Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Mamaw and the Ku Klux Klan
Everyone knows what the Ku Klux Klan is and what it's place was in the years after the Civil War. From its early days as a social club for Confederate veterans in Pulaski Tennessee, it has grown into the extremist terrorist group.
The Klan died out for a time in the latter part of the last century only to be "rediscovered" when the movie "Birth of a Nation" came out. That was when the true ugly side of the organization came to light. Still, there were some members in some small southern towns who saw their role as an extension of law enforcement.
According to my father, the local group of Klansman took it upon themselves to act as truant officers for the local school children. On hearing that a child or group of children had "hooked school", they would don their white robes and masks and visit the errant child.
I may have mentioned before that my father liked to tell a tale. He was good at it.
I mention that again because I have not verified this tale with my Mamaw or any of the uncles or aunts who may have provided insight.
A Klansman decked out in all his finery paid my father a visit when he was a boy. Dad had given himself a mental health day and stayed home from school. The Klansman came to perform a civic duty and round up the truant.
Now according to my father, my grandmother met the white knight at the door with her eyes blazing and a few sharp words to send him on his way. Not saying that he didn't get laid out for skipping school...just that she wasn't going to abdicate her parental duty to someone who had to hide behind a bed sheet.