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Old 18 Oct 16, 12:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slick_miester View Post
Here one has to be careful. There's been a lot of claims about the real numbers of lynchings over the years, but one thing all historians agree on is that it didn't take too many lynchings to get the word out: that Negros were lower than whalesht on the bottom of the ocean, and that a black man's life wasn't worth a page's worth of printer's ink, much less an arrest warrant. Violence kept Southern blacks in line, and they got the message loud and clear.
True. The Klan didn't call itself the Invisible Empire for nothing;
they intended the threat to be sufficient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slick_miester View Post
One also has to keep in mind that a lynching need not be a Klan event in order to advance ostensible Klan ends. Indeed, an individual may participate in a lynching without the aegis of the KKK even while he was a member. These things tended to be awfully amorphous, varying greatly from one local chapter to the next. Therefore sweeping generalizations about actual Klan activity -- despite their public rhetoric -- might easily prove inaccurate, depending on locale, era, etc.
True. The Klan was far from taking credit for acts they heard about second hand in order to inflate the terror of their name. They took credit for a lynching in Texas in 1944, despite the fact it was a crowd of blacks that did the lynching.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slick_miester View Post
Can't speak of Chicago or Detroit, but according to Malcolm X Lansing Mich was a major Klan town: that's where Malcolm Little grew up, and he believed that his father was murdered by the Lansing Klan.
I've read that. It is a credible claim for the day.


Quote:
Originally Posted by slick_miester View Post
I have to wonder how much of an intersection there was between Klan members and various acts of terror. For example, was Birmingham police commissioner Bull Connor actually a Klan member, or did he merely enjoy close ties to the KKK? Or did any of that make any substantive difference, as Connor was quite clear not only in his view of desegregation, but also in his willingness to investigate various acts against his city's blacks, like the bombing of churches, et al?
I believe the Klan's ability to intimidate was exploited by more than one local government back in the day. The police in that period were fewer and more poorly equipped than they are today, and there weren't nearly as many prison beds available. Brute force was a limited option. So a 'force multiplier' like the Klan was a useful asset in keeping order.
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