The Internet Anti-Fascist: Tuesday, 18 August 1998

The Internet Anti-Fascist:
Tuesday, 18 August 1998 —
Vol. 2, Number 46 (#154)

                      DARK NIGHTS OF THE KU KLUX KLAN                               by tallpaul  Every year or so I like to get a barrel of coffee, a hundredweight of cigarettes, and live in front of the television for several days watching some incredibly long show.  It’s sort of a Wagnerian opera blowout from a different part of the political spectrum.  I did it last week when Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center was featured on Court TV in two solid days of the lawsuit against the Klan for bombing the Macedonia Baptist Church. (See the TINAF ftp supplement, described below, for the full story(s).)  Between the summer of 1995 and 1996 close to 70 Black churches in the southern U.S. were burned. Members of the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan were convicted for destroying the Macedonia church.  Dees developed the tactic of filing civil suits in hate-crime cases against the organizations whose members were involved. These suits provide some monetary damages to compensate the victims/survivors and can bankrupt the hate-based organizations involved.[1]  Dees’s work also pulls the hood of the Klansmen, making the infamous “Invisible Empire” visible. Last week, with Klan leaders on the witness stand the entire world could see what really resides beneath the KKK propaganda about religion, patriotism, non-violence, and free speech.  The trial on Court TV, along with “KKK: The Secret History” broadcast on the Arts & Entertainment channel revealed a different, infinitely more truthful, side of the Klan. It is an organization of documented murder, rape of Black and white women, mayhem against women as well as men, financial manuevers by Klan leaders for personal enrichment, of bribes, and of government corruption by elected officials who are also Klan members.  It is a group that espouses Christianity but a Christianity that bombs churches; “defends Christian family values” and murders children.  Seeing the Klan on the stand revealed them to be small men with much to be small about. It was amusing to see pettiness of the men who present themselves as the pinnacle of white racial accomplishment. Once there were Beethoven’s and Bach’s; today there is the idiocy of the band RaHoWa (an acronym for RAcial HOly WAr). Once there was Goethe’s Faust; today we see the “Turner Diaries.” Once there was Frederick the Great; today there is … well, Horace King, the Klans’s Grand Dragon, who Dees had on the witness stand.                THE STATE OVERLOOKS ADDITIONAL KLAN CRIMES  Perhaps the most visible example of Klan crimes were King’s perjuries on the witness stand. Dees revealed the  Christian Klan lies, presented under the Christian bible’s oath to tell the truth.  A subdued King testified he had not used the term “nigger” for some years. Then Dees provided a videotape of King using the word at a recent rally.  King denied that he ever counseled people to resist local law enforcement officials and we then saw King bragging how he would “kick the tail lights out” of a police car if stopped by a Black cop.   King swore he had not urged violence against Blacks. Court TV viewers then saw another tape of King announcing that “This is a white man’s country and if the niggers don’t like it, put them on a rowboat and send them back to Africa.” Another video showed King stating at a Washington rally that “if we had this garbage in South Carolina, we would burn the bastards out or run them out of town.”  Some argue that all of King’s statements at Klan rallies were protected “free speech.” But this notion does not extend to statements made under oath on the witness stand. Free speech might protect King from criminal law when he urged violence against Black people; it might protect him if he denies doing so when interviewed by a journalist. But when he denies it when questioned by Dees, under oath,he commits a crime: perjury.  Don’t hold your breath waiting for the state to prosecute the Grand Dragon. Traditionally, perjury by right-wing forces is overlooked while perjury by alleged left-wingers is jumped on.  The classic example is the case of Alger Hiss who was convicted of perjury when he denied knowing Whittaker Chambers. This was used by the right-wing to claim that Hiss, never convicted of espionage, was a leading “Communist spy.” And the Hiss Case was used as one proof of a far larger conspiracy.  The fascists in the Klan get a far easier ride.  Telling however is the doubt that this creates about investigations of church bombings and other criminal acts inferentially linked to the Klan and other similar groups: if clear perjury, broadcast on national television, is not prosecuted, how little is being done in other far less clear investigations concerning fascist acts?     KLANSMEN AGAINST THE KLAN: SAME RATS, SAME SHIP, DIFFERENT EXITS  There are still a large number of convictions, despite considerable government softpedaling of fascist-related violence. Many occur  because one group of Klansmen rat out their fellow criminals. As King can take his Christian oath and lie, so the lesser Klanskreatures can betray their oath of secrecy for lighter sentences, testifying instead so that others have heavier ones.  Again and again we see Klansmen turning their sheets in to insure that other Klansmen are forced to trade sheets for prison garb.  The same happens in civil trials, like the recent one where already-convicted bombers testified against King and the White Knights of the KKK.  Don’t think that the confessions *automatically* indicate remorse; in the Macedonia case King was reported to have promised the bombers they would receive a light sentence. They turned against him when they discovered they would be doing heavy jail time.  King appeared in the video of Klan rallies as a strutting cock of the walk, a veritable Old Testament Prophet of doom and gloom for those attacking the values he espoused. He appeared on the witness stand as a tired old liar, denying his principles to preserve his bank account. This man with his six-grade education and inability to understand complex English sentences was, for a few days at least, the world’s leading example of the Jim Crow south. It was, for some exceedingly brief moment, possible to feel sorry for the man. Then one almost immediately recalled that he wanted Jim Crow revisited on the south. Similarly, he appeared willing to mislead his followers about jail time, sticking them with decades in the slammer in order to preserve his political position, his organization, and his money.  Aryan warriors describe themselves as made of sterner stuff. The reality behind the facade of “racial unity” is a set of rationalizations for small, insecure, whiny losers whose idea of strength is to throw bombs in the dead of night, arm themselves and gang-attack unarmed individuals, and then rat each other out.  Between Klan rats and civil damages one wonders where the Klan recruits.   But as P.T. Barnum said, there’s a sucker born every minute.  – – – – –  [1] see Morris Dees and Ellen Bowden (TRIAL: American Trial Lawyers Association), “Taking Hate Groups To Court,” Feb 95 in The Internet Anti-Fascist: Friday, 24 April 1998 — FTP Supplement #29 (#102): Fighting Fascism Documents From the Southern Poverty Law Center  ———————————————————————-  The Multiracial Activist has launched a new email newsletter!  To subscribe, go to and enter your email address in the ListBot box.  Yours in Struggle, James A. Landrith, Jr. Editor, The Multiracial Activist  ———————————————————————  The Internet Anti-Fascist: Sunday, 16 August 98 FTP Supplement #55 (#153): Klan Church Bombing Trial  1)  Bruce Smith (Associated Press), “Klan Head Testifies in Church     Trial,” 21 Jul 98 2)  Bruce Smith (Associated Press), “SC Convict Says He Wanted Race     War,” 22 Jul 98 3)  Bruce Smith (Associated Press), “Church Seeks Damages From KKK,” 23     Jul 98 4)  Bruce Smith (Associated Press), “Klan Defense Ready in Arson     Lawsuit,” 23 Jul 98 5)  Bruce Smith (Associated Press), “Klan Targeted in Church Burning,”     24 Jul 98 6)  Bruce Smith (Associated Press), “Klan Leader Takes Stand in     Lawsuit,” 24 Jul 98 7)  Bruce Smith (Associated Press), “Church’s Lawyer Says Klan Must     Pay,” 24 Jul 98 8)  Reuters (no author), “Klan ordered to pay millions to church,” 24     Jul 98 9)  Herb Frazier  (Reuters), “Klan ordered to pay torched black     church,” 25 Jul 98 10) Bruce Smith (Associated Press), “Klan Must Pay $37.8M in Arson     Suit,” 25 Jul 98 11) Tom Gibb ([PA] Post-Gazette), “Klan official’s ouster sought: State     constable may lose his job because of criminal record,” 9 Aug 98 12) Southern Poverty Law Center (no author), “Appeals court upholds     judgment against neo-Nazi leader,” n.d. (downloaded 13 Aug 98) 13) Southern Poverty Law Center (no author), “Black South Carolina     church wins $37.8 million from Klan,” n.d. (downloaded 13 Aug 98) <> _____________________________________________________________________                                 FASCISM:    We have no ethical right to forgive, no historical right to forget.         (No permission required for noncommercial reproduction)                                 – – – – –                         back issues archived via:                 <> 

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