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View Diary: I grew up in a KKK town (UPDATE 1x) (29 comments)

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  •  I think you would be surprised... (0+ / 0-)

    The leadership of the Klan in the area where I grew up (western Kentucky) tended to be local small business owners. The kind of guys who owned used car lots, bars, small factories, restaurants, etc., even local banks. They used to meet at one of my favourite restaurants actually. Very "respectable looking" guys. My grandfather knew a lot of them from the Elks Lodge and may well have been a member himself as he was an out and out fascist--I do mean that literally, had been a member of the German-American Bund (i.e. a Nazi) in Chicago before before moving back to Kentucky.
    You're thinking of the rank and file, who do indeed tend to be dumbass followers with social problems. Even there though, you'll find city and county employees, teachers(!), computer programmers and other professionals, alongside construction workers, truck drivers and odd jobs guys.

    It is, as the poster accurately notes, very much about perceived competition for scarce jobs, and even deeper, needing to feel better than somebody. These guys are capable of seeing absolutely everything that's ugly in the Black community--of which there's no shortage, in ANY community whether defined by race, class, or geography--but can't see the ugly in their own. So they'll rail about Black crime but have no idea how many of the local crooks are white. This isn't helped by the biased reporting in small-town papers.

    Political Compass says: -8.88, -8.67
    "We never sold out cos no one would buy."--J Neo Marvin

    by expatyank on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:06:30 AM PDT

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    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      There are many "respectable" businessmen and farmers who are members. Which is why some of my Dad's friends were embarrassed when he saw them at the rally, even tho it was a public one.

      And I think like most people, they confuse issues of lack of education and poverty as racial or ethnic. As people did in the cities with each new wave of poor immigrants.

      "If religion is the opiate of the masses, then fundamentalism is the amphetamine." Miz Vittitow

      by MillieNeon on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:14:17 AM PDT

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    •  Yea, but how long ago was that? Back in... (0+ / 0-)

      the day the Klan was for all sorts of demographics. Now it is just for white trash.

      As I said above, in this modern world your professional grade citizen who is also racist isn't going to join the Klan.

      •  this was the 1970s (0+ / 0-)

        not that long ago. And they were recruiting heavily in my high school at the time so... the next generation are probably people I knew...

        Political Compass says: -8.88, -8.67
        "We never sold out cos no one would buy."--J Neo Marvin

        by expatyank on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:17:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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