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tv   The Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s Midwest  CSPAN  July 6, 2019 10:40pm-12:01am EDT

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illustrated ves an talk about the ku klux klan in the midwest. era whening the 1920's there might have been as many as four million kkk members nationwide. this talk is part of the fifth history dwestern conference hosted by grand valley state university. >> good morning, i'm coming to you from boston state university nd it's my distinct pleasure and honor this morning to madison. james h. professor of emeritus of history university. he's an award-winning teacher and the author of many books eli lilly, lynching in the heartland. doughnuts for the boys and american woman in world war ii. book is recent hoosiers, a new history of
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indiana, which is on display outside. many years he co-edited the indiana university press series and culture, tory which included a book he edited comparative history's of the midwestern states. very proud, in a modest hoosier way that the mystery association bestowed on him the lifetime award.ement i have known jim many years, is student, his student back at indiana university and solid stify that he has midwestern values, unfailing unflagging ecency, work ethic and solid common sense. jim represents the best of what be midwestern but he's never roman tied midwestern history. being e ourselves on nice, but we don't always live up to that ideal. today jim will be speaking on
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darker side of the midwestern past. he'll be talking about who is an american, the rise and fall of ku klux klan in the midwest. [applause] >> thank you all for coming out this morning and listening to a not be as t may bright as it is outside but a subject that i think is important. i do want to thank grand valley whitney,versity, grace scott st. louis, the staff, the of our midwestern association. ted france, sarah, john, and make this , who inanization what it's become five short years and i state optimism deep hope and that that trajectory will
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upwards in the coming years. very quick and dirty way which i'll apologize only this once, talk to you about the ku klux klan, convince you the clan story is relevant and convince you to incorporate the story or part of the story into the history that do, whatever form of history you do. and yet ld, old story, i want to say that it's a new story. a story that connects to the nation's history. this is not a story for the margin, for the side bar. this is a story that goes in the center of our textbook. our minds and hearts. as we think about the question who is an american. that paraded proudly avenue.nnsylvania it's a story that spans a
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entury of time, from 1920 to recent events in charlottesville, and elsewhere. supremacists to be sure but much, much more than white supremacists. we have advantages today in telling this story that we did have a generation or two ago. scholarship. lots of good new scholarship on clan. yet, after several weeks of doing a customer sorry nvestigation of that scholarship in the midwest, i there also report that is not nearly enough scholarship for any of the states, the region as a or the whole. there are so many areas of pportunity to plow through the sources and create your own tories about the klan, and i want to convince to you try to do that. among the advantages that we
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have, in addition to pretty good foundations of secondary scholarship, are primary sources. digitized sources particularly of newspapers, hich those of you who do research from primary sources, you know they are a gem. olks, my generation are owed reparations for having lifted -- [laughter] bound newspaper volumes and cranking microfilm. i have thousands of hours you ted in that as some of old timers do also. we should get pay back. it feels like i'm cheating when to the digitized newspapers, but boy, are they wonderful for a subject like the klan. here's the one that drove me. 've been focusing mostly on indiana. it's based in indianapolis, but leading klan s, newspaper in the north, ublishes widely stories from across the midwest and will be useful to anyone and it's digitized and
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searchable. key e make some generalizations to park your interest. this is -- these are the words elmer davis, a distinguished reporter from new york who came native ndiana, his birthplace to study the klan in 1924. he concluded. these were marginal people. they were the great unteachables. to say after 40 years in the classroom, i want to hope that no one is unteachable. had a few students who were close to that maybe. [laughter] we're all teachable. i don't agree with davis on that word, but more mportantly, most of the midwesterners who joined the klan were not marginal. main line, mainstream midwesterners. abnormal.not wicked.ot even we now have very good analyses
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klan memberships in some locations and there is a project that we desperately need to have more of. the vocation and the analyses of lists but we p have enough now. to have some idea of who these their backs turned to the camera, preparing to be naturalized into the what kind hey were, of people they were in a socioeconomic way at least. who joined?ion is, the great midwestern novelist said it was the rank and file of good, honest people ku klux klan and that's often the case. these are people of the heartland earth.iendliest people on the nice people. good methodists, good lawyers. good merchants. lion's club members.
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church women. joined the klan. this group posing with their they are veryause ku d members of the women's klux klan. here's one of the greatest challenges in telling this story. takes a theologian or some insight toe connect good people. we would today describe unanimously as evil. >> where was the klan popular? everywhere. across this country. certainly in the south but also north. in fact there, were probably in more klan members in the north than there were in the south. and it was certainly popular in midwest. in all the midwestern states, in those mmunities, in
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states, and especially so in illinois.ana, and the heartland of the klan. here's their definition of themselves. they were americans. they were 100% americans and that's a wonderful figure to to students and others. 100% americanean, american?to only 99% here's their definition. characteristic, pure white. use that again in newspaper speeches, propaganda, pure white race. native born, militantly aggressively d patriotic. a hundred percent americans in a country, as this des moines told his
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audience. militantly protestant. on the front of the robe of the klan members. the cross. of blood that op shed for all. main line profit standpoints, methodists, protestants, churches who had their at real crossroads, in big courthouse unty squares where klan members often howed up on a sunday morning, alter and left the congregation singing "on soldiers."tian the klan at rallies and parades the cross.layed cross, the symbol of
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the religious belief. the light of their world. the fire of their hearts. flag, a american all otic flag that flew at klan events. religious and patriotic conviction that america was in decline, that there were enemies gates, even inside the turning away a flag.hat cross and that the klan was brilliant in dichotomy of us and them. people, the others, of was, and who the enemy the enemy was threatening to do. so who is the enemy?
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enemyrgest most important for the ku klux klan in the midwest were catholics. to say that again because that's commonly not understood, nd i don't think there is any doubt in the mind of any scholar, certainly in the writing of any scholar on the klan, in the midwestern region, that that is true. enemy in numbers and catholics.threat were many of you will understand this. americans today do not understand, have no sense of anti-catholicism. dna of s deep in the beginning, om the own maybe to the 1960 presidential election. a vicious distrust of a foreign by a foreign pope,
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oodness gracious, pope didn't even speak english did he? that was engaged in a conspiracy undermine basic american values. therest protestantism but was a lot of focus in klan theon on public schools and threats that parochial schools to the public america.radition in this anti-cath locale simple is verywhere, even in beautiful new suburbs like oak park outside of chicago, where the organized a ku klux klan the flow rder to stop of catholics into their lovely middle class neighborhood. anti-catholicism, catholics, the first enemy. and, of course, immigrants, and same, are often the catholic immigrants, pouring
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into america, and this of the tale end of the largest, longest, foreign people into the united states. think i need not tell you, in the american soul. aside.ust be turned these invaders from across the atlantic. jews were the enemy. that comes example from dearborn, michigan, henry brilliant innovative -- entrepreneur. african-americans.
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african-americans were the enemy. divided americans in the 1920s. midwesterners in our history from the very beginning down to the present. any other line of region.n in our and so african-americans were certainly the enemy. enemy, t the largest because there were seem ways to midwesterners in their place before and after the a whole t there wasn't ot of work for the klan to do with this particular enemy. enemies. are the catholics first. immigrants, jews, african-americans, us, the good americans. the 100% americans who are going to redeem america from these enemies. what are the issues?
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we've got to stop this horde of immigrants coming into our country. the door to close them. and that happened. in one of the most significant legislation ional ever passed, the national 1924, whichta act of created a quota system that allowed folks from northern and europe to enter in large numbers, larger numbers than hose from southern and eastern europe. the lesser people, the darker people, the more catholic people, the more jewish people, are pretty much turned away by 1924 legislation. it was a great success for the klan. it aggressively, and while many forces passage, the o its klan was among them, and taking wizard, the ial national leader of the clan, told an indiana audience
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a t now america has built stonewall around the nation, so so strong, that the scum and riffraff of the old cannot bet into our gates. these immigrants, these others problems.ause of many i think the largest problem they was alcohol. at a time of prohibition. too, is a long story. many midwestern communities. the enforcement of prohibition one policy issue. hard by shed protestants for over -- since least, in many parts of the midwest. specially by protestant church women, concerned about what they aw as the decline of family
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life. the growing corruption that came the sale and manufacture of alcohol. unsettling because it was quite clear that the uthorities were not adequately enforcing the law of the land that e law of the states, some people like this swell crowd, i think this is madison, mocking , were prohibition. disobeying the law. prohibition is the number one ssue but there were lots of other signs of moral decline. these flappers, this is in thing not old but new, the 1920s. boos and new music. jungle, he music of the the klan claimed that they were dancing to and listening to, back seat sex, the arrival of the auto mobile
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changed liveswest in so many ways. including new opportunities for sins, or old sins in new garb. i love this broadside from the nebraska, ncoln, listing all the problems and challenges you, you can't read details there but you can find this and many of the i am presenting this morning, particularly on the our wonderful state and local historical society. need to them all but we hout out our enthusiasm and gratitude to the midwestern states historical societies, to wisconsin to ohio, nebraska, to iowa, and all the others. who have, for generations, been sources the primary and now wonderfully digitizing
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anyone,llection so that anywhere in the world with computer access, can look at and read some of the documents and create your own i love this broadside from lincoln. the last issue is "petting menace to society. your joy-riding with your own wives. all has this been encouraged holiday films which, according to the klan, are made by jews and catholics to corrupt the americans. they would play in chicago theaters. newspaper wrote, "couples
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filth, vicious and degrading immorality." klan do to advance the cause? advocacy. persuasion, in many traditional ways, just like westerners had always done, they had parades, usually always let by a marching band. they would gather at state fairgrounds. there is a wonderful subject i hope someone takes up. we have some scholarship on state fairs in the midwest. klan was there, at the state
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fair i think in most states. i'm not certain but i think it if not most. is one of thes most famous. here they are getting ready to march. i love this photograph because, if you can see, in the front is a saxophone player. i think that is a baritone. i had always assumed that the saxophone was the instrument of the devil in the 1920's but here it is in the klan. whoever is going to write about need to explain how a saxophone got in this one. parades on holidays such as the fourth of july. some people can probably
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identify some of these buildings in grand rapids. floats, all lots of ofts of singes -- all sorts messages. the womenally done by of the ku klux klan. know, no one has yet found a membership list of a women's klan organization. that would be exceedingly valuable. the assumption is that the women were pretty much like men, honest midwesterners. rallies such as this one in wisconsin. , paradecerts, lectures
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around the capital, fireworks. a picnic in central illinois .ith all sorts of entertainment these were festivals places for people of like kind sorts -- of sort, to get together, but with this twist of klan speeches and programs. bottom includes at the the names of the sponsors in gerard, illinois, including the local ford dealership. this was a picnic attended not peoplele -- not by outside of the mainstream, but a
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good, honest, god-fearing people. the parades had messages. one school, the protestant school. one law, the protestant law. i don't know if you can see the back window of this automobile. timeould spend a lot of when you have these on your own computer. you blow up the images you look at the details. they are all looking back toward the camera. they didn't remove their masks. this person in the back looking out the window, you see his or her eyes. it's very sweet. activity common klan to donate american flags to the schools.
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rural schools like this one in robes tohered in their present the children symbol of their america. klanspeople showed up at funerals, weddings, baptisms. there are a lot of pictures of membersents with klan in robes in our state society collection. these parades and rallies and picnics are more traditional forms of advancing the cause, but the klan was not a traditional organization. progressive, on the cutting edge of technology in the 1920's, on the cutting edge of salesmanship.
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this is the decade in which salesmanship became a notable area of expertise. and propaganda. the klan leadership was very good at this, including the creation of their own films to counter the rot coming out of hollywood. this is one of the most widely found films by the klan. the klan produced its own music. 100% american songs, photograph records made at various studios around the u.s.. the largest one was in richmond, indiana, where they recorded dozens of record. at the same time, the studio in richmond recorded a young trumpet player from new orleans, as first recording, and it was
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of course louis armstrong. in the same studio. was early adopters of radio. the grand dragon, imperial evans, reaching into other midwestern state as far as indiana. again, sophisticated. airplanes. midwesterners looked up. and overheaded up at a rally was an airplane, often trailing a cross or flag. klan violence. here's a tough subject. with to be very careful
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how i talk about it. there was a widespread wasmption that the klan about violence and lynching. first of all, i'm talking exclusively about the klan in the midwest in the 1920's. not other places. the godforsaken south. i didn't mean that, did i? assumed that the klan was lynching african-americans just like this nation"om "birth of a depicts. it is not true. again, there is considerable research cells to be done, -- butarch still to be done, the scholarship i have seen
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surprisingly little violence on the part of the ku klux klan. i'm talking about documented scholars the kind that expect to have. i have had for many years and offer of $50 for anyone who can show me the case of a documented klan lynching in indiana. and i havee my $50 $100 for documented evidence. so far, none. zero. in indiana. i'm not saying done anywhere else. -- none anywhere else.
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you may have documented evidence and i would like to hear about it. sayy, i want to quickly that the klan did engage in significant levels of threat and intimidation. after all, part of the reason for the mask and the rope is to intimidate people as you march down the streets 1000 strong. part of the reason of burning a cross on the lawn of a catholic message. sending a screens of a window in a home with the letters "kkk" sent a message. a powerful message.
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'ssignificant part of the klan influence in our -- influence and power came from this intimidation, this threat, sense of power that was deliberate and aggressively used by leaders of the ku klux klan. there is some violence. in northern indiana, it is almost certainly the klan that firebombed the residence of a catholic priest. no one was hurt. one of the most egregious instances of violence came in southern illinois were tensions miners italians and mixed with the ku klux klan to cause some significant violence. instances, souch
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far as i know, are the exception rather than the every day activity of the ku klux klan in the midwest in the 1920's. rather than physical violence, the klan wisely entered politics. williamson county. -- a militia guard out in williamson county. i have heard this in other sessions today that there is lots of variation in the midwest. there's dynamism, fluidity. that is certainly true with klan . it is certainly true that the klan was stronger in indiana than other midwestern states.
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it was probably weaker in these other states at least some of which past laws prohibiting the wearing of masks in public. towns, andities, laws. past anti-mask variation within states. an essential part of the klan story is opposition. it is logical and correct to conclude that the largest opposition to the ku klux klan in the midwest in the 1920's came from catholics, their largest enemies. morer in numbered and effectively organized. this is the major catholic organized response to the klan,
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the formation of the american unity link, -- unity league, aul, produced a speakers bureau in the newsletter called, fittingly, "tolerance." a fiery read. it might not be true. an interesting read condemning the klan, calling them out, mocking them, and very ,nterestingly, acquiring stealing membership lists from klan headquarters and publishing them in the pages of "tolerance. indianapolis,in
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chicago, and other locations. whene stood up to the klan and where they could. in some larger cities, jewish community organization did attempt to respond and some rabbis were very outspoken and opposing klan. african-americans, of course, to be this is a fascinating part of the klan's story. in many places, 1924an-americans come in 1924,ican-american, in african-americans switched from the long tradition of voting republican voting democrat for the first time, a foreshadowing
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of what would become the new 's.l coalition in the 1930 african-americans formed branches of the naacp. some had been formed in the teens. naacp the twenties, branches took off around the in part to -- due what african-americans saw in the threat from the ku klux klan . are in thehe naacp last very of congress washington, d.c. they are the largest collection in the manuscript division and they are wonderful papers. i have been through the for
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indiana and other places. i suggeste interest, you get to the papers. n-americane an africa community. to see division within the african-american community. the debate how to respond. should we put our heads down and go along because it is dangerous to respond? or should we stand up and speak out? the indianapolis branch, which became very active in the 1920's, they decided to stand up and stand out. they organized some rallies along with jewish and catholic fellow citizens. someal opposition within protestant churches.
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the detroit methodist church past a measure against the klan. many protestant ministers not just joined the klan, it appears they got free membership, but then became speakers, really firemen for the klan's locomotive. some elected officials spoke up to the klan and opposed the klan . the indiana bar association, surprisingly to me, passed a resolution of condemnation. there was some opposition to the press. many. thinkewspapers, i
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certainly in indiana, went along, remained silent, or endorsed the klan. only a handful actively opposed it. and did god decline away, rather quickly in retrospect, although not for those living at the time. the murder of this woman by this man is the trigger. grand dragon of indiana, the prominent clan leader in the west. a wide klano build network beyond his state he wound up in prison for the
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madge oberholtzer. like -- this is a tangled story that i don't think has been told very well, the decline of the klan. i think a lot of it came with the success of the klan in solving the problem of immigration like in 1924. they are still here and that problem is going to take care of .tself and then it was disappointment, that the klan was never going to live up to its promises. it promised to eradicate alcohol
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from the land. enforce theto prohibition law. anyone could see that alcohol was widely and readily obtained across the region. they could see that there were letters coming across -- bootleggers as well as home bre w. alcohol was flourishing and with this flourish came corruption of all sorts. backs,, bribery -- kick bribery of city and police officials. some --that because that caused some klan members to stay, we have had enough.
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thehe end of the 1920's, klan had been kicked out of the midwest. i think most midwesterners decided, we're just going to forget about it, it is over. by the 1930's, it was embarrassing to think about, that i belonged to the klan, my father, grandfather. sweep it under the rug, it will go away. for humanstandard way beings in americans especially to think about our history, our troubled past. to erase it so much as forget it. story of the way in which we dealt with the
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memory of the klan since the 1920's, the way that we have or have not acknowledged it in textbooks, curriculum, museums. documentedirst displays of a klan rope in the the -- klan robe was in fort wayne museum. a wonderful little article about that display of a klan robe. dangerous it was. how much effort it took to put that robe in the museum. dead? the klan have we seen the end? this is one of my favorite klan
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images. not really dead. the biggest revival came following the civil rights movement of the early 1960's. actions,nstrations, responses revived the klan across the region in the late 1960's. but it is a very different klan. this is also what causes this understanding of the midwest in the 1920's. theklan that reappears in 1960's and 1970's and on our a very different klan . they really are unteachable's. one of my favorite klan
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photographs. you may not be able to read the sign guy on the left is carrying. white," heto be writes on the sign. ts nice to be white," he writes on the side. i'ts."lled the word " but, it is nice to be white. i often think these are people not to be despised or hated but almost embraced and loved to say, i feel sorry for you, you are so out of touch in the world in which you live. returnedad klan that
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in the 1960's and 1970's. i've just about finished a book on the klan, mostly about indiana. the last two chapters are about these fellas. said, why doit and you have to go on and on about them? so i cut some of it. but they are intriguing. if we want to be on the news grand rapids, all we have to do is go out and burn a cross. they will have a helicopter overhead and we will get interviewed. if we put on robes and burn a cross. they are very small in numbers, the klan that appears in the
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in the late 1960's. they show up at events and always there are more police members.than klan uniformers not in probably than klan members. so they are still here. different in that their focus has been more on white supremacy, the pure white race, and attacks on african-american. vicious, racist stuff that comes out of their mouths. not much out of the writing because they don't write much. sort.d races of the worst i have added some new conspiracies.
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in the 1990's, they added the lgbt enemy to the list of what was wrong with america. descendentsawned with variations down to charlottesville. this fella in the foreground here is wearing the same insignia that folks in springfield wore in 1924. among the organizers of the charlottesville rally of 2017 bach of southern indiana. he has dozens of interviews from all over the world. no room -- no rube.
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he is a college graduate. he was a history make -- history major. requires, others require that we have answers to the question of who is an american? who are these people marching down pennsylvania avenue? who are their descendents today? what is our responsibility as citizens and historians? historianl you as a we have a responsibility to tell ways toy, to figure out tell it accurately with documented evidence, to figure out ways to tell it effectively. not just with other historian. to the people.
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midwest began.he this is where our historical society and universities began. the people's university. we have obligations to the people to tell this story in our scholarship, and public presentations, like the one in of all places dearborn, michigan, where there is a wonderful presentation in the henry ford, that great museum. the fourrader, one of greatest kids in the world, did when wend last summer maybe at this exhibit and couldn't put it into words but at some sense of hoping that the
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-- therc of justice moral arc bends toward justice. thank you very much. [applause] we do have some time for questions. i would ask if you could come up to the microphone to ask your question also to make your comment. i am happy to have negative comments, challenging comments, not hostile, but challenging. you for your powerful talk. i'm wondering if you can say something about world war i veterans? the american legion, was it appealing to veterans?
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james: the question is about -- veterans in i is a, and world war precursor to many of the issues i have talked about. specifically, and it is impossible to generalize, but his question was about the american legion. headquarters in indianapolis but the legion is all over the west. very popular for a lot of reasons. patriotic reasons. they fought for their country. they wanted to honor their country. legion places of gathering, they also wanted to have a beer or a glass of gin. some of those legion costs provided that -- legion posts
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provided that. whether the of legion members were also klan members is not something i can say. refused tof indiana pass a resolution condemning the klan. as did all the major church denominations. i know that some members of the legion were members of the klan. easterthe dean of indian -- indiana university law school became state and national commander of the american asked, let's ask -- was to condemn the klan. he would not say anything publicly. he got elected governor of
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consequence932 as a of staying silent, i suspect. so, i appreciated a lot of what you said today but i have some questions about white supremacy. in particular, i'm always struck orthis framing of the klan other hate groups as nice white people who do really reprehensible things because i think that sort of keb== -- sorf lends us to the argument you started to get to at the end that these human beings should be pitied. pity,ied that, that seeing that as laughable, it
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makes it easier for us to turn violence whether it is physical or psychic or verbal that comes from this sort of rhetoric. wonder ifow, but i you had any thoughts about the nice white people doing bad things framing? that is a great comment ad in fact i'm going to get transcript of that and put it in my manuscript. i don't really have a good answer. i've tried to be careful. other people have read this manuscript and have tried to help me on this issue. i'm just not content as some people are just a, the ku klux klan, let them rot in hell.
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i think that is wrong. i think that is a disservice. i want to state again that my reaction thoughts about the klan of the 1920's is very different than recent events. we all know that it is unfair to judge an earlier generation by our standards. i'm trying very hard to put the klan in the 1920's in the context of their time and place. people in the 1920's had any concept of what we would call multiculturalism or diversity. it comes up a little bit in the aul, american unity leak. speeches, theyr
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use words that we might call multiculturalism today. but that was very unusual, i think, in the 1920's. this is a real conundrum. i think i tried to tell the way that the reader to come to her or his conclusions. >> thank you so much for a powerful and important talk. i'm speaking here at somebody who is a 19th-century historian, so i'm trying to jump over that century divide. -- this is a very new discovery. but particularly those three borderlands states, ohio, kentucky, and indiana, were
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filled with thriving african-american farming communities in the 19th century seemed to be able to hold onto their land and wealth up until the rise of the klan. just being in these communities, whether western ohio to western wisconsin, the way that the klan was expending massive amounts of eveny to terrorize and physically destroy aspects of those communities. how you think our growing awareness of this different way of thinking about race in the world, and the rise of the plan -- the rise of the
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klan, might shape future scholarship? james: that is a long and complicated question. pieces of it.few first of all, on the african-american rural allowed to, i am outside indiana but i always get a little bit shaky, and in this audience especially because some of you know more about this than i do for your parts of the midwest. in indiana, the weaver places i'veeach, studied, began to decline before the 1920's for the same reason small towns across the midwest
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were struggling, because young people voted with their feet and went to cities. agriculture lessened. they didn't want to live in small towns with all the stuff of big cities. big african-american communities in the midwest i think a very important that they are understudied and need to be incorporated into our general understanding of the midwest and america. i think these communities are starting to wither before the 1920's. i know they were being threatened, intimidated, the object of white antipathy for the beginning into the 20th century. but i know of no significant klan violence against any of
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these african-american communities in indiana in the 1920's. talk about threats from the klan to come out and they said, we've got guns, we've got rifles, they could have shot between the eyes klansman, too. the klan knew that. they stayed away. certainly, there was intimidation and threats. that is very important. there was segregation, discrimination. the other side of the story, these communities really did build prosperous agriculture economies. they created schools, churches.
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in the context of time and place, they thrived. descendents who come back to these places celebrate a history that is sort of real, that is one of great pride in straight. i think there are positive things to say. greider,e is kevin associate professor of history at antioch. this last saturday, the klan marched in date and prima -- in much shut pretty down that city. there ended up being 9 lka klanspeople. i think the reason they were
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able to do that is kind of what you are talking about here. of klan has a history terror, as a terrorist organization people know what happened in charlottesville so anytime they come to a place, people have to be prepared for what is happening. i think that, what you presented, it seemed as though you were underestimating the power of terror. my family has roots in the south. toledo in moved to 1953. the first time they went out to dinner, there was dirt in the salad they were delivered. the klan was not there. but whether the klan was there
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or not, there is this smiley-faced racism in the midwest, underneath all this goodness. christianity, too. that christianity is not the christianity of the good samaritan. people shut that city down. that city spent thousands of dollars in preparation. that is terror and that has to be named. [applause] james: thank you. i agree 100% with all you've said. i should probably stop there. i agree with all that you said. the question for me is how we go
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about responding to this. what are the tools in our armor that we can best deploy to stand up to this? christianity.ited vonnegeuthero, kurt had this statement, i hear all but i neverions attitudes today, where is the good samaritan? people, you can call them people if you want -- call them evil if you want, i won't
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dispute that. you can call them terrorists. i won't dispute that. a set ofve constitutional ideals that allow these people to demonstrate in dayton. this is not just about race in african-americans, this is about all americans. all these issues are not about white or black. i'm sorry, i'm starting to preach now. we have to allow them to parade, i think. bringing them out into the light would expose them and they wither away. cited, nineyou
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klanspeople and 1500 demonstrators. >> i want to echo my appreciation for the previous questions. some of those questions were on my mind as well. kind of taking us back into the historical realm of the 1920's. 1800sn mind i an historian. i'm interested in exploring atther of not just looking lethal violence, but thinking about violence much more broadly. as terror, psychological, and thinking about trauma. seender what sources you survivorst klan
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trauma from intimidation, from living with constant fear and recognizing this is very difficult. we might be entering the realm of oral history. we don't have the documentation to work with that we might wish. the main hat i wear is a scholar of african-american history that present these events did register is very real even if they were not to the primary target even if in an historical sense, we see catholics as the main enemy of the klan. to people of color, he didn't feel that way. how is there trauma going to be acknowledged, documented, and researched, and the historical record? james: another great question
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and comment for love any, many questions -- comment full of many, many questions. it is impossible to know what that was like for victims. it i'mre many i know sure there are many that i don't know. there was a minister who wrote a whatore -- brody memoir of it was like. our we don't have much of oral history interviews. it is too late now. losteneration before us the chance. or 1990's,1980's scholars didn't much want to study this. the oral history project in
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indiana, maybe somebody in iowa or kansas city had a beautiful inject on the klan, but not indiana. that would enable us to talk what it was like to be on the receiving end of klan intimidation. intimidation is the threat and what it means to that individual's family, that is so difficult to so get at. i'm probably asking you to do some here that as a historian you might not want to do, to reflect on two eras. tend to gon said we through these periods where
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social factors -- in the case of immigration, ,emographic and social change in which we main street the more mainstream the most toxic parts. now where weeriod aming ofn a mainstre some of that less than desirable behavior. do you see analogues between where america was in the 1920's politically and socially and where we are today? certainly, charlottesville. james: yes, to do.
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me -- is scares me. no, there are no true/ false answers. somebody said history doesn't repeat itself but it sure does rhyme. i think there are enough ryhmes here to make me a little anxious. there are so many people standing up, more than there were in the 1920's. there are more profiles encourage, more genuine attention to american ideals, i think. is at theeption present time there is a growing
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support for white supremacy. if my perception has any validity, is that a legacy of the klan? createthe klan didn't pure white attitudes or prejudices. they picked up on them. they picked up on scientific racism. they packaged it and presented way to very marketable ordinary people in the midwest. that continues. today, the real dangers come a -- we see coded language, activities that are based on some or all with the assumption of a white superiority, white race.
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depends what you are talking about and where you are talking. importantiations very and sometimes best. opinion, deal of hope not just in my grandson james but in aboutmericans don't think issues like race. times have changed. why i'm going to continue to help that the moral far toobeen bending, slowly in my opinion, but bending toward justice. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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for ournow adjourn third panel session. >> army heritage day is an may inevent held in carlyle, pennsylvania. >> i basically consider myself an amateur military historian. i do impression. s. this impression today's to represent soviet union as an ally of the american and the british to win world war ii. some would say we could have done it by ourselves. people asked me why i do this impression. we need to tell the story about the eastern front. if you don't understand what
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happened on the eastern front, you don't understand world war ii. the soviets made a significant contribution to winning that war. what i normally do is come on my asplay on the table, i have national geographic magazine dated may, 1944. the first article in it has to do with the liberation of the ukraine. the significance of that is that one month later we had d-day. the relationship of the soviet contribution is that as of that ukraine, you liberate we pushed the germans out of your country. we hadth before d-day, been occupying the 5% may be of 65% best -- occupying maybe
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of the best german troops. if we failed, all of those troops will have been on the normandy beaches. partisan movement began in 1941. when stalin made his first speech to the people, he urged them to become partisans, to rise up like the russians did when napoleon invaded russia. >> this war is not an ordinary war. it is the war of the entire russian people. eliminate the danger hanging over our head. but to free all people under the yoke of fascism. >> when he said that, he
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probably didn't mean it. for the first year, the only partisans allowed were either red army members caught behind enemy lines or communist party members. becausen't a bad deal ukrainians were initially, when the germans first invaded the ukraine, the ukrainians welcome them, thinking like in world war i when the germans came into ukraine and made them an independent nation. i think they realized after about a year that they had two devils. stalin on one hand. they didn't like that collectivization cost them thousands of people died because of that. by the way, we
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we see that juxtaposition today between the ukrainians and the russians and the animosity between them. now they realized there was another devil, that was hitler and the nazis. they were killing just because they were a slav, they were on the lower totem pole, if you racial totem pole the nazis projected. they send them back as -- sent them back as a rumors. >> lectures in history, a university of utah professor teaches a class about western settlement before, during and after the american revolution. he describes the relationships between the new federal government, settlers, and native americans.


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