Ku Klux Klan
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#1: Ku Klux Klan Author: LissLocation: Richmond PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 3:34 pm
I know the question of EBD's unconcernedness in having the girls be interested in the activities of the KKK has been raised before (though possibly several years ago, admittedly *g*) but I just read something that would shed some light on it. Obviously now the KKK is by all accounts a scary, freaky racist bunch of nutjobs, but apparently, back in the day (late C19th/earlyC20th), they were more acceptable, apparently growing out of Southerners' desire to deal with the corrupt Scalawags/freedman/carpetbaggers who had taken over local government etc in the aftermath of the Civil War. Since the girls (and, presumably, EBD) gained their information chiefly from the Elsie books, which are fairly aged, it may be that the KKK seemed like an OK sort of thing. Possibly.

(Just to pimp the book, it is called Confederates in the Attic, by Tony Horwitz, about modern Southern attitudes to the Civil War, and is a fascinating read. Highly recommended.)

#2:  Author: Alison HLocation: Manchester PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 3:43 pm
A lot of books written even as late as the 1930s take that view.

Sorry to do my trick of harping on about Gone With The Wind again Embarassed , but that goes on about people not realising the "tragic necessity" that brought the KKK into being - attacks on women etc.

Had better shut up before I waffle about my pet topic of the South during the civil war all afternoon ...

#3:  Author: LissLocation: Richmond PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 3:54 pm
It *is* jolly interesting, though. Admittedly, most of my knowledge about the South has been gleaned from Gone With The Wind, To Kill A Mockingbird, and Driving Miss Daisy, but still, it fascinates me. Have been wikipedia-ing about it a lot, recently...

#4:  Author: Kathy_SLocation: midwestern US PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:13 pm
What's really strange is that, if Jo et al. got their picture of the Klan from the Elsie books, they would have known that it was (and unfortunately still is) a truly nasty organization. To quote Elsie's Motherhood:
No, no, Cal, judged out of their own mouths, by their words to their victims, with some of whom I have conversed, their ruling motives are hostility to the Government, to the enjoyment of the negro of the rights given him by the amendments to the Constitution, and by the laws which they are organized to oppose. Their real object is the overthrow of the State governments and the return of the negro to bondage. And tell me, Cal, do you look upon these midnight attacks of overpowering numbers of disguised men upon the weak and helpless, some of them women, as manly deeds? Is it a noble act for white men to steal from the poor ignorant black his mule, his arms, his crops, the fruit of his hard labor?"

When reading this section of EBD, I usually try and convince myself that they were imagining themselves having an exciting time fighting the Klan, alongside Elsie & Mr. Dinsmore. Admittedly this is a bit of a stretch. Confused

#5:  Author: LissLocation: Richmond PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:17 pm
My theory then was all wrong. Pah.

Maybe EBD just didn't read the Elsie books very thoroughly... *g*

#6:  Author: Loryat PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:36 pm
I don't think the CSers cared about the Klan's racist views. In Rivals, for example, they are in the midst of a feud and want to copy the KKK's 'feuding' techniques, not their motivations. While this seems a bit like children today copying the Nazis, in EBD's period the Klan didn't have the same notoriety that it does today. However I was always a bit disturbed by EBD's description of the middles sitting round 'thrilled' by the doings of that 'ill-famed clan' or however she describes them. Not very condemnatory!

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