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To Bradley, my grandson,
I'm not going to be here much longer. The Mighty Lord has better plans for me, a place where the white race is the only race. You are only a month old now, I'm sorry I won't be here to teach you the history and the ways of the Klan. That's why I'm writing you this letter. When you are old enough, you will be getting this and it will teach you most of what you need to know, and you're father will tell you the rest. Hopefully you will pass your knowledge on to your children and grandchildren as I have done. The Klan needs to stay strong. I'll start from the beginning, since that's the best place to start. I wasn't born yet at this time, but my father was, so I'll tell you how he told it to me.
Before the Civil War, life was good for the South. The blacks were the white mans slaves doing the white mans bidding. Whenever they didn't, they got a good whipping, like they deserved. That's the way it should have stayed. But then came the Civil War and messed it all up. The North, the Yankees, wanted to free the slaves, while the South, the Confederates, wanted to keep things the way they were. Well the Yankees won and there was the Emancipation Proclamation by Lincoln, that freed all the black slaves, they were now known as the freedman. Don't worry all that you'll learn in history class, now I'm getting to some more important stuff.
Not long after this a new system was introduced called "The Black Code", It denied blacks the rights of white people and returned them to a state of virtual bondage. The Black Code varied in different states; In Mississippi it denied blacks the right to rent or lease land outside the city. They were not allowed to conduct any kind of "independent business:", whites who associated with blacks "on terms of equality" could be arrested and fined. In Louisiana, any black could be arrested on the complaint of any white man, and if he couldn't pay the fine, he could be hired out for a year, usually to the white that had complained about him. In South Carolina, blacks were legally barred from pursuing any occupation other then "farmer or house servant". In all states the freedman had little security for his life, limb or property, other then the protection afforded by the U.S. troops.
Seeing this the congress passed the Civil Rights Act on March 10, 1866. It stated that blacks had the right to make contracts , to sue, give evidence, to own and dispose of property, and were entitled to equal protection under the law. This only angered the southern whites more and resulted in a bloody riot in Memphis on May Day 1866. The riot started out with six Memphis police officers and a small group of blacks. When blacks grew loud and "boisterous". Police shot into the crowd and wounded one black. Blacks then shot back at the police wounding one police officer, immediately, the entire police force gathered around the scene along with a huge crowd of white citizens. A Memphis citizen yelled into the crowd, " We are not prepared, let us prepare and we will clear every negro out of this town." The angry white mob proceeded to 'shoot, beat, and threaten every negro met within the potion of the city". When it was all over 46 blacks had been killed, and 80 were wounded. Black churches, schools and homes were burned resulting in $53,379 worth of damages. An investigation by the army uncovered the fact that all victims of the riot had been "helpless and unresisting negroes". Well, I'll tell you what I say, those negroes deserved all of it. My grandpa was just a little boy at this time, but he was there and he told me that when that black wounded the police officer the entire whit population was ready to kill every black on the face of this earth. Life was not easy for the freedman, nor was it any easier when the Klan started. The Klan was born in the town of Pulaski of Tennessee, on December 24,
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White supremacy in the United States, Reconstruction Era, Antisemitism in the United States, Hate crime, Ku Klux Klan, Persecution of Jews, Association of Georgia Klans, Ku Klux Klan in Canada
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