Think of this as Volume 17, Number 28 of the newsletter I have written weekly since March, 1997. Enjoy.
Back in April I wrote about the 4th Riding of the KKK mainly in terms of the Republican leadership.
But leaders don't go where their followers won't. This riding of the Klan, like all previous ridings, is based in the grassroots.
The first riding was based on a real fear that blacks were taking over the government. Reconstruction made white voters ineligible to vote in the 1860s, so blacks did take over, and the purpose of the riding was to put blacks back in “their place,” a virtual slavery to replace what was now illegal.
The second riding, which coincided with the fall of populism early in the last century, was designed to enforce Jim Crow laws, and pushed millions of blacks into the new industrial ghettoes of the north, which had a brief golden age in the 1920s.
The third riding, starting in the 1950s, was in reaction to the Civil Rights movement, and was designed to minimize the gains of Dr. King and his followers. That movement eventually metastacized into an uneasy racial peace, with whites becoming Republican and suburban while blacks were given the crumbling cities.