of John D. Rockefeller and his ‘God gave me my money’ quote. The dispossessed have always constituted an eager voting bloc, and as the nature of the dispossessed has changed over the years – from farmers to urban labor to Jews to blacks to feminists to sodomites – Democrats have proven adept at channeling their (often ungodly) discontent into a healthy turnout come election day. This, however, could not have been accomplished had the party also not possessed superb organizational skills at the federal, state, and local levels. It is no coincidence that the most famous political machines in American history – Tammany Hall, the Pendergast organization of Kansas City, and Chicago’s Cook County apparatus – have all been Democrat-affiliated.
Yowling special interest groups, though, cannot of themselves raise the big bucks needed to keep any party afloat. Hence, the financial state of the Democrats has remained healthy by their being that most odious of all political success stories: a ‘big tent’ party. Fortune 500 CEOs + Hollywood producers + teachers’ unions + the few Catholic construction union workers left in Boston and NY + homosexual partners with a bidet, scented candles, and not-overly-advanced cases of AIDS = sufficient funds to ensure the party will contest the 2016 presidential election.
This has been the character of the Democrats for nearly two centuries now. Although it has become less apparent in recent years under the despotic homogenizing influence of Washington, D.C., the Democrats historically were able to attract large regional voting blocs underneath their big tent – blocs so diverse in viewpoints that they could be considered separate parties themselves. Pro-Civil War Northerners. Anti-Civil War Northern Copperheads. Social Gospel-influenced Lutherans and Baptists from the Midwest. Pro-gun and pro-conservation Westerners.
And, most notorious of all…conservative segregationist Southerners.
It is no great mystery as to why the South remained a Democratic stronghold until well into the 1960s. Southerners have long memories and a strong sense of history. The Party of Lincoln could not have hoped to have success in a region ravaged by its armies and then brutally occupied, particularly when the state legislature of Mississippi appointed two blacks in a row to a Senate seat as Republicans. Content with their electoral successes in New York, New England, and Pennsylvania, Republicans of the time never made any serious attempts to build a party machinery in the South. Given this indifference, the fact that generations of Southern boys heard stories of Northern aggression at their fathers’ and grandfathers’ knees, and the fact that (sadly) many Southern voters fell under the sway of Franklin Roosevelt when his New Deal programs began to infiltrate the economically-devastated region during the Depression, the hold of the ‘Dixiecrats’ on the region was assured. Only when Barry Goldwater and then Richard Nixon began focusing on winning these conservative voters over to their folds did the party’s influence in the South begin to wane.
No politician worth his salt can afford to alienate himself long from the community he represents, particularly if he plans on making a career out of his new vocation. Thus, to win election in the early- to mid-twentieth-century South, it paid very well for a candidate to highlight his association with the Ku Klux Klan or, at the very least, to express solidarity with their aims. This proved to be very efficacious, as the Senate’s Southern members became notorious for their absurdly long tenures in office. James Eastland, John Stennis, Strom Thurmond, Fritz Hollings, and Robert Byrd all put in more than 35 years in the Senate, long after the era of segregation had passed and long after they had all moderated their racial positions considerably.
This, then, has been the strategy of the Democratic Party in a nutshell. Given this, the question then needs to be asked: is it not patently absurd to jump to the conclusion that because a small fraction of Democrats in total were affiliated with the KKK, thus the entire party did so? Is it not even more absurd to conclude that the party does so to this very day, or that the principles Democrats currently advocate are compatible with the KKK?
Were John, Robert, and Ted Kennedy KKK-affiliated? Or the Jewish senator Herbert Lehman? Or the Jewish homosexual Barney Frank? How about Barack Obama? Remember the plea for white racial purity so eloquently put forth in ‘Dreams of My Father’? That was awesome.
Would not this alleged KKK bias make itself known at the federal level? On the contrary, until 1964, no candidate from the Deep South had ever won the Democratic nomination for president, and precious few had ever won the nomination for vice-president. The 1964 winner, of course, was Lyndon Johnson, the proud papa of the Senate’s first-ever successful civil rights bill. Democratic conventions were rife with ringing denunciations against the evils of segregation. Vocal Southern delegations did shout these down, yet this hardly constitutes the makeup of a party of hate. Hubert Humphrey’s political career took off when he delivered a pro-civil rights speech at the 1948 Democratic convention in Philadelphia (‘the city of brotherly love’ – hmmm). A typical excerpt from that speech said, ‘To those who say this bill is an infringement on states’ rights, I say this – the time has arrived in America. The time has arrived for the Democratic party to get out of the shadow of states’ rights and walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.’3 Sixteen years later he would find himself elected as Johnson’s running mate.
‘Ah yes,’ some Karl Rove-wannabe might say, ‘but you cannot deny that such Southern Democrats as Hugo Black, Harry Truman, and Robert Byrd were KKK members! Why, Robert Byrd even attained the rank of Exalted Cyclops!’ Yes, all that is true. What is also true is that all three of these men were Freemasons. Why, Harry Truman even attained the 33rd degree of the Scottish Rite!4 How come we never hear the Democratic party described as Masonic (which would be a whole lot closer to the truth than their being Klannish!)?
‘Well, what about the fact that Northern Democrats like Woodrow Wilson were known to harbor anti-black sentiments?’ Well, what about it? Even a broken clock is right twice a day! I could also turn that argument on its head and point out that support for the Klan was no fait accompli among Southern Democrats of the time. Oscar W. Underwood, Alabama senator from 1915 to 1927, said of the Klan: ‘I maintain that the organization is a national menace. . . . It is either the Ku Klux Klan or the United States of America. Both cannot survive. Between the two, I choose my country.’5 Likewise, the Senate’s Southern Caucus meetings of the late 1940s, designed to prevent integration bills from coming to a vote, always excluded Florida’s Claude Pepper and Tennessee’s Estes Kefauver because of both senators’ virulently liberal stances.6
Especially disingenuous is the inconvenient truth that the Republicans themselves were often complicit in this process. Robert Caro, who has voiced sympathies to the idea of the KKK being a Democratic organ, admits that Republicans from the Midwest and New England, in return for votes received from Southern Democrats against federal expenditures, would often refuse to support civil rights legislation.7 Strom Thurmond, the face of senatorial segregation, would switch his party affiliation to the GOP in 1964 and was received with open arms. That same year, a Lyndon Johnson campaign ad was produced that featured Robert Creel, head of the Alabama KKK, voicing his support for Barry Goldwater.
Assuming that Republicans believe ‘once a Nazi, always a Nazi’ – and there’s no reason to suspect otherwise – isn’t their winking at alleged KKK atrocities when politically convenient more than a touch hypocritical?
Thus, the canard that the Democratic party was Klan-oriented has been discredited. But what about the Klan itself? Was it Democratic-oriented? Could the claim in this article’s title still be salvaged, albeit with a somewhat tarnished veneer?
To answer that, it’s time to look at the character of the Klan itself – or, to be more precise, the Klans. The organization has gone through three separate incarnations, with the last two becoming ever-hollower parodies of the incarnation preceding it.
The Klan’s first incarnation is also its most infamous, in large part because of its depiction in the movie ‘Birth of a Nation’. Founded in 1866 by the original Nathan Bedford Forrest and a coterie of former Confederate officers, this first Klan functioned as a band of resistance against the excesses of the Reconstruction period. Their first priority was to their own kith and kin, and to that end they made protection of white women and children from the ravages of carpetbaggers and marauding blacks their primary function. I don’t wish to romanticize the period, so I will point out in all fairness that atrocities certainly were committed under the Klan’s name. However, two points must be remembered:
1.) The North’s own atrocities in the South during this time far exceeded any resistance tactics taken up by the Klan. One such example was the formation of ‘Union Leagues’ to spread pro-American terror. A citation from Mike Scruggs’s The Uncivil War describes their activities8:
Union League militias were formed and were an enforcement arm of the carpetbagger governments. The militia was composed of former slaves and black troops stationed in each state. The Union League had 250,000 men in ten Southern states. . . . In order to insure that all blacks voted Republican, the Union League bullied and beat other Blacks into submission. Even flogging with the lash was used. If that did not work, they exacted the death penalty, frequently by lynching. In order to intimidate Whites from seeking power or influencing black voting, they conducted terror campaigns. Barns and sometimes houses of Whites were burned. In some cases small towns were burned as in Warren and Hamburg, Arkansas. Men, women, and children were killed in raids on “insurrectionary” communities and counties. Their deaths were reported as “killed trying to escape.” There were Union League barn burnings and other destruction in every North Carolina County. During a single week of 1869 in Gaston County, North Carolina, nine barns were burned. In two months of the same year in Edgecombe County, two churches, several cotton gins, a cotton factory, and many barns and homes were burned. The Raleigh Sentinel reported on August 29th of the same year that ten Federal Army companies associated with the Union League had terrorized the Goldsboro area and committed violent depredations of all sorts. It reported the actions of the troops “so violent that it was unsafe for women to leave their homes.” This was all part of the Reconstruction mandate to remake the South.
The aftermath of wars is almost always far, far uglier than the actual combat itself. Just ask any German refugee in Europe in the late 1940s. If whoever wins a war gets to write the history books, then it should come as no surprise why Union depredations of the period have been written off as hateful mythology in public schools everywhere.
2.) Unlike the Union army, the Klan was not a centralized group with a top-down command structure. Instead, it operated as a loose coalition of guerilla bands, some with only the most tenuous connections to the original band of Forrest’s. Such a structure allowed for greater mobility and a greater feel for conditions at the local level that required instant remedy, but it also was a means for brigands and rogues to join less-reputable bands as an excuse to pillage. Such incidents are commonplace in any guerilla organization and cannot be laid at the feet of Forrest himself. Chaotic times result in chaotic situations.
Republicans of the time were certainly not blind to the situation in the South and sought to make electoral hay out of it to their pious and petrified Northern base. As could be expected, the trouble was expressed in purely political terms. They could not have improved on the words of historian Eric Foner:
In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic party, the planter class, and all those who desired restoration of white supremacy. Its purposes were political, but political in the broadest sense, for it sought to affect power relations, both public and private, throughout Southern society. It aimed to reverse the interlocking changes sweeping over the South during Reconstruction: to destroy the Republican party’s infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish control of the black labor force, and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern life.9
This is a typical elitist’s view of the era: the local yokels just wanted to work hard and spend their evenings strumming the ol’ banjo with their black brethren underneath the sycamore tree, but because they were stupid they allowed themselves to be hornswoggled into joining the Klan by evil rich and powerful racists.
Still, Northern Republicans swallowed the bait, and their subsequent actions again make it abundantly clear why the South (and the Klan) repudiated them. A congressional committee to investigate alleged Klan atrocities was convened by Pennsylvania senator John Scott in January 1871.10 That same month, former Union general Benjamin Butler, now a Republican congressman from Massachusetts, introduced an early civil rights bill to Congress –provocatively known as the ‘Ku Klux Klan Act’.11 This specific bill allowed President Grant (another former Union general) to suspend habeas corpus throughout the South and to break the first Klan’s back for good.12 Just as dopey Americans of a later era would ask of Muslims being carpet-bombed into submission by U.S. jets, “Why do they hate us???”, so too did Republicans ask of their Southern subjects.
This, then, is the version of the Klan which modern-day Republicans use to bolster their claims that the KKK is Democratic. From this, we can draw three conclusions: that they have never had an original thought in their life, that they don’t know what a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ is, and that when they go to the zoo, they poke the tiger with a pointy stick and swear at him when he turns around and takes a swipe at them. Strike one.
What of the Klan’s second incarnation? It came about in 1915: an era in which the debate on whether the U.S. should or should not get involved in the First World War was in full swing and when a wave of Catholic and Jewish European immigrants from that conflict was beginning to make itself felt. These developments led to the two defining characteristics of the new Klan: it was decidedly Protestant Christian – a plus – and decidedly ultra-patriotic towards the United States of America – a big minus. One historian summed up their new stance in this fashion:
The Klan’s white robes and masks, elaborate initiation (or naturalization) ceremonies, burning crosses and altars draped with the American flag all proved alluring to the media and their readership. The Miami Herald documented the “weird” ceremonies of the Klan from a distance. Especially fascinating was the naturalization ritual in which a mass of white-robed men swore loyalty to their nation and to Christianity. The Herald noted both the presence of an altar containing the fiery cross and the American flag at this central ritual. Although Simmons cloaked the new order in the familiar white robes of its predecessor, he explicitly developed the Christian nature of the order and its ties to religious faith and patriotism. Under his dramaturgical leadership, the order moved beyond the bounds of the South and into the rest of the continental United States.13
Certainly, these measures did help in expanding the Klan’s reach. Missouri and Indiana would prove to be especially fertile grounds for new chapters. Still, this hardly helps to make the case that the Klan is a solidly Democratic organization, given that the Midwestern states where it found new adherents were reliable Republican strongholds. Catholics, Jews, and labor unions made up the key pillars of the era’s Democratic party, and the Klan was vehemently opposed to all three. Also, its brand new ‘God Bless the USA!’ image, mixed with a decidedly evangelical brand of Christianity, would not be at all out of line with the Republican party of today. Strike two.
The third incarnation of the Klan took shape after the Second World War and was an even more loosely knit coalition of independent groups than the first Klan was. These were the groups active in resisting forced integration in the South during the 1950s and 1960s, but after that their relevance and the quality of their membership began going downhill rapidly. This was the Klan that began admitting Jews like Dan Burros and blacks like Ron Stallworth into its ranks. This was the Klan whose members began taking part in stupid attention-getting stunts like the Greensboro Massacre of 1979, a shootout between communists and Klansmen. This was the Klan who turned into laptop warriors on Stormfront. This was the Klan that was infiltrated by the FBI to such a degree that individual chapters were almost exclusively made up of informants working independently of each other. This was the Klan whose members began smoking and dealing crystal meth. This was the Klan whose members began tattooing ‘14/88’ on each other in prison. And so on and so forth.
One other thing: this was also the Klan that, once and for all, severed all ties with the Democratic party, which had transformed itself into the socialist, hedonist lovers of all things unseemly we all know and loathe today. David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Louisiana KKK, would run for president of the US in 1992…as a Republican, having previously won election to the Louisiana State House of Representatives…as a Republican. Strike three, yer out, revisionist GOPers.
As a final note, perhaps it would be well for Republicans who are wedded to this canard to consider the origins of their own party.
To put it bluntly, the GOP was the creation of radical abolitionists who were determined to stamp out the ‘evils’ of slavery via a monolithic federal government and were more than willing to throw the Magna Carta in the trash in order to do so. Establishment historians make no bones about this:
The new Republican Party was born in 1854 at a meeting in Ripon, Wisconsin. Abolitionists and those opposed to extension of slavery gathered to protest the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which opened territory to slavery that had been forbidden by the old Missouri Compromise of 1820. . . . [During the 1856 Republican convention] The delegates got right down to business the first day by adopting a platform. The key plank was firm opposition to the extension of slavery. “It is the duty of Congress to prohibit in the territories those twin relics of barbarism, polygamy and slavery.” The polygamy reference was aimed at the Mormon settlement in Utah territory. . . . Without a doubt, the man with the strongest backing was 43-year-old retired Army officer John C. Fremont. “The Trail Blazer” was a national hero for his five courageous crossings of the Rocky Mountains and his leadership role in wresting California from Mexico. He had served briefly as U.S. senator from California. Though born and raised in the South, Fremont opposed slavery. . . . Banners flew everywhere bearing the slogan: Free Speech. Free Press. Free Soil. Free Men.14
‘Free’. That’s a laugh. The cry of ‘Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité!’ rang hollow when the tyrannical Bonapartists used it, and it did not gain any mass when the Republicans co-opted it for their own ends. Also, while the doctrines of Mormonism may be grotesque, that still did not give Washington the right to so heavy-handedly attempt to stamp out such a ‘plague’. Utah is today the most solidly GOP state in the union. I guess they never learned anything either.
If Republicans care about consistency, and if they want to equate the Democrats with the ‘racist’ Nathan Bedford Forrest, then they had better be prepared to equate their own party with the rabid, vindictive, property rights-loathing Thaddeus Stevens – which would be an accurate representation of their own modern platform, their ‘free enterprise’ rhetoric to the contrary.
In summary, ‘The KKK is Democratic’ is just another in a too-long series of trite insults thrown out by morons who have little grasp of history for morons who have no grasp of history. It encapsulates the rubric of cultural Marxism to a T and documents yet again why looking for political solutions to all our problems is a waste of kinists’ time.
Remember that when you don’t vote this November 4th.
- Frances Rice, ‘KKK Terrorist Arm of the Democratic Party‘. ↩
- Jim Goad, ‘Robert Byrd, Democrats, and the KKK‘. June 30, 2010. ↩
- Robert Caro, Master of the Senate. Vintage Books, 2002. p. 442. ↩
- Harry S. Truman Library & Museum, ‘Grandview Masonic Lodge 618‘ ↩
- Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins, ed., From War to Civil Rights–Alabama, 1860-1960. University of Alabama Press, 1987, p. 316n. ↩
- Caro, p. 219. ↩
- Caro, p. 97. ↩
- Editor’s note: we reject the “black Confederate” ideas promoted by the linked website, as it has the same antiracist intent as this KKK canard itself. ↩
- Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877. New York: Harper & Row, 1988, pp. 425-426. ↩
- ‘Ku Klux Klan‘ ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- Kelly J. Baker, ‘Religion and the Rise of the Second Ku Klux Klan, 1915-1922‘. The Readex Report. ↩
- ‘GOP Convention of 1856 in Philadelphia‘. ↩