On January 14th, the Brea School Board will vote on the controversial question of changing the name of Fanning Elementary School, because it is alleged that William Fanning, the school’s namesake, was a member of the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s (along with many prominent Orange Countians).
In order to give some much-needed historical context, and to better understand this strange and disturbing topic (the Ku Klux Klan in Orange County in the 1920s), I spent my winter break reading the definitive work on the topic, a 700-page doctoral dissertation entitled The Invisible Government and the Viable Community: The Ku Klux Klan in Orange County, California During the 1920s by Christopher Cocoltchos. I present here a summary of what I learned.
The Second Ku Klux Klan
Many folks tend to think of the Ku Klux Klan as a monolithic organization; however, it’s important to recognize that the KKK has actually had three main incarnations throughout American history.
The first KKK was formed in the aftermath of the Civil War by disgruntled and defeated Confederate soldiers who were upset about newly freed African Americans and other changes happening in the South during the period known as Reconstruction. They, like all subsequent versions of the KKK, believed in white supremacy. This first Klan had died down by the 1870s.
Then, in 1915, the Ku Klux Klan was re-born in Georgia by a man named William Joseph Simmons, who was inspired by the first major American blockbuster film, The Birth of a Nation, directed by D.W. Griffith. This hugely popular film was based on a best-selling novel called The Clansman by Thomas Dixon.
The Birth of a Nation, while an important technical achievement in the history of cinema, is also a profoundly racist movie—the heroes of the film are the Ku Klux Klan. This film was so successful that it re-kindled Americans’ interest in the KKK, and sparked a massive resurgence.
By the mid-1920s, an estimated 2-4 million Americans had joined their local Klavern, in cities and towns all over America—not just in the South, but also in the West. One of the places where the KKK proved quite popular in the 1920s was Orange County, California.
The KKK Comes to the OC
Contrary to popular stereotypes, the folks who joined the KKK in Orange County in the 1920s were not psychotic “hillbillies” or outsiders. They were, in fact, prominent members of the community. Using a valid membership list of the Orange County Klan (obtained from the Library of Congress), Cocoltchos shows that the KKK attracted a wide range of some of the county’s most respected leaders.
“The Klan’s leadership was a stable, successful, middle class group of people whose religious leanings, if they had any, centered on the major evangelical Protestant denominations and whose political affiliations were predictably Republican in a traditionally Republican county,” writes Cocoltchos, “More importantly, the Klan’s leaders had a strong, enduring involvement in their town’s civic affairs.”
Take Brea, for example. According to Cocoltchos, “Five of the town’s first eight mayors were Klansmen as were six of the ten councilmen who sat on the board of trustees from 1924 to 1936. Klansmen dominated the other civic offices during these years, providing 50% of the city’s treasurers, 25% of the city’s engineers, 50% of its city clerks, 50% of it city marshals, and 67% of its fire chiefs.”
And then there was Fullerton: “Councilman W.A. Moore, Judge French, and Superintendent of Schools Plummer [yes, that Louis Plummer] joined the Klan in the latter part of 1923, and R.A. Mardsen entered in mid-1924. Civic leaders were especially eager to join. Seven of the eighteen councilmen who served on the council between 1918 and 1930 were Klansmen,” writes Cocoltchos.
But the real hot-spot of KKK activity in the OC was Anaheim. On the night of July 29th, 1924, in the city that would become home to The Happiest Place on Earth, this went down:
“Anaheim, now advertised nationally as a model Klan city, was chosen as the site for one of the largest Klan gatherings ever held in California. On the night of July 29, up to 20,000 persons from as far away as Bakersfield, San Bernadino, and San Diego gathered in Anaheim City Park to witness the initiation of over 1,000 new Klansmen. The ceremonies began with a parade from the nearby Santa Fe station…Led by the 75 piece Los Angeles Klan Marching Band, a long line of robed Klansmen, walking five abreast, solemnly proceeded down the Main Street and through the business section, to the tune of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’
The ceremonies were begun with an impressive fireworks display, dropped overhead by a couple of airplanes rented especially for the occasion. On the ground a huge cross nearly thirty feet high, and several other smaller crosses, were ignited and left to burn throughout the evening. Inside the rectangle a series of Klan leaders came forth and addressed the gathering, explaining the principles and purpose of their organization. Outside the rectangle Klansmen, their wives, and little Kluxers (junior Klansmen twelve to eighteen years old) circulated among the crowd, passing out or selling anti-Catholic literature and soliciting new members for their organization.” (“The Activities of the Ku Klux Klan in Anaheim, California 1923-1925” by Richard Melching published in Southern California Quarterly, 1974, by University of California Press on behalf of the Historical Society of Southern California.)
This was by no means the only Klan rally in north Orange County. Klan leaders and lecturers were drawing crowds in the thousands in Anaheim, Orange, and Fullerton. In 1925 a well-known Klan speaker addressed a crowd estimated at 5,000 people, in what is now Amerige Park in Fullerton. His topic was ‘What’s the Matter With America?’ Apparently “the alien influence” was the primary cause of America’s difficulties, and a solution was “limitation or a complete halt to immigration.”
Why Did People Join the KKK?
According to Cocolthcos, the KKK had at least 1,200 members in Orange County at the height of its power in 1924. While the organization only allowed white Protestant Christians to join, its member- ship reflected a broad cross-section of the community’s white Protestant Christians, who joined the hooded order for a variety of reasons.
Fred B. Kern, a bicycle shop owner, was active in the Klan’s recruiting efforts, as a “kleagle.” He feared Catholic domination of the town.
Car repair shop owner Fred Davis was a member of the Masonic Lodge and loved secret organizations for their ritual. He was the Klan’s ritualist, and several Klansmen later said that Davis did a “beautiful job.”
R.W. Ernest was the editor of the Orange County Plain Dealer, one of the main newspapers in Anaheim. Ernest used the pages of his newspaper to promote Klan ideas and activities.
“Members of the Klan were urged to use their private influence in getting people to join the Klan,” said one former Klansman. According to another member, the KKK did its job so quietly and effectively “that a lot of people did not know who was a Klan member and who was not.”
According to Cocoltchos, although the KKK ideology was based on the racial supremacy of white Protestant Christians, it wasn’t exactly racism that separated Klan members from non-Klan members, because white Protestants dominated Orange County, and racism was pretty much normalized everywhere.
Take, for example, the way all white people in Orange County at the time treated the largest ethnic minority in the area, Mexican Americans:
Mexican Americans had to attend segregated schools and lived in segregated housing. On February 10, 1917 the board of trustees of the Anaheim School District voted “to segregate all the Mexican children and to maintain two grades for them.” The “Mexican School” was completed in 1921 and the segregation of Mexican school children became the norm throughout Orange County, until the landmark Supreme Court Case Mendez v. Westminster in 1947, which ended school segregation in California.
“Racist attitudes were an integral part of the perceptions of the entire white population of the county,” explains Coclotchos. Mexican Americans were generally seen as a subservient, cheap labor force, the unacknowledged back-bone of the county’s well-known citrus industry.
Japanese farmers were also the targets of the white population’s racism: “As early as 1919 the Orange County Farm Bureau advocated the total exclusion of Japanese immigrants and forever barring these immigrants from acquiring American citizenship.”
So, if racism wasn’t really the dividing line between Klan and non-Klan, what was? For some, it had to do with the threat of liquor (this was during Prohibition). The Klan was “dry” (or so it claimed) and its members often charged that the civic leaders of Anaheim and other towns were “wet” and “soft” on bootleggers and other crimes. The Klan saw itself as a strict “law and order” group.
The Prohibition issue was also connected with a fear of crime and an alleged, though non-existent, “crime wave.” Throughout 1921 and 1922, the Anaheim newspapers ran headlines such as: “Crime Epidemic Sweeping the County”, “No Abatement of Orgy of Crime”, “Criminality in County Increases”, “Criminals Coddled too Much, Murders Too Common!”
In fact, a closer look at actual crime data revealed that the alleged “crime wave” was basically non-existent; it was more the product of sensational journalism than social reality. Yet, fear is a powerful motivator.
Another component of the Klan’s ideology was anti-Catholicism. At a Klan rally in Fullerton in 1924, the speaker spoke against “the banning of the Bible from the public schools; attributing this to the influence of Rome.”
Fullerton businessman Dan O’Hanlon, an Irish Catholic, was infuriated by the speakers remarks. He stood up and called the speaker a “liar.”
“Several Klansmen and their friends began encircling O’Hanlon and yelling, ‘get that guy’ and ‘where is a tar bucket?'”
Fullerton police officers took him away from the angry crowd before fighting broke out and booked him for “disturbing the peace.” Some friends, including city attorney Albert Launer, interceded to obtain his release.
On that night, a fiery cross was burnt on the O’Hanlon lawn.
Another factor influencing the Klan’s rise, according to Cocoltchos, was a series of political confrontations between the Klan and the more established political and economic leaders of Orange County, who may be called “the elite.” These folks included people like Samuel Kraemer, Thomas McFadden, Charles C. Chapman, and the Chamber of Commerce.
The anti-labor attitudes of the elite played a substantial role in the Klan’s development in Northern Orange County.
In Brea, the demise of an oil workers’ union coincided with many Brea oil workers joining the Klan.
“When they [oil workers] faced the prospect of wage reductions, job insecurity, and the loss of solidarity and control over their lives, the overtures of a group like the Klan, whose entire existence was rooted in a certain vision of civic betterment, seemed more welcome than they might otherwise have been. 23% of the Klan were oil workers,” writes Cocoltchos.
According to Cocolthcos, members of the Klan “believed the disorders in their community would be stopped only by the efforts of a civic-oriented group which would balance boosterism with a strict community moral order.”
Reverend Leon Myers: Leader of the Klan
In fact, there were actually two Klans in Orange County—a small and relatively ineffective one that lasted from around 1920-1922 (it had about 200 members), and a much larger and more effective one that achieved real social and political power in 1924. This Klan was led by the charismatic Reverend Leon Myers, pastor of the First Christian Church in Anaheim.
“To Myers, the moral fervor of evangelical Protestant Christianity compelled the creation and maintenance of a more moral sense of community,” writes Cocoltchos, “Myers moralistic missionary tendencies were the heart of his character.”
Myers assumed charge of his Anaheim congregation in late June, 1922 and he “gained an aura of authority because of his ability to evoke strong feelings of inner conviction and commitment in his congregation.”
Under Myers’ leadership at the First Christian Church, four of seven members of the lay board of trustees became Klansmen as did three of six elders and seven of the twelve deacons.
On February 13, 1923, the Klan visited a sermon given by evangelist C.L. Vawter at Myers’ church: “A silent hooded procession to the altar presented the minister with a donation and a letter of gratitude…Vawter then praised the hooded order, and he read the letter to the congregation: ‘Wrong rules the land and waiting justice sleeps. God give us men! Men who serve not for selfish booty, but real men, courageous, who flinch not at duty…Then wrongs will be redressed, and right will rule the land.’”
In the next couple of months KKK crosses were burned in Anaheim, Fullerton, and Yorba Linda to alert the general populace to the Klan’s existence.
Evidently, Myers and the other Klan leaders wanted to “make a Christian crusade out of it.”
According to Myers, the purpose of the Klan was “the creating in Anaheim of a better environment in which to promote the cause of Jesus Christ. For thirty years, as all the older citizens of Anaheim know, Anaheim’s record was a record of wild parties, saloons, booze, and crime. A ring of politicians ruled Anaheim. These leading citizens were of the lowest type. They were Rome controlled and liquor souzed.”
In 1924, four Klan members were elected to the Anaheim city council.
Flushed with success, the Klan became more overtly active. The Plain Dealer noted that three days after the election “a white covered auto bearing four figures in white drove through the streets…announcing an address at the Christian Tabernacle” by Colonel J. Rush Bronson, an official Klan lecturer.
The Anaheim council began firing city employees and replacing them, in most cases, with Klansmen. The Klan tightened its control over the city by putting their people in power.
Then the council added eleven policemen, increasing the force from four to fifteen men. Ten of the eleven appointees were Klansmen.
According to Lafeytte A. Lewis, who was opposed to the Klan, “Soviet Russia had nothing on Anaheim…You were judged as to whether you were a Klansman or not, by the grocery store you went to or the dry goods store…If you are not a member of the Klan and brushed an automobile in parking, you were immediately taken up to jail.”
The first ordinance passed by the Klan council “prohibited the manufacture, sale, purchase, storage, gift and transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes.”
The U.S.A. vs. the K.K.K.
Following the rise of the Klan to overt political power in Anaheim (and other neighboring cities), a group of civic leaders and Orange County District Attorney Alex Nelson, planned to take them down. Some of these leaders formed the U.S.A. club, in an attempt to counter the Klan’s claim of being “100 percent American.”
The anti-Klan coalition consisted of L.A. Lewis, Thomas McFadden, Reverend James Geissinger, Lotus Louden (editor of The Bulletin, Anaheim’s other newspaper), and members of the local Knights of Columbus such as Ernest Ganahl and Samuel Kraemer, as well as Father Patrick Browne of St. Boniface’s Catholic Church.
The anti-Klan forces reasoned that if the Klan’s secrecy had been a powerful factor in its successes, then unmasking it might take it down. They needed a list of members.
Different stories exist about how the list was obtained. Lewis’ claims he bought it directly from the “King Kleagle” of the Klan of the State of California for $700.
Armed with the list, the anti-Klan forces made effective use of it to expose and take down “The Invisible Empire,” the KKK.
Nelson revealed that some of the Anaheim councilmen who had been elected were Klan Members. The anti-Klan forces “based their attack on small town America’s tradition of free, open government as opposed to what they claimed was the Klan’s secret, corrupt, dictatorial government.”
Anaheim Methodist pastor Geissinger criticized the Klan as “revolting and totally un-American” and stated that bigotry and religious hatred had no place in Anaheim.
The local Lions, Rotary, and Elks clubs and the Masonic Lodge denounced the Klan as a menace to prosperity and an agent of bigotry. The American Legion post in Anaheim was the only civic or social group that the Klan dominated.
Nelson charged that the Klan, all across the country, was a “venal and commercial adventure” which always brought vigilantism in its wake, even to the point of condoning murder.”
The U.S.A. club then submitted a petition to recall the Klan councilmen in Anaheim.
On recall election day Orange County Sheriff Sam Jernigan and District Attorney Alex Nelson provided extra armed guards to protect polling booths.
It was a decisive victory for the anti-Klan candidates. All the Klan councilmen and the Mayor were recalled by large margins.
Recalled Mayor Metcalf blamed the result on “ineligible Mexican” voters.
The whole Ku Klux Klan debacle deeply divided the citizenry of Anaheim for the remainder of the decade.
The pro-Klan newspaper The Plain Dealer folded after settling a libel suit against it for $90,000. Myers charged that a Catholic conspiracy had destroyed The Plain Dealer and praised the Klan as the “only hope of America.”
Later that year, however, Myers announced his resignation from the First Christian Church and accepted another church’s offer in Dodge City, Kansas.
Although it dealt the Klan a serious blow, the loss of Myers didn’t end the Klan in Orange County.
“From 1926 until 1930 the feud between the Klan and anti-Klan elements in Anaheim remained as intense as ever, particularly during the biennial elections in 1926, 1928, and 1930,” writes Cocolthcos, “In Brea, La Habra, and Fullerton, the Klan remained in power during the rest of the decade.”
In assessing the meaning and goals of the 1920’s Ku Klux Klan in Orange County, Cocoltchos comes to some startling conclusions. The Klan was responding to trends in their overwhelmingly white Protestant communities that were, in fact, not alien or “foreign” at all, but were the natural consequences of their own values and ideas.
“Klansmen, to avoid criticizing the basic values and traditions of white Protestant culture, or more accurately because they could not conceive of the possibility that their basic values were contradictory or often led to harmful results, perceived that the people espousing such disturbing trends could not be people like themselves, but were somehow different,” writes Cocoltchos.
I have sub-titled this article “Notes on the Banality of Evil” because it is a reference to philosopher Hannah Arendt’s groundbreaking book Eichmann in Jerusalem: Notes on the Banality of Evil which is about the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, who was one of the chief facilitators of the Holocaust.
In Arendt’s book, she avoids the easy cliche of Eichmann as a “monster” or as someone entirely different from ordinary people. Instead, what makes her book so insightful (and disturbing) is that Eichmann is a painfully ordinary bureaucrat who, because he accepted, unthinkingly, certain popular premises, became complicit in atrocities.
Rather than portraying Eichmann as a vicious, bloodthirsty monster, Arendt portrayed the man as he was—ordinary. The fact that a man such as this could be involved in the destruction of millions of human beings shatters our neat categories, and forces us to consider profound moral questions like: what are the conditions under which an “ordinary” person can become complicit in atrocities? The book is haunting in its implications and relevance for our times, as is a serious reflection on the Ku Klux Klan in Orange County during the 1920s.
Categories: Local News
Thanks for the history. One minor point: Mendez v.Westminster was not a Supreme Court case.
Thank you for the article. Your reference to Republicans being in the KKK is objectively false, based on historical records.
Your quote “The Klan’s leadership … whose political affiliations were predictably Republican in a traditionally Republican county…” begs to differ from the reality that the Republican Party was created by Abe Lincoln to fight slavery and the KKK was started the the then Democratic party to scare Republicans into giving up. Moreover every piece of anti-slavery legislation was passed by a majority of Republicans with very few Democrat votes. Finally, historical records show that significantly more Democrat politicians, including Robert Byrd, were members of the KKK.
Rewriting history to fit the false narrative that the KKK is affiliated with Conservatives or Republicans is a blatant attempt to rewrite history and I sincerely hope the Fullerton Observer will do all they can to stop such willful misconduct as a leader in providing accurate news.
Blessings to you!
Excellent article. Thanks.
@Stephanie Greene: THIS HISTORY IS ABSOLUTELY RELEVANT TO UNDERSTANDING CURRENT EVENTS. Stop yelling and READ IT AGAIN. Thx
I am finding it more and more distressing that the Observer is printing articles that seem to inflame the already unsafe political climate in our country, the recent being the fact that Fullerton was once known as a “sundown” town who discriminated against blacks. This article also featured a very large street sign TRUSLOW AVE as being the point at which blacks were no longer able to live beyond. My son actually lives on Truslow and he was not one bit happy with this article. He felt, as I do, the article was not meant to “educate” the public as Mr. Le Tour claimed; but, its affect will just be the opposite if posted to Facebook or other Media web-sites. I feel this could cause tremendous adverse affects if these mobs (BLM, et al) decide to come to our town to “correct past injustices.” Why add fuel to the fire I asked?
It is too bad that our only newspaper in Fullerton is geared so far to the left. I find it unsettling that the younger generation feels that they are compelled to “educate” their “captive audience.” I say captive because we have no other choice. I read the newspaper each week and end up going to Facebook and posting what I think about the politics these people have just tried to force down our throats.
That is why the Media has a bad name. They print articles from sources and do not check on the facts but rely on sources, even those of very, very, very young people who haven’t even lived on this earth long enough to appreciate all the inroads we have made to improve the lives of blacks. I am 82 years old and I can tell you that when I had a party, my best friends who were black and who lived in Compton did want to come out here (this was in the 60’s) because of the reputation Orange County had again Blacks. Look at us now. How can the paper print an article about these past injustices at this time—I ask again. FAKE MEDIA HAS AN AGENDA FOR SENSATIONLISM MEANT TO INFLAME THE PUBLIC BE WHAT IT PRINTS EITHER RIGHT OR WRONG. HOWEVER, ALWAYS BEING THOUGH THE FACT THAT CONSERVATIVES ARE WRONG AND SOCIALISM IS RIGHT.
Those are great questions. While, prior to COVID-19, you could physically visit either the US Library of Congress or the Anaheim Heritage Center Public Library to see the list, neither allows any copying of the list or any electronic device, phone, or camera and the list cannot be viewed online.
Observer editor Jesse La Tour physically visited the Anaheim Heritage Center Public Library and viewed the membership list a few years ago. At that time the “List,” which is alphabetical, had a missing page – the “P” page – with a few “Ps” at the bottom of the page before the missing page and a few at the top of the page after the missing page. When asked about the missing page the Anaheim Librarian said that it was unknown if the page was missing or if the pages were just miss-numbered.
The US Library of Congress listed the KKK membership list in its collection up until 1982 (a few years after the dissertation was written) when librarians discovered it had disappeared from the files. They are still looking for it as of June 2020 when I got the letter below in response to my question:
As you may know, the Library of Congress Manuscript Division holds a small collection of Ku Klux Klan records relating to Anaheim, California, dating from 1924-1925. The collection was donated to the Library in 1954, and our records reflect that a membership list was part of the collection at that time. However, the collection, which is held in a single box, does not currently include a membership list. Our staff has has conducted a careful and extensive search for this item during the past two years, but to date have been unable to locate the list. During the course of our search, we discovered that the division’s records indicate that the list was missing from the collection in 1982. While we continue to intermittently search for this item, the division revised the online record
at https://lccn.loc.gov/mm81029017 to reflect that membership list is not currently part of the collection.
At present, the Library’s onsite facilities are closed to researchers and the public and most staff are assigned to telework. There has been no date yet announced for the return of Manuscript Division staff to onsite, but when we are allowed to return, I will be glad to renew the search for the membership list.
If you are not already aware, a membership list of the Anaheim Ku Klux Klan is in the custody of the Anaheim Heritage Center Public Library, https://www.anaheim.net/2473/Anaheim-Heritage-Center .
Jeffrey M. Flannery
Head, Reference & Reader Services Manuscript Division
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-4680
If this list exists, why has it never been published alongside stories like the one above? A few years ago a hack journalist wrote diatribes about white men who lived in Fullerton and had streets in Fullerton named after them. He accused these dead men of belonging to Orange County, CA. KKK during the 1930’s and onward. When pressed by a few readers to prove the existence of this list, he said the list was in a drawer at a library. The obvious question was why didn’t this “journalist” open the drawer at the library, take a picture of it with his phone and attach it to his hate whitey diatribes?
When my parents moved from Pennsylvania to O.C. in 1962 I didn’t hear about the KKK. I went to a high school without any black people. I didn’t know what a Mexican was as we had very few in our school. Heck I didn’t know what a surfer was. But throughout my years of moving and traveling I learned much. My biggest eye opener was when we moved to Talladega, Alabama.
We were riding into town and and the town square was having a picket (or so I thought). All were in the KKK white headgear and gown. Rich made a remark “I Don’t know who they are but the tennis shoes looked familiar. The boy’s were with us (ages 7 & 11) and wanted to know what was going on. Rich explained the best he could to two kids their ages. I ‘ll never forget that. Fortunately we were transferred to Terminal Island and they both made friends of many cultures throughout their lives. That’s my KKK story except for the fact being born and raised in Pittsburgh for 15 years, while growing up some of my best friends were black. They protected me against some mean blacks. They were my FRIENDS.
This entire article is based on a 1980 dissertation? I researched this and found that it was never challenged because instead of taping his interviews, the writer took an “oral” statement. A thesis paper supposedly written as truth but never verified. All persons listed in the book are dead. I find that very convenient. I’m sure the KKK was in Orange County, but I think the author of this story and the book she used are ridiculously flawed.
1979 UCLA Dissertation. Are you certain the interview was not documented? Was it Christopher that did the interview? I had heard the interview was done through the Titan CSUF school newspaper.
I would like to see some verification of the source as well.
I do believe the names should be changed if it is verified that these men were in the KKK. But the least we can do is verify this guy’s source.
I emailed the professor on Monday. I have not had a reply.
I’ll now be releasing his email address to the Fullerton community.
Oral histories (tape/cd) of the KKK are in the Oral History Center at Cal State Fullerton (CSUF)
Jesse La Tour,
You state here that Christopher stated that Louis Plummer was in fact a member of the KKK.
As you know, Fullerton has taken his name off of the auditorium because of his membership.
May I ask, who did Christopher Cocoltchos cite as the source of this information?
How did he come about this because so far, the only source is Christopher Cocoltchos’ dissertation.
Also, did you confirm the source?
I’m curious as to whether there were any Klan atrocities committed in Orange County, or whether the OC Klan expressed approval of the atrocities of the Klan in the South and elsewhere? It sounds from your article like it was mostly moralistic intolerance rather than overt racism that prompted Klan membership in OC.
Was there ever a realtor’s organization known as “The Neighborhood” operating in North Orange County?
I had heard of organized attempts by realtors to keep Mexicans from expanding home ownership outside of their neighborhoods and to keep Blacks from moving into NOC.
Nice article. However, I was hoping to find some facts of the KKK’s more violent and racist activities in Orange County such as lynchings and beatings for my research paper. Any ideas or knowledge of such activity in Orange County during those times? Any feedback is appreciated. Again, nice article.
Did you happen to ever find some information on that? I’m having trouble finding anything. I’m interested in finding KKK history in OC because knowledge is power and it’s the only way we can truly solve racism. Thanks.
Hi Chelsea. Yes I found one article. Here is the link. https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-klan-rally-in-anaheim-erupts-in-violence-one-man-stabbed-20160227-story.html
Just keep digging for information. There are numerous events that involve racism that have been recorded and filed. We just gotta keep searching. Let me know if you find anything else.
Sammy, Did you find anything on this? I am also working on a paper tha is about this topic for my masters thesis.
Yes I did. Here is the link. https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-klan-rally-in-anaheim-erupts-in-violence-one-man-stabbed-20160227-story.html
I hope this helps, Mike. Good luck on your paper.
I’d be surprised if there were lynchings in OC, but I know people who had Klan graffiti sprayed on their cars in Fullerton as recently as the 1990s. Unfortunately I can’t document it by now. And it could have been unaffiliated skinhead wannabes just using the KKK reputation to intimidate.
Just read your well written piece on the Klan in Orange County.. I found a short list of some of the members during that time.. What I’m interested in is finding out which political party these men belong to.. Were they democrats, republicans or a mixture of both. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated… Thank you!
Hi. Is Louis E. Plummer’s name on that list by any chance?
Growing up in Anaheim in the 70s, the Klan’s presence, albeit growing less transparent, was palapable in daily life. This compelled a young me to submerge myself info various cultures, out of fear this ridiculous hate would become a part of me no matter how disgusting I found it to be. I have raised my sons, with the participation of people of all cultures and with a heavy emphasis on basic human respect.
The only part of this article I see as a problem is that the author reveals their political leanings, hilighting republicans in the Klan.
The KKK founding members were democrats and independents. And for decades these Confederates wreaked havok in the south. Eventually, KKK came out of hiding, had established themselves in the west while remaining in other areas and finally republicans joined in. Currently, white supremecists are from all party affiliations. They have infultrated every party from dem to rep to green party and independent. A multipartisan scum, which plagues every level of society. KKK should be deemed a terrorist organization. I hope I live to see that.
The KKK and the White Supremacy movement were products of the minds and interests of Democrats.
The KKK has been formed three times. 1865, 1915, and 1946 until the present time. Always by Democrats.
For the campaign of 1898, the platform upon which the 𝗗𝗲𝗺𝗼𝗰𝗿𝗮𝘁𝘀 oriented all of the issues was White Supremacy. “𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝘀 𝗮 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝗻’𝘀 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗿𝘆,” the Democrats claimed in their official Party Handbook, “𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗺𝗲𝗻 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗹 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗴𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗻 𝗶𝘁.”
The mindset that created the KKK and White Supremacy is still there today. People conveniently forget or are denied history. Democrats run a large number of states where Blacks are less privileged.
Blaming Republicans or Conservatives for White Supremacy or the KKK is one of the most significant and successful disinformation campaigns in modern history.
Educate yourself and thoroughly research history and find out how what was then is still now.
Slavery and the White Supremacy movement were products of the minds and interests of the Founding Fathers.
From the creation of the country in 1776, the platform upon which the Founding Fathers oriented all of the issues was White Supremacy. “Comparing them by their faculties of memory, reason, and imagination,” Jefferson wrote in 1782, “it appears to me that in memory they are equal to the whites; in reason much inferior, as I think one could scarcely be found capable of tracing and comprehending the investigations of Euclid: and that in imagination they are dull, tasteless, and anomalous.”
The mindset that created slavery and White Supremacy is still there today. People conveniently forget or are denied history. Statues of the Founding Fathers stand in a large number of states where Black people are less privileged.
Equating modern Democrats to pre-1950s Democrats is one of the most significant and insidious disinformation campaigns in modern history. One needs only look at a few historical maps to see that the geographic and demographic base of the pre-1950s Democrats has realigned in support of the modern Republican party.
Educate yourself and thoroughly research history and find out how what was then is still now.
Is it possible to get the list of members,?
Thanks for a great article. I didn’t know there was so much klan activity in Fullerton and locally. It is important to know our true history in order to make necessary changes.