In the September 1921 issue of La Follette's Magazine (precursor of The Progressive), Albert De Silver, a New York attorney and associate director of the fledgling American Civil Liberties Union, wrote a detailed expose of the modern resurgent Ku Klux Klan, which had been growing in membership and power in both South and North since 1915. The article was co-published in The Nation. Here is an excerpt:

It is, of course, unlikely that the remarkable series of mob outbreaks were foreseen by the Imperial Wizard in 1915. Such a program would have been too hazardous to have been deliberate. But what should have been foreseen was that such a consequence was well-nigh inevitable.

The Klan springs from the memory of post-Civil War lawlessness, when the Negro was disfranchised by terror. It proclaims its purpose to maintain white supremacy and to protect manhood, the two customary cloaks tor lynching. Its leader asserts its purpose to protect the security of the people "in the absence or inadequacy of the forces of law and order."

Its membership form discloses an unmistakable anti-Jewish and anti-Catholic bias. Its organizers in the North admit at private meetings that there it is to be mainly an instrument of antisemitism. Its protestations of 100 percent Americanism and its warnings to agitators suggest the familiar tactics of the conventional opponents of organized labor.

Indeed the group of rowdies at...

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