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ment—Federal and State—which expressed interest in the product of
hearings ever mindful that its primary responsibility is to inform the U.S. Congress on the nature and extent of problems arising out of current ku klux klan activity in the various States. With the information now at its command, the Congress is in a better position to evaluate the necessity for remedial legislation in this field.
The committee is hopeful that its published hearings and this report will also contribute to a better appreciation on the part of the American public of the evil inherent in modern klancraft.
At the close of the committee's investigative hearings on February 24, 1966, Congressman Weltner noted that most of the members of the subcommittee conducting the hearings represented Southern States. He appealed to citizens of that region to look at the facts and determine whether or not the Klan is going to govern community affairs in the South, or whether it will be the people of the South.” He continued :
So, the challenge now passes from Congress and it is placed directly into the hands of the people of the South. I for one am confident that Southern people are anxious to make their own decisions; that they desire the democratic processes to be operative; and they desire that the problems of the South, however pressing and compelling they may be, be determined within the framework of the Constitution of the United States, in accordance with the laws of the United States and in accordance with the free expression of public opinion.
I do not believe that Southerners really want to turn those decisions over to any group of hooded, hidden, terroristic, anonymous men.
After observing that klan officials had for the most part remained silent in response to committee questioning, another member of the subcommittee, Congressman Buchanan, declared that the subcommittee was forced to certain conclusions regarding klan organizations:
We are, therefore, forced to the conclusion that the traditional ugly image of the Ku Klux Klan is essentially valid-preaching love and peace, yet practicing hatred and violence; claiming fidelity to the Constitution, yet systematically abrogating the constitutional rights of other citizens—indeed, the very constitutional rights and privileges they themselves cling to and have hidden behind in the course of these hearings; and taking the law into their own hands to pass judgment and administer penalties. Their record seems clearly one of moral bankruptcy and of staggering hypocrisy.
Congressman Pool, as acting chairman of the subcommittee, summarized the hearing record :
As far as I am concerned, and all members of the subcommittee share my view, the conduct of Klansmen and Klan leaders both on the witness stand and outside the hearing room—and the facts placed in this hearing record—have completely exploded the Klan's phony claims about 100 percent Americanism, patriotism, their being law-abiding, and so forth.
The record is not a pretty one. It is a record of floggings, beatings, killings, of talk of and plans to assassinate public figures and others for no other reason than the color of their
skin or the fact that they disapprove of the ideas, policies, and activities of the Klans. It is a record of the activities of sneaky, cowardly men, taking advantage of the cover of night and superiority in numbers to intimidate and do physical violence to young and old, male and female. It is a record of hatred, a record of double-dealing, of quarreling and fighting over spoils, of leaders deceiving followers, a record that no real American could be proud of.
The dangers which an unrestrained and growing klan movement poses to a free and democratic society were described to members of the
House of Representatives by the committee's chairman on April 14, 1965. Chairman Willis declared on this occasion that:
Any group that engages in organized, large-scale intimidation in the political, economic and social fields and terrorizes individuals and groups attacks the very root of the democratic process. It does so because it destroys freedom and, without free citizens, our representative form of government is not secure and cannot be preserved.
When large numbers of people in any part of our country, regardless of race, color or religion, fear physical, economic or social injury if they dare to speak as they honestly feel, to patronize such businesses as they wish, to vote unhesitatingly for any candidate of their choice, then, I say, the very foundation of our form of government is being attacked, weakened and undermined. If such a condition is allowed to continue and to spread, it could lead eventually to the end of the form of government guaranteed by our Constitution and to the imposition of a national tyranny based on fear in its stead.
Democracy cannot coexist with terror. The two are incompatible. One or the other must go.
In view of klan incursions into Northern as well as Southern States, and very recent membership increases in States located on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line, the committee herewith appeals for a rejection of klans and their methods by all citizens of these United States.
CHART OF KLAVERNS OF EXISTING KLAN ORGANIZATIONS, 1964–1966
Lists of klaverns, or local units, of existing klan organizations have been compiled on the basis of material obtained during field investigations by the committee staff as well as subpenaed bank records of klan organizations.
The lists do not purport to be all-inclusive. The committee cannot assume that its investigation has succeeded in pinpointing every single klavern established within the years 1964–66, the period on which its investigation was focused.
In view of the 3-year span covered by these lists, it is also obvious that some of the klaverns have become dormant or defunct.
Duplications will be found as a result of the fact that entire klaverns have transferred allegiance from one klan organization to another during the years 1964–66. This is true in the State of Mississippi, where many klaverns listed as affiliates of the White Knights will also be found on lists of klaverns of the United Klans of America, because of wholesale defections from the White Knights to the UKĀ beginning in the fall of 1964. Furthermore, during 1966, a number of UKA klaverns went over to the White Knights. A similar situation exists with respect to the Original Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Louisiana and the United Klans organization in Louisiana.
In those instances in which bank records supplied the sole evidence of klan activity in a town or city, it has not always been possible for the committee to identify the exact headquarters of a local klan unit. Therefore, the committee has in some cases cited as a klavern location the town in which klansmen utilized banking facilities.
City or town
1 The methods used in arriving at such compilations are explained in more detail on p. 19 of this report.
Association of South Carolina Klans
City or town
Do---Charleston... Greenwood.. Lancaster.
Klavern No. 694.
Klavern No. 794.
Klavern No. 252.
Camp Creek Club.
(also referred to as West
Klavern No. 790.