Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Reconstruction Redux?


KKK March Washington DC, 1925

The photo above was 1925…over 85 years ago.

As a 62 year old black person raised by parents and grandparents who lived during those years, 1925 is not so long ago and far away.

This one is of our current Tea Partiers in the Nations capitol.  


Those Klan marchers have long since gone to their graves.  Some of the children who were brought to the march to wave and cheer for their parents now have children and grandchildren of their own.   I can be fairly sure that they raised those kids to embrace the principles of American Exceptionalism;  the specialness of whiteness.  The rejection of all those who were not born to rule and a hatred of those who refused to “stay in their proper place” at the bottom of the hierarchy.

After the civil war, which freed slaves…a new order swept through the states – particularly in the South.

Black men who had been servitors in chains could now vote.  In many areas of the south blacks were a majority, and with the help of Federal officials and Northern abolitionist groups they began to assert themselves – electing blacks to the Congress, and to state legislatures.

In the ensuing years, those who were defeated in battle – started a new war.  A right wing terrorist  resistance to change.  Change of the world the way they knew it.  Change of the world that was built for them.  Change of the future that they wanted for their children.  Their white children.

They trained those children to hate.  They took them to fish fries and lynchings.



Hate is based on fear.  Fear of loss of control.  Fear of loss of social position.  Fear of the dark “other”.  

And so they raised an army.  To defend their way of life.  An army dressed in symbolic white.  An army that raided by night and marched by day.  An army that called itself Christian.  An Army fighting under the flag of supremacy, a red white and blue banner unfurled alongside of Dixie banners.


This sweeping tide of hate permeated every corner of the States.- North, South East and West.

Lest we forget, it was not just blacks who were the “other” to be feared and suppressed.

By 1920 women as well could vote, adding new faces to the ranks of the enemy to be feared.  And then after years of struggle red and yellow men and women soon swelled the voting rolls:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1831 that “Indians” were a “domestic dependent nation.” As such, Native Americans lacked citizenship rights as long as they remained within their nation. In 1906, the Burke Act granted citizenship to those Native Americans who privately farmed their land and left the jurisdiction of the reservation. But it would not be until 1924 that Congress would pass the Indian Citizenship Act granting all Native Americans, on or off the reservation, citizenship and the possibility of suffrage. In 1956 Utah was the last state to give Native Americans the vote.

Chinese Americans faced similar barriers to voting. Three hundred thousand Chinese arrived in the U.S. between 1854 and 1882, drawn to the California gold rush and jobs in mining and railroad construction. Chinese immigrants quickly became targets for white workers, who blamed them for driving down wages. Riots against Chinese in California were commonplace in the 1870s and 80s. Pressure for action grew so great that the U.S. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, the first anti-immigrant act in U.S. history. The law ended Chinese immigration and prevented Chinese and later other Asian immigrants from becoming naturalized citizens, thus disfranchising that population.

Children of Chinese born in the United States were also excluded from citizenship until an 1896 law established their rights as citizens. Not until 1926 would California’s suffrage provision, allowing “no native of China” to vote be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Chinese Exclusion Act would remain in effect until 1943, when the United States lifted the immigration ban.

I have talked in the past about resistance to the Klan and other hate groups.

I’m old enough to remember seeing cross-burnings…in Baton Rouge LA in the 50’s and on suburban lawns in Queens NY in the 60’s.

Today I see the same hate etched on the faces of my neighbors in upstate NY.


My little town of Kingston NY has been visited by the KKK in recent years.

I follow the upswings in hate and haters in my area using the “hate maps” provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Let’s take a look at the KKK and its past – and its present reconstruction, or reconfiguration.

Three Klans

First KKK

The first Klan was founded in 1865 in Tennessee by veterans of the Confederate Army. Although it never had an organizational structure above the local level, similar groups across the South adopted the name and methods. Klan groups spread throughout the South as an insurgent movement after the war. As a secret vigilante group, the Klan reacted against Radical Republican control of Reconstruction by attempting to restore white supremacy by threats and violence, including murder, against black and white Republicans. In 1870 and 1871 the federal government passed the Force Acts, which were used to prosecute Klan crimes. Prosecution of Klan crimes and enforcement of the Force Acts suppressed Klan activity. In 1874 and later, however, newly organized and openly active paramilitary organizations, such as the White League and the Red Shirts, started a fresh round of violence aimed at suppressing Republican voting and running Republicans out of office. These contributed to white conservative Democrats’ regaining political power in all the Southern states by 1877.

Second KKK

In 1915, the second Klan was founded. It grew rapidly nationwide after 1921 in a period of postwar social tensions, where industrialization in the North attracted numerous waves of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe and the Great Migration of Southern blacks and whites. The second KKK preached racism, anti-Catholicism, anti-Communism, nativism, and antisemitism. Some local groups took part in attacks on private houses, and carried out other violent activities. The violent episodes were generally in the South. The second Klan was a formal fraternal organization, with a national and state structure. At its peak in the mid-1920s, the organization claimed to include about 15% of the nation’s eligible population, approximately 4-5 million men. Internal divisions, criminal behavior by leaders, and external opposition brought about a collapse in membership, which had dropped to about 30,000 by 1930. It finally faded away in the 1940s

Third KKK

The “Ku Klux Klan” name was used by many independent local groups opposing the Civil Rights Movement and desegregation, especially in the 1950s and 1960s. During this period, they often forged alliances with Southern police departments, as in Birmingham, Alabama; or with governor’s offices, as with George Wallace of Alabama.[6] Several members of KKK groups were convicted of murder in the deaths of civil rights workers and children in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Today, researchers estimate that there may be approximately 150 Klan chapters with 5,000[7]-8,000 members nationwide. Today, a large majority of sources consider the Klan to be a “subversive or terrorist organization”. In 1999, the city council of Charleston, South Carolina passed a resolution declaring the Klan to be a terrorist organization. A similar effort was made in 2004 when a professor at the University of Louisville began a campaign to have the Klan declared a terrorist organization so it could be banned from campus. In April 1997, FBI agents arrested four members of the True Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Dallas for conspiracy to commit robbery and to blow up a natural gas processing plant.

Why am I musing about this today?  

While surfing the web I happened upon this statement (my bold):

The Ku Klux Klan was overshadowed in the late 1990s and early 2000s by growing neo-Nazi activity; however, by 2005 neo-Nazi groups had fallen on hard times, with many groups collapsing or fragmenting. This collapse has helped create a rise of racist skinhead activity, but has also provided new opportunities for Klan groups. In addition, in the early 2000s, many communities in the United States began to experiences a significant influx of immigrants, especially Hispanics, for the first time in their histories. A single-issue movement opposing immigration has helped create fear and anxiety about immigration in the minds of many Americans.

Many Ku Klux Klan groups have attempted to take advantage of that fear and uncertainty, using anti-immigration sentiments for recruitment and propaganda purposes, and to attract publicity.

and I thought about Reconstruction – and hate, and now the age of Obama laced with hate, and the advent of an America with a black, brown, yellow, red  majority future and the upswing of hatred against certain  immigrants and I want us to remember.

There are many people who want to deny what they see happening – right in front of our eyes.  There are those who want to shove the hatred out of sight out of mind, or deny its cause.  

What makes this any different from those days gone by?


Why do photos like these raise my ire?


I’ve read too many “well meaning” expressions of “concern” about the Tea Party folks and the Rand Paul’s of America, attributing the right wing anger to a broad range of variables.

But for me, the root of the cancer points in one direction only.  These people hate me, and mine and everything we’ve gained since 1865.

We’ve slowed them down before, and they’ve come back.  They will not go gently into the night of the past.  They confront us now in the harsh light of day.

Correction – they are not “back”.  Sadly – they never went away.

We have a task in front of us.  More than ever we need to be united.  

Black, white, brown, red, yellow….women, men… straight, gay… religious, agnostic or atheist.  

Fight Back against Hate

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win

Pa’lante Siempre Pa’lante

Cross posted from Black Kos

A Note to all Moose folk:

As you may or may not know, I write a weekly commentary (most weeks) at Black Kos over at the GOS.

It is called “Black Kos Tuesday’s Chile (“chile” being southern speak for “child”)

It is difficult to get a majority of the readers/commenter’s at Dkos to even open a community diary series entitled “Black Kos” even though most of our regular readers are not African-American.  

The time it takes to put together the Tuesday segment has regrettably kept me from posting more frequently here.  

I just wanted to let you know what I’ve been doing and will shamelessly pimp our efforts at BKos…even though I know many Mooseketeers no longer dip their toes in Orange.


  1. sricki

    I love Black Kos, but honestly I have been avoiding dKos of late, so I have not read y’all in ages. Thank you thank you thank you for cross-posting. I will try to remember that you post on Big Orange on Tuesdays so I can go rec you, but frankly, half the time I don’t even know what day of the week it is, and my memory is none too impressive.

    It really is terrifying, the hatred we are seeing, and there’s no question that much of it is fueled by fear and bigotry. I started to make a comment in… hmmm, perhaps it was one of your old diaries, or one of fog’s… but I wrote it out and then decided it wasn’t fully relevant. I saved it though. Fog (I think?) had said,

    DV’s diary reminds me of the wierd unfounded fear that drives this nasty stuff. They’re taking over. Taking over what?!? I honestly don’t see it. What exactly do these assholes think they are losing?

    My response was,

    Interesting that you mentioned this. I took a Multicultural Psychology course last fall, and one of my classmates (an older white male) had what you might call a bad experience. He questioned some of the assertions in the textbook we used, and he felt ganged up on by the rest of the class, especially the African American students and the professor, who was a Japanese immigrant. The book he took issue with (Counseling the Culturally Diverse: Theory and Practice) was one that some here may be familiar with — or at least with the authors, Derald Wing Sue and David Sue. The book is essential, I think, to any collection of literature dealing with culturally diverse populations. It presents what some whites might call the “other side” of the story, in that it is written from a “minority perspective.” It’s a valuable resource, but it is very confrontational in some ways, and it is disturbing and uncomfortable for whites to read at times. Long story slightly shorter, my classmate became paranoid about pretty much all cultural groups and convinced himself that they wanted to tear down the Washington Monument when they “gained control” of Congress and the country due to their increasing numbers, and instead put up statues of Jesse Jackson. Really, the whole thing was nuts, and I’d had him in several of my classes prior — I thought he was a reasonable, sane person until he expressed some of those views to me. But I think it just goes to show you what paranoia and persecution complexes will do to someone’s mind — and eventually paranoia distorts thoughts until they become delusions.

    I have more to say on this diary, but I’m being a little ADD at the moment, so I’ll come back to it.

  2. fogiv

    …and the scumbags are definitely looking to recruit.  I was going to do a diary on this jaw dropping crap back in April, but a bunch of ‘life’ got in the way of me fiishing it.

    Charles Juba, once considered among the most influential men in the Neo-Nazi movement, is opening a new under-21 nightclub in Odessa this weekend. He says he’s left his past behind, but Odessa residents are still understandably concerned about what kind of influence the man who once ran “Gas A Jew For” might have on their kids, let alone how his club will make Odessa look.


    According to the Black Flag Club’s Web site, Juba picked the name as a reference to the banner of Civil War guerilla fighter William Quantrill, whose most famous raid, the Lawrence Massacre, left 183 men and boys dead and the town burning. The club’s Web site says it’s the “newest, the biggest, and the best 20 & under club for music dancing, bands, and fun!”

    In fall 2003, the Southern Poverty Law Center put Juba on its “40 to Watch” list.


    According to the SPLC’s report, the one-time Lancaster, Pennsylvania, factory worker became head of a Pennsylvania KKK group at 21, eventually rising to the rank of grand dragon of the International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

    In 1992 he ran a telephone hotline threatening to lynch blacks and telling them to swim back to Africa with “a Jew under each arm.” He was a member of multiple white-power groups over the next decade, settling with the Neo-Nazi Aryan Nations.

    …and yes, that’s his daughter giving the sieg heil.  In doing some of the research, I read a little about a dispute Juba was having with his ex-wife; something about him demanding the return of his nazi flag pillow cases.  First class, all the way.


    Fortunately, this little endeavor has been stopped in its tracks.  Eternal vigilance.

  3. spacemanspiff

    Like sricki I’ve been avoiding Kos for the most part but will try to

    remember to visit on Tuesdays. I’d love to add more but blogging from my iPhone makes it hard to give this diary the commentary it deserves. Will come back when I’m on my Mac!

    Pa’ tras ni pa’ coger impulso! Pa’lante siempre!

  4. HappyinVT

    A group of artists has been asked to lighten the faces of children depicted in a giant public mural at a Prescott school.

    The project’s leader says he was ordered to lighten the skin tone after complaints about the children’s ethnicity. But the school’s principal says the request was only to fix shading and had nothing to do with political pressure.


    Wall said school Principal Jeff Lane pressed him to make the children’s faces appear happier and brighter.

    “It is being lightened because of the controversy,” Wall said, adding that “they want it to look like the children are coming into light.”

    Lane said that he received only three complaints about the mural and that his request for a touch-up had nothing to do with political pressure. “We asked them to fix the shading on the children’s faces,” he said. “We were looking at it from an artistic view. Nothing at all to do with race.”

    Read more:

    City Councilman Steve Blair, however, apparently did have a problem:

    In a broadcast last month, according to the Daily Courier in Prescott, Blair mistakenly complained that the most prominent child in the painting is African-American, saying: “To depict the biggest picture on the building as a Black person, I would have to ask the question: Why?”

    Blair led a drive to get the mural removed.

    For the record, the faces on the mural were based on photographs taken of students at the school where the mural as done.  Also, mentioned in the article were cases where racial slurs were shouted at those who were painting the mural … including some children.

  5. sricki

    I am thinking you’re probably mad busy, but I wonder whether you might have a chance to drop me a line through email? I wanted to ask you something, but am not sure of your email address. If you get a chance, my email is

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