The KKK: White America’s Primal Scream

The Ku Klux Klan's power over American policy cannot be overstated. The truth is, "it had an enormous influence," historian Linda Gordon told Salon's Amanda Marcotte on "Salon Talks."


Gordon is the author of the new book "The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition," which documents the resurgence of the American terrorist group in the 1920s. Fairly unknown, Gordon explains that this "second Klan" operated above the Mason-Dixon line and had a forceful hand in mainstream American politics.

One example, she says, is the United States' first federal immigration restriction law authorized in 1924. "That law wasn't just a general restriction of immigration," Gordon said. "It set quotas for people of different groups, and what those quotas did was they enacted into law exactly this hierarchy of the races that the Klan promoted."

She described how Catholics and Jews were particularly targeted by these quotas. "We also have to remember that this law stayed into effect until 1965," Gordon said. "So this is 40 years in which the '20s Klan influenced American policy towards immigration."

According to Gordon, something similar is taking place today.

"Just as that law is probably one of the contributing factors to the fact that the United States had such a bad record at refusing to accept Jewish refugees from Nazism — because of these quotas. Well the same thing is happening now," she said. "The quotas make it very difficult for Americans to help these refugees from violence or from climate change, or all the things they're running from."

Watch the full "Salon Talks" conversation on Facebook.

Tune into Salon's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage," daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon and on Facebook.

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}