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With this kind of data, it is less surprising to find, for example, that the Socialist Party and the Klan formed a 1924 electoral alliance in Milwaukee to elect John Kleist, a Socialist and a Klansman, to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.(43) Robert O. Nesbitt perceived, in Wisconsin, a ``tendency for German Socialists, whose most conspicuous opponents were Catholic clergy, to join the Klan.''(44) The economic populist Walter Pierce was elected governor in Oregon in 1922 by a strong agricultural protest vote, including the endorsement of the Klan and the Socialist Party. Klan candidates promised to cut taxes in half, reduce phone rates, and give aid to distressed farmers.(45) A recent study of the Klan in LaGrande, Oregon revealed that it ``played a substantial role in supporting the strikers'' during the nationwide rail workers' strike of 1922.(46)
In fact, the KKK appealed not infrequently to militant workers, despite the persistent stereotype of the Klan's anti-labor bent. An August 1923 World's Work article described strong worker support for the Klan in Kansas; during the state-wide railroad strike there in 1922, the strikers ``actually did flock into the Klan in what seems to have been large numbers.''(47) Charles Alexander, who wrote the highly regarded The Ku Klux Klan in the Southwest, though generally subscribing to the anti-labor Klan reputation, confessed his own inability to confirm this image. Referring to himself, he said, ``the writer has come across only two instances of direct conflict between southwestern Klansmen and union organizers, one in Arkansas and one in Louisiana.''(48) Writing of Oklahoma, Carter Blue Clark judged that ``violence against the International (sic) Workers of the World and radical farm and labor groups was rare...''(49) He found sixty-eight incidents of Klan-related violence between 1921 and 1925, only two of which belonged to the ``Unionization/Radicalism'' category.(50) Goldberg's study of the KKK in Colorado found that ``despite coal strikes in 1921, 1922, and 1927, which primarily involved foreign-- born miners, the Klan never resorted to the language of the Red Scare.'' During the Wobbly-led strike of 1927, in fact, the Canon City Klan formed an alliance with the IWW against their common enemy, the ruling elite.(51) Virginia Durr, who was Henry Wallace's Progressive Party running mate in 1948, gives us a picture of the Klan of the '20s and labor in the Birmingham area: ``The unions were broken...So, the Ku Klux Klan was formed at that point as a kind of underground union and unless you were there and knew it, nobody will believe it. They will say, `Oh, but the Klan was against the unions.' Well, it wasn't.''(52) Gerald Dunne found that ``ninety percent of Birmingham's union members were also involved with the Klan,''(53) and that the Klan in the state at large attacked the Alabama Power Company and the influence of the ruling Bankhead family while campaigning for public control of the Muscle Shoals dam project and government medical insurance.(54) In the '20s the corrupt and inert officialdom of the United Mine Workers was presided over by the autocratic John L. Lewis. Ku Kluxers in the union, though they had