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Turcheneske, John Anthony / The Ku Klux Klan in northwestern Wisconsin

Chapter 10: Conclusion,   pp. 187-191 PDF (1.9 MB)

Page 188

The fact is, however, that the Klan did attract a 
following and did become a force for social disruption in various communities.
From the standpoint of Klan philosphy that America was to be remade in the
Klan's image, it would verily appear that the Kluxers were out to divide
and conquer. A valid question to be asked in this regard is why the Klan
was able to attract a following at all. The answer lies in the Klan's philosophy.
Under the 
guise of this organization's interpretation of Americanism, the nation was
to be made whole. The concept of partiotism was twisted and warped out of
all its logical proportions. Thus Klan adherents could not see the forest
of bigotry for 
the trees of one hundred percent Americanism which were, in reality, composed
of anti-Catholic, Jewish, Negro and 
foreign sentiment. To join the Klan was to rebuild America. 
While the Klan lasted in northwestern Wisconsin, its influence in various
communities was strong enough to inflict social disruption. The Ethan B.
Minier political affair is one recorded instance which is illustrative of
the Klan's involvement in politics and reaction thereto. Chetek was the one
documented instance where the Klan attempted to infiltrate the public schools
so as to use them for its ovn nefarious ends. For the most part, the remainder
of the 
communities reveal one overriding theme: the utilization of anti-Catholic
prejudice. The Catholics, in reality, said the Klan, were not Americans because
they owed their 

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