Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2021  Vol. 20  No. 1
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The Klu Klux Menace
The Crisis, January 1921

Dr. Wilbur Crafts, superintendent of the International Reform Bureau, Washington, D.C., speaks in the Pittsburgh Leader of the lawlessness inherent in the Ku Klux Klan:

What is back of the Ku Klux Klan revival? No one is allowed to join who is either a Jew or Catholic, and it is a safe bet that no Negro need apply. Apparently the new Ku Klux is to be the secret instrument of two race prejudices and a sectarian prejudice, and I protest as a Protestant, with all my soul against this new form of lawlessness.

They say it is to maintain “100 per cent Americanism,” but it is the Mafia way, this “invisible government" by secret terrorists. It is the German way to rule by “frightfulness.” The American way is government of all the people, by all the people, including the children, for all the people, regardless of race, sect or class.

* * *

The outrages in Texas on the part of this organization have brought a protest from the Legislature of that State. The New York Times quotes Representative Patman of Cass County who said in the lower House: William J . Simmons of Atlanta, Ga., leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and “any man who admits membership of the Ku Klux Klan is a party to every crime the organization commits.”

Patman directed his remarks at Representative Baker, who had just concluded a speech defending the Ku Klux Klan, but declaring that Simmons was not connected with the Texas organization. Baker also had protested against Simmons sending representatives to this State.

Patman asserted that the Legislature also “is a party to every crime if it sits idly by and does nothing to curb the lawlessnessof this organization.”

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