This probably should be for GQ. I stuck in here because I’ve always been curious about what really went on with the KKK for it’s history, and I think there might be some debate over just how active a role in Southern life they had.
Now, I have no doubts that the KKK has committed great evils.
However, despite having all my life in the South, and most of it in the rural South–I have never seen a Klan rally, and I’ve never seen anyone dressed up in a Klan outfit other than on TV.
And speaking of TV/movies, you sorta get the idea that in the South there’s a Klan rally every weekend, and all the rubes come by to toast marshmallows on burning crosses.
Maybe it happens, but I’ve never seen anything like it. (Granted, it is supposedly done in secret.)
What little I’ve heard about the Klan is that it formed after the Civil War, that it largely died out some years later, and it was “re-invigorated” (if you can say that) partly as a result of the Leo Frank/Mary Phagan case in Atlanta. I’m reasonably sure it arose as a result of the Civil War–the other stuff I’m not so sure of.
I’ve just been curious to know exactly how “active” a presence the Klan had in those pre-Civil Rights days.
I sorta get the idea watching old movies that the Klan routinely just went hunting for Blacks for sport.
I just don’t know much about the Klan, and I wonder how much of their activities involved “‘coon huntin’” and how much involved star chamber/vigilante “justice.”