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what do the KKK sing?

Jack Campin 15 Jun 09 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,Paul Burke Cookieless 15 Jun 09 - 03:39 PM
PoppaGator 15 Jun 09 - 03:56 PM
Amos 15 Jun 09 - 04:01 PM
Wesley S 15 Jun 09 - 04:12 PM
VirginiaTam 15 Jun 09 - 04:15 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jun 09 - 04:23 PM
Acorn4 15 Jun 09 - 04:47 PM
BobKnight 15 Jun 09 - 04:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jun 09 - 05:14 PM
meself 15 Jun 09 - 05:33 PM
MartinRyan 15 Jun 09 - 05:39 PM
Jack Campin 15 Jun 09 - 05:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jun 09 - 06:12 PM
Jack Campin 15 Jun 09 - 06:53 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jun 09 - 07:15 PM
treewind 15 Jun 09 - 07:30 PM
GUEST,lox 15 Jun 09 - 07:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Jun 09 - 07:53 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 15 Jun 09 - 09:24 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 15 Jun 09 - 09:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jun 09 - 09:53 PM
Amos 15 Jun 09 - 09:58 PM
meself 15 Jun 09 - 10:34 PM
Barbara 16 Jun 09 - 01:22 AM
Barbara 16 Jun 09 - 01:24 AM
GUEST,Beggarman 16 Jun 09 - 02:54 AM
GUEST,James and the Ourlaws 16 Jun 09 - 05:08 AM
Jack Campin 16 Jun 09 - 06:08 AM
M.Ted 16 Jun 09 - 10:09 AM
Goose Gander 16 Jun 09 - 11:35 AM
Rifleman (inactive) 16 Jun 09 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 16 Jun 09 - 12:29 PM
Fred McCormick 16 Jun 09 - 12:52 PM
Goose Gander 16 Jun 09 - 01:06 PM
Fred McCormick 16 Jun 09 - 01:13 PM
Amergin 16 Jun 09 - 02:09 PM
meself 16 Jun 09 - 03:05 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 16 Jun 09 - 03:34 PM
Greg F. 16 Jun 09 - 05:40 PM
Cool Beans 16 Jun 09 - 05:59 PM
PoppaGator 17 Jun 09 - 03:54 PM
ard mhacha 17 Jun 09 - 03:54 PM
meself 17 Jun 09 - 04:22 PM
Jack Campin 17 Jun 09 - 04:40 PM
Greg F. 17 Jun 09 - 06:18 PM
Kent Davis 18 Jun 09 - 12:08 AM
Fred McCormick 18 Jun 09 - 10:06 AM
Stringsinger 18 Jun 09 - 10:13 AM
Azizi 18 Jun 09 - 10:28 AM
TonyA 18 Jun 09 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick (whose Cookie Just Dissolved) 18 Jun 09 - 10:42 AM
meself 18 Jun 09 - 11:09 AM
Goose Gander 18 Jun 09 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick (Still Cookieless) 18 Jun 09 - 12:19 PM
Severn 18 Jun 09 - 12:24 PM
Goose Gander 18 Jun 09 - 12:40 PM
meself 18 Jun 09 - 02:06 PM
Diva 18 Jun 09 - 03:58 PM
Greg F. 18 Jun 09 - 04:51 PM
semi-submersible 19 Jun 09 - 04:27 AM
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Subject: what do the KKK sing?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 03:26 PM

It occurred to me, reading the threads about the BNP trying to exploit the English folk scene, that I've never heard of anything remotely comparable in the US from the KKK, Aryan Nations or other white supremacist groups in the same time period.

Did they ever try?

If so, were they seen off?

If so, how? Maybe the English scene has something to learn here.

(It might be that the Christian music scene in the US - which has no parallel in the UK - acts as an active barrier of some sort, swallowing the more extreme reactionary influences and drowning them in sugar. But that's a wild guess).


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: GUEST,Paul Burke Cookieless
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 03:39 PM

How about K-K-K-Katie?


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 03:56 PM

Nice one, Paul...;^)

It's pretty hard to find indigenous American music that's free of any African-American influence; that leaves US white-supremecists without the same kind of "racially pure" musical culture that the British know-nothings can claim.

A couple of years ago, I saw a TV documentary on some kind of racist gathering/campout in Tennessee. The loud recorded music that the haters were all listening to was ... Otis Redding. Go figure.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Amos
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 04:01 PM

"Don't Get Around Much Anymore", "What A Difference a Day Makes", "I'm Sorry I made You Cry", and a whole list of other torch songs.



A


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Wesley S
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 04:12 PM

There are a bunch of skinhead bands. Basically punk music with racist lyrics. And according to "O Brother" they listen to Ralph Stanley singing "O Death".


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 04:15 PM

GUENEVERE

What do the simple folk do....

ARTHUR
Once, upon the road, I came upon a lad
Singing in a voice three times his size
When I asked him why, he told me he was sad
And singing always made his spirits rise
And that\'s what simple folk do
I surmise

GUENEVERE
They sing?

ARTHUR
I surmise

BOTH
Arise, my love, arise, my love
Apollo\'s lighting the skies, my love
The meadows shine with columbine
And daffodils blossom away
Hear Venus call to one and all
And taste delight while you may
The world is bright and all is right
And life is merry and gay


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 04:23 PM

They sang the same hymns, gospel, and popular songs that everyone else sang.

Their history is complex; the answer to Jack's question is not simple. Purposes and actions changed; organized in 1866-1867, their first actions were against Reconstruction and carpetbaggers from the North, and to support White rule. This group almost died out about the time of WW1.

During the 1920s and 1930s the target became immigrants from Europe, orientals, and Blacks moving north and west, but in general, Catholics and Jews were included as targets. Membership is estimated at some 5 million, the peak of their membership. Even in the Canadian West, thousands became members.

After the beginning of the Depression, numbers dwinded and by WW2 they were again a small group of a few thousands, active against desegregation and equal rights. This is the period most of us think of when the KKK is mentioned.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Acorn4
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 04:47 PM

I seem to recall reading the "The Old Rugged Cross" was or is the anthem of the KKK.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: BobKnight
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 04:55 PM

There must have been a fair old Scots representation at the forming of the Klan! The name "Klan" for a start, taken fron the Scottish "Clan," and the method of calling the Scottish clan members to war in the old days was to send a runner throughout the clan territory carrying a burning cross. (sound familiar?)

Not only that, but the Southern flag is a form of Saltire.

Nothing to be proud of I'm afraid.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 05:14 PM

The New Georgia Encyclopedia suggests that the name came from the Greek "kuklos", meaning circle, but origin not really known.
Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest was the first Grand Wizard, in 1868.
Article on the early Klan:
http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-694


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: meself
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 05:33 PM

Some time ago, I read an article in Musical Traditions in which it was mentioned that some significant promoter of Black music in some part of the South was a member of the KKK. When someone asked for an explanation of this seeming paradox, someone with more knowledge of the South said that a person's membership in the KKK did not necessarily imply "hatred" of Blacks - but it meant that he wanted them "kept in their place".

Sorry for not being able to provide a little more detail - maybe some MT reader or writer can provide more ...


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 05:39 PM

meself

I think THIS is the article you were thinking of.

Regards


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 05:40 PM

This stuff from the distant past is all very well, but I'm more interested in what's happened since desegregation, when the KKK has been part of the same international far-right nexus as the BNP (and the Liga Nord, and the Vlaams Blok, and the Front Nationale, and...). Some of these movements have developed in parallel directions, but I'm not sure if any of them have picked up the Nazi cultural programme in the same way that the BNP has.

For example, was Jean Ritchie ever offered the job of Musical Mother of the White Race? Did anyone suggest to Johnny Cash that a swastika would go nicely with the black outfit? Was Bill Monroe asked to play at Klan gatherings?


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 06:12 PM

Same international far-right nexus?
I don't think any of us west of the pond know anything about the BNP or any of the other groups you mention. We see brief news mentions, but no context or anything to attract our interest, so your suggestions are nonsensical.

There are some small bigoted groups in both U. S. and Canada, but nothing cohesive or national. The shooting at the holocaust museum brought one of these people to light, but nothing like what you seem to be looking for.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 06:53 PM

Any reasonably senior fascist organizer in the US will know about the groups I mentioned.

All these groups are in each other's pockets. David Duke has met with all the British fascist leaders of the past generation. All of whom have met with people like Le Pen and the Vlaams Blok leaders. Peple who subsequently went on to form the BNP provided a safehouse for Roberto Fiore when he was on the run for the Bologna station bombing. David Irving is British but his books are standard reading for US Nazis - the US reciprocated by providing our lot with with the Turner Diaries as bedtime reading.

Take a look at the last few paragraphs of this biography:

William Pierce

Or the US links described in this history of British fascism:

"Searchlight" on British fascism in the 80s
"Searchlight" on British fascism in the 90s

Searchlight could have described the attendees at the regular international fascist gatherings at Malmo in Sweden and in Belgium (Ostend? I forget) - they've covered them in the magazine over the years. Some way short of the Nuremberg rallies but a lot more than a committee meeting.

For a while, an American Nazi website hosted in Colorado had a grad student at Edinburgh University (Nils O. Monaghan) as its its webmaster (the university did exactly nothing about it after I told them). Monaghan had computer accounts in South Africa as well as some sort of involvement with British fascist parties. Links like that can only have intensified with better internet connectivity.

The most likely musical target for fascist exploitation in the US is probably country music. You can bet some American fascist is watching to see how the BNP's initiative pans out before trying to move in on it.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 07:15 PM

Ho hum.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: treewind
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 07:30 PM

I would guess the KKK simply don't bother with music as a propaganda tool, if there's not much to suit their purpose. The BNP have done so because they had the opportunity, with a strand of musical culture they could identify as "white and British". Like any fanatic, they'll just grab anything they think they can exploit, and ignore anything they can't.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 07:44 PM

I think there is KKK 'folk' music and that it takes the form of yee-ha finger pickin' country.

An example is the song 'run chicken run' with alternative lyrics.

That is all that needs to be said on that subject though.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 07:53 PM

My impression is there's no shortage of pretty far right performers in the USA as well, promoting pretty far right agendas.

I suppose there's "Johnny Rebel" with records with titles such as "Racist Songs"(Alabama Nigger, Federal Aid, Alabama Nigger In Coon Town, Leroy the Big Lipped Nigger, Living Next to Niggers and "For Segregationists Only". And isn't there a country duo of young twin girls raised and groomed by their parents to grow up as Nazis?

That isn't in any way knocking the USA. I think wherever you live you've got to watch out for people with those kinds of attitudes trying to use the music.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 09:24 PM

What make you beleive THEY SING???? They ain't Brits.

Too much B.S. is above the line - clones - put your 1968 "crap-detectors" on...besides the "lower-kingdom" is feeling neglected.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Consult "StormFront" and the links.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 09:28 PM

YIPPEEES ! ! !

I fell into another of Jack Campin's BS...above the line TRAPS...

Jack - Well Done ....
You have trapped this troll twice...
I admire your technique.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Stick around awhile ... I will teach you SQML.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 09:53 PM

Yeah, I fell into Campin's trap too. His garbage does seem to attract us poor flies.

(I had never heard of Johnny Reb; I doubt that there is "no shortage of far right singers"- equating the political right and racist is bigotry of a different kind.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Amos
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 09:58 PM

I think :Night Rider's Lament" would serve, also.


A


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: meself
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 10:34 PM

MartinRyan: Thanks - that is indeed the article I had in mind. For those who are interested, the pertinent paragraph (re: KKK & Black music) is about three-quarters of the way down the page.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Barbara
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 01:22 AM

I have, a couple times now when searching for a song written by a friend, come across a KKK song website. The friend's song was written in the 60's I think, he died a couple years back, and the song sort of made fun of liberal hippy mores somehow. I don't remember what at the moment. The friend's name was Merritt Herring, and I will warn you, the website didn't pass my malware settings, so if you are going to go looking make sure your virus protection is up to date.

I would imagine contemporary KKK songs would be like that -- mocking the things they don't believe in and praising the ones they do.

Just like the rest of us.

Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Barbara
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 01:24 AM

Oh, FWIW, they put it up without permission and Merritt tried for a number of years to get them to take it down, but finally gave up.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: GUEST,Beggarman
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 02:54 AM

The Nazi girls mentioned above (famous for their Hitler tee shirts) are called Prussian Blue:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjh9YQHvg4w


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: GUEST,James and the Ourlaws
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 05:08 AM

Jack -

If you are looking for the modern day USA equivilent of what
so many UKer's in this forum concider the BNP to be...and
for examples of their music...they sell CD's .and have lyrics.

www.stormfront.org

Be aware - in visiting their site - they are under intense
surveilance at this time - and are considered the grand-
daddy of www hate groups.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 06:08 AM

I knew of the existence of Stormfront but haven't looked at them for a while. (I think their site was the one Monaghan was administering from his desk in Edinburgh, but it's been a while and I'm not sure where my correspondence about it is).

There are two different kinds of music at issue here: (a) overtly fascist stuff aimed at rallying the inner circle, (b) music acceptable to the general public and with no fascist ideology behind it, but which can be framed and presented in such a way as to promote fascism among the unconverted. The second is where the BNP's current effort is going. Stormfront would need to spin off a separate and less visibly ideological organization to do that.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: M.Ted
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 10:09 AM

It may come as a surprise, Jack, but fascist ideology doesn't have a strong appeal here. That is not to say that there are not de facto facscists active in our social and political system, and certainly not to say that they are not an ongoing concern--but the right wing narrative here is focusses on individualism and tends to attack the authoritarianism of government--it's what we like to hear;-)


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 11:35 AM

I agree, the the BNP ideology (as far as I understand it) seems inherently collectivist, while right wing ideology here is much more individualistic.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 11:40 AM

I'm wondering if any of these right wing racist groups (pun intended) have recorded A Whiter Shade of Pale.....?


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 12:29 PM

As grim and deadly as Nathan Bedford Forrest was, I can't imagine he or his fellow travelers cared much for song. Soldiers often sang on both sides, as we know, but this bunch was made of much nastier stuff.
Nearing 70 now, I remember the "old south," most particularly coastal Texas, in the 1940's and 1950's. What I saw angered and disgusted me even as a child. People who hide behind bedsheets (or terrorists' masks) while doing their dirty work should be ridiculed and exposed. If you can do that by singing, I'm all for it.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 12:52 PM

The KKK is, or used to be, an odd mixture of clandestine organisation and social club. Organisationally, at any rate, if you can imagine a combination of the Masons and the British Legion, you're probably not far off.

As far as its public persona is concerned, the KKK has had a long association with country music and various country musicians, including Fiddling John Carson and Al Hopkins and His Buckle Busters are known to have played for dances organised by them. The KKK also used to draw on the services of black musicians and even acted as manager for at least one blues singer. (Sorry. I can't remember who.)

For that matter, there's a bizarre story related in Screaming and Hollering the Blues about how Charley Patton was virtually kidnapped and taken to perform for a white audience.

I'm not so sure about developments since black emancipation. However, there is still an unhealthy vein of racism in country music,(see especially the recorded output of Johnny Rebel (real name Clifford Joseph Trahan) who recorded such corkers as Nigger, Nigger; Nigger Hatin' Me and Move Them Niggers North)and doubtless it's country music that the KKK listens to.

I'd be very surpised if there isn't a body of song which the KKK sings at its clandestine meetings. But it has never, as far as I know, ever been discovered, and I think for fairly obvious reasons.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 01:06 PM

"However, there is still an unhealthy vein of racism in country music . . ."

Do you have any evidence to back this up, beyond the aforementioned (and obscure) 'Johnny Rebel'?


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 01:13 PM

I meant in terms of attitudes, rather than music content. If I recall correctly, Bill Malone deals with the subject in Country Music USA.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Amergin
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 02:09 PM

The KKK Took My Baby Away


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: meself
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 03:05 PM

Fred McCormick, who has just joined the discussion, is the author of the article in Musical Traditions that I mentioned earlier - even if he is almost as rusty on the details as I am!

------------

The story about Charley Patton may not be so bizarre - W.C. Handy had a story about his entire band being commandeered by a drunken and bellicose white guy, who instructed them to play a popular song of the era called something like "The First Shot Got Him", as soon as he put a bullet through one of his neighbours. The neighbour wouldn't co-operate, though, so finally the band was dismissed. Later, they saw the same guy leading a Black man along with a noose around his neck; Handy presumed that that unfortunate was going to pay for the real or imagined offences of the neighbour.

Handy relates the story in his autobiograhpy, Father of the Blues.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 03:34 PM

"However, there is still an unhealthy vein of racism in country music . . ."

And one obscure reference is your evidence for this. Must make me racist then *LOL* I listen to country music, infact one of my favourite books is In The Country of Country by Nicholas Dawidoff.

Leftist conspiracy theory anyone?


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Greg F.
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 05:40 PM

1866-1867, their first actions were against Reconstruction and carpetbaggers from the North

Not even close, Q.

The KKK primarily operated directly against Blacks exercising their civil rights, and returning them to de facto slave status. I see you also subscribe the the "carpetbagger" myth. You need to bone up on modern historical writing that isn't tainted by "Lost Cause", "reconcliation", and "redemption" fantasies, or neo-Confederate bullshit.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 05:59 PM

I'm putting on my white sheet, dusting off my my white hood, sprucing up my tail...


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 17 Jun 09 - 03:54 PM

Being "against Reconstruction" necessarily included opposition to black folks and their civil and political rights.

"Reconstruction" involved emancipation of the former slaves, but it also involved disenfranchisement of Confedrate veterans, which excluded the vast majority of white voters in the southern states from participation in the electoral process. Little wonder that so many newly freed black men were suddenly elected to many state legislatures, etc., and little wonder that so many white folks were enraged to the point of lawlessness.

Not to excuse the entire agenda of the KKK, but everyone should understand why southern white folks became so embittered. The gloating and punitive attitude of the victorious Union against the South worked against any reconciliation ,and encouraged racial and sectional hatred. President Lincoln, incidentally, strongly stated his intention to welcome the South back into the Union as graciously as possible, but his assassination put an end to any such efforts.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 17 Jun 09 - 03:54 PM

In the film ` O Brother where art thou`, when the KKK were preparing a black man for a hanging, the singing of the most morbid song ever written suited them to a T,it was `O Death` sung by Ralph Stanley, perfect.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: meself
Date: 17 Jun 09 - 04:22 PM

"little wonder that so many white folks were enraged to the point of lawlessness."

Would it be fair to replace "to the point of lawlessness" with "to the point of homicidal fury"?


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Jun 09 - 04:40 PM

fascist ideology doesn't have a strong appeal here.

It doesn't have a strong appeal here either, but enough to cause a fair bit of damage, as the Romanian population of Belfast have just found out.

That is not to say that there are not de facto facsists active in our social and political system, and certainly not to say that they are not an ongoing concern--but the right wing narrative here is focusses on individualism and tends to attack the authoritarianism of government--it's what we like to hear;-)

Religious veneration of the flag and "our troops" like that prevalent in the US has always been a central part of fascist culture, and that goes way further over there than it does in the UK (in fact the national flag is so little venerated in the UK that when the fascists display it they look just plain weird to most people). The sort of strategy a fascist songwriter might take would be to do songs in praise of the 9/11 firemen and gradually edge in more and more and more anti-Muslim, xenophobic content. (The fireman cult is a really easy one for them to exploit - do a google image search for "FDNY fireman" and see how many pages you have to scroll through before you see a black face).


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Greg F.
Date: 17 Jun 09 - 06:18 PM

everyone should understand why southern white folks became so embittered.....Reconstruction involved emancipation of the former slaves, but it also involved disenfranchisement of Confedrate veterans, which excluded the vast majority of white voters in the southern states from participation in the electoral process.

Everyone should understand that A VERY FEW of those that committed treason by waging war on the United States were disinfranchised, unless they took an oath of allegiance to the U.S., which most, except the rabid white supremecists and die-hard confederates, did do.

The "vast majority" of white voters in the states of the former confederacy were absolutely NOT disinfranchised.

More neo-confederate bullshit, not supported by the facts,.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Kent Davis
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 12:08 AM

Jack Campin,

Here's one thing some of them sing:http://www.kkk.bz/

I suspect that you over-estimate the appeal of the klan. The Southern Poverty Law Center is well-known for their monitoring of the KKK and similar groups. They estimate there are between 5,000 and 8,000 members. This means that fewer than 1 out of 37,500 are members. However, the KKK is divided into dozens of rival groups, so the numbers of any single group are far smaller. http://www.splcenter.org/intel/map/type.jsp?DT=7 For comparison, the list of BNP members posted on the web in November had 13,500 names out of a much smaller population http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/nov/19/bnp-list

Also, the KKK is racist but not fascist, at least not fascist in any sense Mussolini would recognize. They oppose a strong national government, do not support corporatist economics, and have no particular interest in imperialism. Here is the platform of one KKK faction:http://www.kkk.bz/program.htm


Kent


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 10:06 AM

Sorry, I've only just seen the portion of this thread which dealt with my review of Dust to Digital's Goodbye, Babylon. The point I was trying to make was that there was nothing surprising about the Klan's managing of Jaybird Coleman (the singer I was struggling to remember).

To understand this it's neccesary to understand that, where racism in Britain often manifests as outright hatred and hostility, (EG., "Send back all these bloody wogs who are coming over here and stealing all our jobs and houses", and all that kind of drivel), racism in the Southern United States was somewhat tempered by the fact that Black people were a necessary fact of life. White Southerners still hated Black people (and so as I can see, many still do), and to some extent their hatred stemmed from the fact the South lost the civil war. Emancipation had, in their eyes made Black people both free and dangerous.

But both sides were locked into a kind of feudal relationship*, in that White employers needed labour and sharecroppers, and Black people depended on White employers to earn an income. It was an uneasy relationship, with frequent, violent outcomes for Black transgressers. Nevertheless, both sides felt reasonably secure so long as Black people stayed very firmly in their place.

Regarding the music angle, it's not the least surprising that the Klan, or indeed White Southerners generally, should take an interest in Black musicians. Black slave musicians had been a source of entertainment for White slave owners since the earliest days of slavery. Indeed, their role as providers of music, if anything underlined master/slave relationships.

I don't know of anything which has been written in recent years on the subject of Southern US race relations, but I can thoroughly recommend John Dollard's Class and Caste in a Southern Town. It's an old study, but a very enlightening one.

Also, interested parties might want to take a look at Sinful Tunes and Spirituals; Black Folk Music to the Civil War by Dena Epstein, which deals with this very subject.

* This relationship was exemplified in a verse from Blind Willie McTell's Southern Can Mama.

"You may go down have me arrested,
Get me put in Gaol.
Some hotshot got money.
Come and go my bail."


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 10:13 AM

I don't care what they sing. I don't care what they say. I don't care about them
in any way.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 10:28 AM

Fred, I think I get what you are trying to say but for the record (no pun intended) I need to comment on these sentences:

"It was an uneasy relationship, with frequent, violent outcomes for Black transgressers. Nevertheless, both sides felt reasonably secure so long as Black people stayed very firmly in their place."

-snip-

I suppose in that power relationship system as you described it, the person who welds the power [in this case "White Southerners, speaking in generalities] defines who are the "transgresser". So in that case, I'll let you slide [I'll accept that point of your comment.]

But IMO the sentence "both sides felt reasonably secure" as long as Black people stayed very firmly in their place" would be much more accurate and would truly be indicative of the power system if you had written that one side, White people, felt reasonably secure as long as Black people stayed firmly in [what "White people" had determined to be Black people's] place.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: TonyA
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 10:38 AM

About 15 years ago I sat around a campfire in the Olympic Peninsula with two members of a racist cult. They were neighbors of a friend of mine who lived in a large tent in the rainforest. They were brothers, and they lived in trailers on an adjacent piece of land that one of them owned. They talked about their cult, calmly describing their plans to take over the country and kill all the Jews, all the lawyers, and some other groups I can't remember. They said they'd give policemen a chance to repent and go home, in which case they wouldn't be killed.

They quoted the Old Testament in support of their program. My friend tried to debate them on scripture. He knew the Bible well, and had for years been studying the Septuagint and the Greek New Testament to analyze what he said was a complete record of astronomic data stored in the numeric value of the Greek letters of all the names. I could never understand his explanations of how that worked, but I don't doubt his sincerity or his sanity; in fact, he seemed like the sanest person I ever knew, and was very intelligent. He just happened to live near crazy people.

He didn't talk about astronomy to them. He talked about the religious message in the scriptures they quoted. But his arguments didn't faze them. They just smiled and restated their position. Through the whole conversation, they were very cheerful and genial. In a video with no sound they could just as well have been talking about a family vacation. They described the mass murder as if it was telling a child who had misbehaved to take a "time out." They knew it was unpleasant, but felt it was necessary. They said they weren't asking me to help. "We'll do it for you," they said. My astronomer friend had apparently debated them many times before. The rest of us mostly sat quietly, stunned, hoping it was all a bad dream.

Before that, I and another guest had been singing folk songs. They listened and seemed to enjoy it, but they didn't sing. At a certain point in the crazy-talk, they suddenly broke into a chant in unison, loudly but still smiling:
"KILL them ALL.
WIPE them OUT.
Let them KNOW our GOD."
The pitch was the same throughout, very low, except that it rose slightly on "know."


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick (whose Cookie Just Dissolved)
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 10:42 AM

Azizi,

I'm not trying to say that Black people were willing participants in this power arrangement, or that they played any part in structuring it. Indeed, what limited evidence is available indicates that most of them hatedwhat Whites did to them. But, in a situation like that, a lot of people probably felt it was better to keep your head down than get it blown off.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: meself
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 11:09 AM

"White Southerners still hated Black people"

Fred: Don't you think you should qualify that generalization?


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 11:39 AM

"White Southerners still hated Black people . . ."

It makes no sense at all to speak in such sweeping terms.

"White employers needed labour and sharecroppers, and Black people depended on White employers to earn an income."

SOME white employers needed labor and sharecroppers. Most whites were not employers and were themselves small farmers, often tenant farmers or sharecroppers, or wage earners in some form or another.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick (Still Cookieless)
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 12:19 PM

Meself. If you think my comment was too sweeping, perhaps you can explain the mob lynchings, the segregated bars, schools, eating houses, water fountains, buses etc. Perhaps you can explain the fact that the most respectable Negro in town was universally exppected to step off the pavement for the biggest bum in town, provided that the bum in question was white.

Perhaps you can explain a statement by Blind Gary Davis, who said his biggest fear when he was out walking anywhere was that he would accidentally bump into a white woman and be lynched.

Again, there's a story in John Dollard, about how a Negro with a cast in one eye was nearly lynched by a white mob, because a white woman accused him of winking at her.

True, not all Southern White people indulged in violence towards Blacks, but you wouldn't have met many who didn't buy into the idea that Black people had to be kept firmly on the underside of the racial divide.

Michael Morris. "Most whites were not employers and were themselves small farmers, often tenant farmers or sharecroppers, or wage earners in some form or another."

Yes. And white wage earners and sharecroppers felt threatened for another reason. White employers often preferred Black labour because Black people would work for less, and were more easily controlled.

If you want to get a feeling of what life was like for Southern Black people, I can thoroughly recommend the first volume of Maya Angelou's autobiography; I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Severn
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 12:24 PM

I once found a cassette of racist music at a flea market. I forgot the name of the artist/group, but I listened once to the Godawful lyrics and threw it away, it being every bit as bad as I'd feared. Judging rom that one, they might still be looking for their muse.

In Nick Tosches' book "Country" (1977, revised 1985), in the chapter called "Cowboys and Niggers" which discusses interaction between black and white musics, on pages 215-216 of the later edition, music
on the KKK label in the 1920's and Reb
Rebel Records in the 1960's, where Johnny Rebel and James Crow recorded songs like "Some Niggers Never Die (They Just Smell That Way")is briefly discussed.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 12:40 PM

Fred, you might want to look into the history of racism in the North to balance out your perspective on race relations in the South. Try looking into the history of Jim Crow-type segregation, for example.

"White employers often preferred Black labour because Black people would work for less, and were more easily controlled."

Thank for admitting (in a sideways sort of way) that your equation of White with Employer and Black with Employee was incorrect. Thank you further for beginning to address some of the structural reasons for white racism.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: meself
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 02:06 PM

Fred: I would not attempt to explain any of those things. People commit, participate in, support, turn a blind eye to or otherwise tolerate violence, cruelty, and injustice toward others for any number of reasons. Hatred may well be one of them - but only one.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Diva
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 03:58 PM

I suppose anything they sing is all "white" with them.

My apologies for the levity


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: Greg F.
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 04:51 PM

Worth a chuckle, I suppose, but the last think the Klan was, or is, is amusing.


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Subject: RE: what do the KKK sing?
From: semi-submersible
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 04:27 AM

"White Southerners still hated Black people" oversimplifies pretty drastically (like "Modern women hated men for decades"). What fraction of the white population feared their neighbours strongly enough to arouse such an active passion as hate?

" Perhaps you can explain..."
All the KKK or their ilk need, to persecute freely, is a background level of suspicion against certain people and a sense that these aren't part of "us." Bystanders holding these beliefs permit any ruthlessness, condone any horror. Callousness harms as much as or more than hate.


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