The Ku Klux Klan in Canada

Recently I made the mistake to referring to my local petrol station, “Circle K”, as ‘Triple K’, i suppose this could be considered a Freudian slip.

I remember back in 1998 there was talk about a KKK chapter in Ennis, Ireland. Thankfully that appeared to be a false claim.

However there is this notion that the Ku Klux Klan, or KKK, is a racist group that only operates in the USA. It might surprise some of you to find out that the KKK also had a presence in Canada.

In March 1922, an African American man named Matthew Bullock fled North Carolina after the Ku Klux Klan had stated he was a wanted man, accusing him of inciting riots.[11] His brother had been killed by Klansmen, who the Toronto Star reported at the time had “threatened to send robed riders to fetch Bullock and whisk him back to the American south”.

The invasion that the Star worried about in 1922 didn’t happen until 1924, when an official path for the Ku Klux Klan of Kanada was drawn up by two American wizards and Toronto resident James L. Cowan, who rented an office on Toronto Street near Adelaide Street, and set about recruiting. By 1926, a Barrie newspaper reported that there were gatherings of hooded men in more than a dozen Ontario towns, including Barrie, Sault-St-Marie, Exeter, London, and St. Marys.

One of the most prominent groups was the Ku Klux Klan of Kanada, whose main principles of white supremacy and nationalism required members to pledge that they were white, gentile, and Protestant.

Organizers stated that the Ku Klux Klan was a Christian organization with “first allegiance to Canada and the Union Jack”, disqualifying Jews from membership because they are not Christian, and Roman Catholics because their first allegiance is to the Pope in Rome.

There were cross burnings all across southern Ontario, southern Alberta, in the Maritimes, and the primary targets were Black people, Catholics, Jews and the French. In 1926, there was an explosion at a Roman Catholic church in Barrie, Ont.; three perpetrators were sent to prison.

In the 1930s, some Klan members and leaders had moved towards fascism and Nazism, and some of the early members popped up again in fascist and Nazi-like organizations in Canada.

Although the KKK operated throughout Canada, it was most successful in Saskatchewan, where by the late 1920s its membership was over 25,000.[11] Historian Allan Bartley states that this success was a result of opposition to liberal Government of Saskatchewan policy established by the entrenched Saskatchewan Liberal Party, which had held power in the province since its inception in 1905.

Although the Kanada Klan, many of whom even embroidered maple leaf insignias on their robes, billed itself as a kinder, gentler mob, it was responsible for violent domestic terrorism, most frequently in attempts to burn down or blow up places of worship—notably in Quebec City, Barrie and Winnipeg, the latter incident causing 10 fatalities. In Oakville, a mob of 75 hooded men burned a cross while parading through the town en route to their targeted victim, a white woman about to marry a black man, which they tried to prevent by kidnapping her. (They married anyway and lived happily ever after.) None of this even gets close to the power and fear the KKK wielded in Saskatchewan, where an extremely virulent Moose Jaw chapter thrived, influenced by aggressive franchisers from South Bend, Indiana.

T.J. Hind, the reverend of First Baptist Church in Moose Jaw, stated that one of the purposes of the establishment of the Ku Klux Klan was for the protection of the physical purity of current and future generations.

By the end of the 1930’s, however, the Klan was as good as dead as an organization in Canada, During the Second World War, fascism and Nazism became the enemy for many Canadians.

“By the time you get into the 1940s and 1950s and 1960s, the only echoes you see of the Klan in Canada are basically echoes from the United States,” according to Bartley .

After a couple of decades of dormancy, the Klan made yet another resurgence in the 1960s and ’70s, spurred on by the Black civil rights movement in the U.S. and by the official adoption of multiculturalism in Canada.

David Duke, who led this resurgence in the U.S. as the Klan’s grand wizard, was also amassing a number of followers in Canada. These followers established a new Ku Klux Klan of Canada, led by James Alexander McQuirter, who became the group’s grand wizard.

Canada, like the United States, had a history of segregation. But unlike the U.S., where Jim Crow laws were officially on the books, Canadian segregation was less formal.

Sources

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/sunday/the-sunday-magazine-for-november-22-2020-1.5807350/the-rise-of-the-ku-klux-klan-in-canada-and-why-its-lasting-impact-still-matters-1.5807353

https://www.tvo.org/video/a-history-of-the-kkk-in-canada

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan_in_Canada

Donation

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Strange Fruit

I don’t think there is a more powerful song then ” Strange Fruit” which deals with racism. Especially the original version sung by Billie Holiday.

The lynching of black men in the American South was an all-too-familiar occurrence in the 1930s, even though it rarely made news. So when Billie Holiday had a hit record with the song “Strange Fruit,” it brought attention to this important issue in unusual ways.

“Strange Fruit” originated as a poem written by the Jewish-American writer, teacher and songwriter Abel Meeropol, under his pseudonym Lewis Allan, as a protest against lynchings. In the poem, Meeropol expressed his horror at lynchings , inspired by Lawrence Beitler’s photograph of the 1930 lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana.

When Holiday heard the lyrics, she was deeply moved by them — not only because she was a Black American but also because the song reminded her of her father, who died at 39 from a fatal lung disorder, after being turned away from a hospital because he was a Black man.

Because of the painful memories it conjured, Holiday didn’t enjoy performing “Strange Fruit,” but knew she had to. “It reminds me of how Pop died,” she said of the song in her autobiography. “But I have to keep singing it, not only because people ask for it, but because 20 years after Pop died, the things that killed him are still happening in the South.”

There are relatively few lyrics in this blues song, but it is how they are song that gives me the shivers every time I hear them.

“Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swingin’ in the Southern breeze
Strange fruit hangin’ from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant South
The bulgin’ eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burnin’ flesh

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather
For the wind to suck

For the sun to rot
For the tree to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop”

sources

https://www.biography.com/news/billie-holiday-strange-fruit

https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/resources-for-educators/classroom-resources/media-and-interactives/media/music/billie-holiday–strange-fruit/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strange_Fruit

Where I grew up-I was so ‘privileged’.

This is going to be a bit of a rant.

I am just getting so fed up to hear that racism is only a white thing and to imply that every white man is basically born a racist. There is this notion that every white man on the planet has a very privileged background.

Let me tell you about my privileged background. Or rather let me illustrate it. The picture above is a picture of the place where I grew up . At the top of the picture you can set a few apartment blocks in the background. I have circled the one I grew up in.

As you can see straight behind the apartment block , is a massive chemical plant, part of it was basically my playground, that and the steel factory between the plant and our apartment.

I was going to post pictures of all my toys. Then I remembered and I didn’t have any . A wooden tree branch is what I used for a toy gun.

Yes I was soooo privileged.

Yet I actually do consider myself privileged, because I grew up not having a notion of entitlement, or being offended by every word or insult that was thrown at me, What I did with insults, I insulted myself even more taking away all power from those other insults.

Martin Luther King Jr.

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Martin Luther King Jr would have turned 89 today if it hadn’t been for that fateful day in Memphis on April 4, 1968.

King’s legal name at birth was Michael King, and his father was also born Michael King, but the elder King changed his and his son’s names.

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The King family had several tragedies to deal with besides the assassination of Marrtin Luther King Jr on the aforementioned date April 4 1968, his brother Alfred Daniel Williams King, died of an accidental drowning on July 21, 1969, nine days before his 39th birthday.

King Sr.’s wife and King Jr.’s mother, Alberta_KingAlberta, was murdered by Marcus Wayne Chenault on Sunday, June 30, 1974, at the Ebenezer Baptist Church during Sunday services.

Chenault was a 23 year old black man from Ohio who stood up and yelled, “You are serving a false God”, and began to fire from two pistols while Alberta was playing “The Lord’s Prayer” on the church organ.[5] Upon capture, the assassin disclosed that his intended target was Martin Luther King Sr., who was elsewhere that Sunday. After failing to see Mr. King Sr., the killer instead fatally shot Alberta King and Rev. Edward Boykin.[6] Chenault stated that he was driven to murder after concluding that “black ministers were a menace to black people” and that “all Christians are my enemies”

So much has already been written about Martin Luther King Jr so rather then going into too much detail I am ending this blog with his most famous speech.

I have a dream

 

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I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now.

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This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. **We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.”** We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

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I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”2

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,    From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

MartinLutherKing

 

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Songs that made a difference.

songs (1)

To quote John Miles”Music was my first love and it will be my last”. Music is my passion, its power has no equal. A good song can make you happy, sad or angry, a great song will make you think.

There are songs that made a difference and made people think. Unfortunately nowadays artists only seem to care which toilet should be placed during their gigs, while they don’t mind being paid millions to perform in countries where nearly every human right is ignored and/or broken, but that is a different story. In this blog I want to focus on songs where artists saw real injustice and sang or wrote about it.

Although I don’t always agree with the message they were giving,I do respect them because they are doing it out of a noble principle.

Starting off with probably the most powerful one.

Billie Holiday – “Strange Fruit” (1939)

I always liked this song but it was only a few years ago I realized what this song was about and ever since the bittersweet sounds have been haunting me.

Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” is a protest song with enduring relevance. It’s lyrics symbolize the brutality and racism of the practice of lynching in the American South. It was the first time a black artist had sung such controversial lyrics. The song itself has endured and become a symbol of the racism, cruelty, pain.

“Strange Fruit” was originated as a poem written by American writer, teacher and songwriter Abel Meeropol, under his pseudonym Lewis Allan, as a protest against lynchings.In the poem, Meeropol expressed his horror at lynchings, inspired by Lawrence Beitler’s photograph of the 1930 lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana.

ThomasShippAbramSmith

He published the poem under the title “Bitter Fruit” in 1937 in The New York Teacher, a union magazine. Though Meeropol had asked others (notably Earl Robinson) to set his poems to music, he set “Strange Fruit” to music himself. His protest song gained a certain success in and around New York. Meeropol, his wife, and black vocalist Laura Duncan performed it at Madison Square Garden.Barney Josephson, the founder of Cafe Society in Greenwich Village, New York’s first integrated nightclub, heard the song and introduced it to Billie Holiday. Other reports say that Robert Gordon, who was directing Billie Holiday’s show at Cafe Society, heard the song at Madison Square Garden and introduced it to her.[11] Holiday first performed the song at Cafe Society in 1939.

Amazing Grace -John Newton 1772

A hymn that has been performed by many artist, however I chose the version of the most famous of all singers,Elvis.

Former slave ship captain John Newton wrote Amazing Grace in 1772 .

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He mentored William Wilberforce in his long fight to outlaw slave trading. The song took root in the US during the Second Great (religious protestant) Awakening in early 1800s. It became a standard hymn sung by all races but also a protest song associated with civil rights and with Martin Luther King. It remains a hymn, a freedom song and also has a life as a radio chart hit for performers as diverse as Mahalia Jackson, Judy Collins and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. It is the song most frequently sung on Martin Luther King Jr Day in the US.

Get Up Stand Up – Bob Marley 1973

“You can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. So now we see the light! We gonna stand up for our rights!”

Marley was inspired to write this song after touring Haiti where he was moved by the extreme poverty  Haitian people faced. The song describes taking action to avoid oppression by higher forces.

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Fortunate Son

The song, released during the peak period of U.S. involvement in Vietnam, is not explicit in its criticism of that war in particular, rather, it “speaks more to the unfairness of class than war itself,” according to its author, John Fogerty. “It’s the old saying about rich men making war and poor men having to fight them.

‘Fortunate Son’ wasn’t really inspired by any one event. Julie Nixon was dating David Eisenhower.

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This song is said to be inspired by the joining together of two political families when David Eisenhower, grandson of President Dwight Eisenhower, and Julie Nixon, daughter of President Richard Nixon, married. Writer John Fogerty told Rolling Stones he “had the feeling that none of these people were going to be involved with the war. In 1968, the majority of the country thought morale was great among the troops, and eighty percent of them were in favor of the war. But to some of us who were watching closely, we just knew we were headed for trouble.”

 

 

 

THE GRADUAL DEHUMANIZING BY THE NAZI REGIME-Part 2

Capture

The persecution of the Jews began systematically almost as soon as Hitler came to power. The Nazis established many new anti-Jewish laws. These were introduced slowly at first, so that the civilian population would not realise the extent of the Nazi party’s anti-Semitism. Below is a chart showing a small selection of the 2,000 Nazi anti-Jewish decrees passed between 1933-1945. It is uncertain whether Hitler planned to murder the Jews when he came to power. Originally it seems he intended to force them out of Germany but this eventually led to a plan to exterminate the Jews.

1933

  • Public burning of books by Jews and anti-Nazis

    1933-may-10-berlin-book-burning

  • Random attacks on Jews and Jewish property
  • Police and the courts no longer protect Jews
  • April boycotts of Jewish shops – for one day, Germans are told not to buy from shops and business owned by Jews
  • SA stand by shops to discourage people from going inside

    Berlin, NS-Boykott gegen jüdische Geschäfte

  • ‘Kosher’- ritual slaughter of animals banned
  • Department of Racial Hygiene (‘ethnic cleansing’) established

1934

  • Jewish students excluded from exams in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and law
  • Jews excluded from military service

1935

  • Nuremberg Laws deny Jews many basic civil rights
  • Law for ‘The Protection of German Blood and German Honour’ forbade mixed marriages

    1024px-Nuremberg_laws

1935-1936

  • Jews no longer allowed to vote and lose German citizenship
  • Benefit payments to large Jewish families stopped
  • Jews banned from parks, restaurants and swimming poolsjvzveId
  • Jews forbidden to use the German greeting ‘Heil Hitler’
  • Jews no longer allowed electrical/optical equipment, bicycles, typewriters or records
  • Passports for Jews to travel abroad restricted
  • Many Jewish students removed from German schools and universities

1938

  • Special identity cards issued to Jews
  • Jews excluded from cinema, theatre, concerts, exhibitions, beaches and holiday resorts
  • Jews forced to add the names Sarah or Israel to their own
  • Kristallnacht (9 November) – a night of terrible violence in Germany. German and Austrian Jews are murdered, synagogues burnt and desecrated and shop windows destroyed. Thousands of Jews are arrestedcom-kristellnacht
  • Jewish children expelled from German schools
  • Jews’ passports stamped with a red letter ‘J’. Some have passports removed to prevent them leaving the country.

1939

  • A central office for Jewish emigration set up
  • Jews evicted from their homes without reason and notice
  • Jews’ radios confiscated
  • Jewish curfew established

1940

  • Jews’ telephones confiscated
  • Jews no longer receive ration cards for clothes

1941

  • Jews over 6 forced to wear a Yellow Star of David with ‘Jew’ written on itParis, Jüdische Frauen mit Stern
  • Jews Forbidden to use public telephones
  • Jews forbidden to keep dogs, cats and birds
  • Jews forbidden to leave the country

1942

  • Jews hand over fur coats and woollen items
  • Jews not allowed to receive eggs or milk
  • Blind or deaf Jews no longer allowed to wear armbands identifying their condition in traffic
  • All schools closed to Jewish children

1943

Continuous Deportations

05

06

With all this happening there were still brave people who defied the Nazi rules, often in subtle but clear ways.

A menorah defies the Nazi flag , 1931

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Taught to Hate-KKK Kids

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The Ku Klux Klan has survived for more than 150 years. Its ideology of hatred and white supremacy continued to keep attracting new members through the Holocaust, the civil rights movement, and on past the election of America’s first black president. It seems unbelievable that hatred could live on for that long, that anyone in the modern world could put on white robes, burn crosses, and still spread manifestos that call for an all-white America.

A KKK child and a black State Trooper meet each other, 1992 2

But hatred often starts at home. Since 1865, countless children across America have been born into the Ku Klux Klan. They’ve been raised by parents who pass down a moral code created in the days of slavery. From birth, these children are fully immersed in the Klan.

The pictures below illustrate child’s lives in the KKK. They also show that contrary to popular believe, the Ku Klux Klan were not only operating in the Southern States.

A mother looks on as her seven-month-old child is baptized into the Klan.

Long Island, New York. July 4, 1927.

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Two children — in the original caption, labelled as “mascots” of the Ku Klux Klan — stand with the Grand Dragon.

Atlanta, Georgia. July 1948.

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A young girl in robes drinks a Coca-Cola while she and her mother watch a Ku Klux Klan rally.

Location unspecified. August 1925

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Shelby Pendergraft, 15, and Charity Pendergraft, 17, attend a cross lighting ceremony at the Christian Revival Center.

Bergman, Arkansas. 2008.

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This unidentified Klan woman gets her son dressed up real “cute” in KKK robes and hat. The boy doesn’t seem to be too happy with the outfit, if you can judge by the expression on his face.

Location unspecified. April 27, 1956.

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A child is initiated into the Ku Klux Klan.

Macon, Georgia. January 1946

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Seven-year-old Perry Blevens sticks his head out the car window, showing off the sign that calls for “no integration.”

Gwinett County, Georgia. April 14, 1956.

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A police officer stops to talk to a young boy about the Klan.

The young boy was curious about the rally marching by. But after talking to the officer, he changed his mind and went home instead of being lured into the Klan.

Danbury, Connecticut. August 7, 1982.

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A mother and her child hold hands as they watch a cross burn.

Georgia. April 27, 1956

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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A child is born with no state of mind Blind to the ways of mankind.

 

figure-1Don’t worry I haven’t suddenly become a Hip Hop artist. although the title of this blog does come from a classic Hip Ho[ track. called “the Message” by Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, but it is a powerful line and oh so true.

Children don’t see the color of a skin or a religious background. All they will see is will they play with me or not.

Below are some more examples where the children put us adults to shame. Isn’t it ironic that the children are teaching us?

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A photo of a Jewish and a ‘Palestinian’ boy overlooking Jerusalem and embracing each other

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A KKK child and a black State Trooper meet each other, 1992

A KKK child and a black State Trooper meet each other, 1992 2

The Ku Klux Klan was holding a rally in the northeast Georgia community of Gainesville, where the white supremacist group hoped to breathe some life into its flagging revival campaign of the late 1980s and earl 1990s. Assigned as a backup photographer for the local daily, The Gainesville Times, was Todd Robertson. At the Klan rally, there wasn’t a tremendous amount of action for Robertson to record. According to news reports from the day, there were 66 KKK representatives, encircled by three times as many law enforcement personnel. The downtown square was otherwise empty, with about 100 observers at the fringe, mostly there to demonstrate against the Klan.

The white supremacists were out-of-towners with no real local support in Gainesville. Many people who came to these Klan events were not from the city. While reporters and the staff photographer focused on the speakers at the rally and watched for potential signs of conflict, Robertson chose to follow a mother and her two young boys, dressed in white robes and the KKK’s iconic pointy hats.

One of the boys approached a black state trooper, who was holding his riot shield on the ground. Seeing his reflection, the boy reached for the shield, and Robertson snapped the photo. Almost immediately, the mother swooped in and took away the toddler, whom she identified to Robertson as “Josh”. The moment was fleeting, and almost no one noticed it, but Robertson had captured it on film. Since that moment the photograph has become an iconic image of American race relations and to the postulate “No one is born racist”

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The Sleepy Lagoon murder case

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What began as a neighborhood party during the summer of 1942 led to the largest mass murder trial in California’s history. After young Jose Diaz was found murdered near Los Angeles’ Sleepy Lagoon reservoir, 600 Mexican Americans were rounded up by the police, 24 were indicted, and 17 were convicted. But thanks to the efforts of crusading lawyers, Hollywood celebrities, and Mexican Americans throughout the nation, all 17 convictions were thrown out in an appellate decision that cited lack of evidence, coerced testimony, deprivation of the right to counsel, and judicial misconduct.

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Late at night on August 1, 1942, eight to ten uninvited young men were ordered to leave a birthday party at the east Los Angeles ranch home of the Delgadillo family. The party crashers ended up half a mile away on a “lover’s lane,” where they assaulted several young people parked by a reservoir nicknamed “Sleepy Lagoon.” The victims of the beating returned to their own neighborhood, collected a large group of friends, and returned to confront their attackers. Finding no one there, they followed the sound of music to the nearby Delgadillo party. What happened when they arrived would never be clear, but a brawl erupted inside and around the Delgadillo house.

Police arrived to find two stabbing victims. They also discovered 22-year-old Jose Diaz dying nearby on the roadside. Authorities blamed Diaz’s death and the fight at the Delgadillo house on a perceived “Mexican youth gang” problem in Los Angeles. Intending to extinguish gang-related crime, police used Diaz’s death as a pretext to arrest hundreds of young Mexicans and Mexican-Americans for offenses ranging from weapons possession to minor charges like vagrancy, curfew violation, “unlawful assemblage,” or possessing a draft card with an incorrect address.

By the end of the week, between 300 and 600 people had been detained in nightly police sweeps. Police singled out young “zoot suiters,” who wore extravagant wide trousers, drape jackets, and flamboyant hats.

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Twenty-two of the detainees were charged with murder and assault, while two others were indicted as juvenile offenders. They became known as the “Sleepy Lagoon defendants.” Prosecutors accused them of being members of a teenaged “gang,” which had conspired to crash the Delgadillo party in search of the group that had attacked them earlier. Since Jose Diaz was allegedly killed during a fight resulting from this conspiracy, the Sleepy Lagoon defendants were held collectively responsible for Diaz’s murder.

American participation in World War II played a major role in how the case was viewed. Conservative dailies like the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Examiner railed against “zoot suit hoodlums,” but skeptics derided the trial. The California Eagle, Los Angeles’ African-American weekly, accused the conservative press of manufacturing fake “crime waves” perpetrated by minority young people in order to perpetuate segregation. Each side accused the other of aiding Nazi attempts to sow discord in the United States during wartime. Worried over reports that the Axis powers were using the trial to encourage a fascist “fifth column” in his country, Mexico’s consul accused the prosecution and the conservative Los Angeles press of being motivated by racism.

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The Court martial of Jackie Robinson.

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Jack Roosevelt Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was an American professional baseball second baseman who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era.Robinson broke the baseball color line when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base on April 15, 1947. The Dodgers, by signing Robinson, heralded the end of racial segregation in professional baseball that had relegated black players to the Negro leagues since the 1880s. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

In 1942, Robinson was drafted and assigned to a segregated Army cavalry unit in Fort Riley, Kansas.

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Having the requisite qualifications, Robinson and several other black soldiers applied for admission to an Officer Candidate School (OCS) then located at Fort Riley. Although the Army’s initial July 1941 guidelines for OCS had been drafted as race neutral, few black applicants were admitted into OCS until after subsequent directives by Army leadership. As a result, the applications of Robinson and his colleagues were delayed for several months. After protests by heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis (then stationed at Fort Riley) and the help of Truman Gibson (then an assistant civilian aide to the Secretary of War), the men were accepted into OCS.The experience led to a personal friendship between Robinson and Louis. Upon finishing OCS, Robinson was commissioned as a second lieutenant in January 1943. 

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Lt. Robinson was an officer with the 761st Tank Battalion.  That unit of African-American soldiers – later dubbed “The Black Panthers” (and “Patton’s Panthers”) – became famous when they fought for 183 straight days in Europe (including at the Battle of the Bulge).  Their motto was “Come Out Fighting.”

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If an eventful bus ride had not sidetracked Jack Robinson, during the summer of 1944, the 2nd Lieutenant could have been with his men when they shipped-out to Europe.  Instead, he faced charges of insubordination, resulting in a court-martial.

An event on July 6, 1944 derailed Robinson’s military career.While awaiting results of hospital tests on the ankle he had injured in junior college, Robinson boarded an Army bus with a fellow officer’s wife; although the Army had commissioned its own unsegregated bus line, the bus driver ordered Robinson to move to the back of the bus.Robinson refused.

The driver backed down, but after reaching the end of the line, summoned the military police, who took Robinson into custody.When Robinson later confronted the investigating duty officer about racist questioning by the officer and his assistant, the officer recommended Robinson be court-martialed. After Robinson’s commander in the 761st, Paul L. Bates, refused to authorize the legal action, Robinson was summarily transferred to the 758th Battalion—where the commander quickly consented to charge Robinson with multiple offenses, including, among other charges, public drunkenness, even though Robinson did not drink.

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By the time of the court-martial in August 1944, the charges against Robinson had been reduced to two counts of insubordination during questioning. Robinson was acquitted by an all-white panel of nine officers.

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The experiences Robinson was subjected to during the court proceedings would be remembered when he later joined MLB and was subjected to racist attacks.Although his former unit, the 761st Tank Battalion, became the first black tank unit to see combat in World War II, Robinson’s court-martial proceedings prohibited him from being deployed overseas; thus, he never saw combat action.

After his acquittal, he was transferred to Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky, where he served as a coach for army athletics until receiving an honorable discharge in November 1944.While there, Robinson met a former player for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro American League, who encouraged Robinson to write the Monarchs and ask for a tryout. Robinson took the former player’s advice and wrote to Monarchs’ co-owner Thomas Baird.