Examines the special relationship with the state that has allowed the Ku Klux Klan to exist for over a century despite its criminal history of lynchings, murders, and intimidation.
Foreword: The Klan yesterday and today
January 27, 1983
In the middle of November 1982, the Ku Klux Klan undertook what appeared to be a bold adventure in their long and bloody history.
They attempted to schedule a demonstration in the heart of Washington, D.C., fully aware that the District has been for quite a number of years virtually a Black city. Washington was thus a particularly attractive target for the Klan.
It was not boldness or bravery which impelled them to target Washington but rather their calculation that the police in the District, mostly Black, would be forced by both the federal authorities and the chief of the metropolitan police to protect and defend their presence in the city.READ MORE
Earlier the Klan had partially succeeded in invading several large cities, including Boston and Baltimore, as well as some of the smaller cities. After weeks of maneuvering behind the scenes with the federal and District police authorities, the Klan obtained a permit to demonstrate in the District on November 27.
This certainly came as a profound shock to the oppressed people in the District and to many in the progressive movement. The move by the Klan unfortunately caught the working class and oppressed communities in and around the District, and throughout the country as a whole, by surprise.
The capitalist press and media knew about the projected Klan demonstration long in advance. As a matter of fact, the All-Peoples Congress, a national community, labor, and civil rights organization, which learned of the Klan demonstration early, sent out releases to the national and local electronic media and press and announced that it was calling for a counter-demonstration.
As will be seen by the articles in this book, the Klan was soundly trounced in its effort and was driven off by a very militant counter-demonstration. The counter-demonstration was largely a spontaneous response by thousands of militant, mostly Black, young people. It did not come about without a struggle with the police, which took a considerable toll in injuries and arrests of the young militants.
Since then the Klan has reared its ugly head in several other cities. It has attempted to stage a demonstration in Austin, the capital of Texas, and has sought a foothold in the western part of New York near Rochester.
The Klan would not be a problem worthy of serious discussion if one were to judge it merely by its numbers, which are conceded by all sides to be rather insignificant.COLLAPSE