The Relationship Between The Ku Klux Klan — страница 2

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the support from all the support they received. Until this point in history, one could argue that racism was on its way out in America. However, this idea entirely was debunked after the Klan was revived. It was no longer a backwater, secret organization, but rather was a group that was in the open, and on the forefront of American politics. The fact that a group based entirely on racism could attract six million active members makes one wonder just how many supported the Klan but simply didn?t came out wearing a hood and mask (Schwartz p. 189). This membership fact showed that racism was far from on its way out in America and was, instead, well rooted into the American way. However, the Klan did end up imploding onto itself. Due to murders and violence committed by the Klan and

the corruption of its leaders, the membership ranks were decimated to the point where the Klan was barley alive, going from 6 million members to around 4000 in a span of a few years (Clary p. 362 ). The novel ?All The King?s Men? is a tale of the deceit and deception that took place in 1930?s Louisiana. The state of Louisiana, in the 1920?s and 1930?s, was a place full of racism. It was both open and overt. The people who lived there saw no problem with this or simply refused to speak out against it if they did. This sate had a society that that not only allowed for racism to percolate, but actual helped incubate it. While some states didn?t go out of their way to practice racism and didn?t attempt to stop it, Louisiana didn?t just not try to stop racism, but Louisiana actively

promoted it. They didn?t allow blacks to vote or hold political office. Blacks couldn?t marry or really be seen with whites. Also, blacks were subject to the terror tactics of the Ku Klux Klan, which were as a weapon to help keep blacks down without allowing them any chance to rise from their lowly social status. This was shown in the novel in a couple ways. One way was in the total lack of representation of blacks in this book. This is because society in Louisiana viewed as being worth less then nothing, so being true to what his society believed, Penn Warren made almost no mention of blacks in his book. Another example of this perverse racism is in Penn Warren?s choice of diction. His writing was a product of the environment that he was raised in. This means there is a

continuous usage of language that would nowadays considered to be very incorrect and impolite. However, to someone in Penn Warren?s day and age, there would be nothing wrong with speaking this way, because most (white) people didn?t care about how rude or callous they were to blacks and their feelings. While this may seem to make the people of the novel out to be total racists, who are evil people, this isn?t necessarily so. First, this apparent racism is not necessarily what it would appear to be. With a quick glance, it may appear that people like who act like this may be bad, but there is one thing to be remembered. If you view them in the context of the time period of which they lived in, they are not that bad. If one is a product of their environment, then these people

aren?t so much bad, as they were just raised incorrectly. Also, if one would look at the other areas of the American south, then this kind of behavior really isn?t all that bad. As for the people in this novel, they aren?t seemingly that racist. In both their actions and language, it seems to be that their attitude towards blacks is one of ambivalence. They don?t care too much for blacks, but they also don?t go out of their way to be racist towards them. I present as an example of this a passage from the opening paragraph. ?Then a nigger chopping cotton a mile away, he?ll look up and see the little column of black smoke standing up above the vitriolic, arsenical, throbbing blue of the sky, and he?ll say ?Lawd God, hit?s a-nudder one done hit!? And the next nigger down the next

row, hell say, ?Lawd God,? and the first nigger will giggle.? (Penn Warren, p.1) This statement sums up the attitude of the people from Penn Warren?s novel. This statement doesn?t go out of its way to degrade blacks, but it does insult them with its language. This doesn?t seem to be the intention, however. It simply appears to be a sentence that would be spoken on any day, without any thought as to its diction, not because racism was intended, but rather because its speaker didn?t know any better. This would seem to be proof that the Klan hadn?t taken over entirely in Louisiana (in Penn Warren?s novel), because the people there aren?t actively racist. This brings us to our final topic of discussion- the relationship between the Ku Klux Klan and Louisiana, as depicted in Penn