KKK: 1920, D.C. Stephenson moved to Indiana, ran for Congress as a Democrat, lost, then joined the KKK. “He was an eloquent speaker, with a powerful personality and great magnetism.” He was assigned to organize KKK. Leibowitz, “My Indiana,” 1964, pp. 192-93.
KKK “principally backed Republicans (because they were generally in control)” but found support in both parties; at its peak, nearly 500,000 Hoosiers belonged to the KKK. Stephenson bragged he delivered KKK (winning) votes in the 1924 governor’s race. Id., p. 191.
KKK’s Grand Dragon Stephenson, on 4/2/25 “was arrested for the sadistic sexual assault of Madge Oberholtzer. Twelve days later, Madge Oberholzer died and the charge became first-degree murder. Id., p. 190.
KKK had power in Indiana. Some stood up to its masked thugs, but Stephenson’s “murder of Madge Oberholzer disgraced [KKK] nationally and opened the eyes of many decent Hoosiers who had been hoodwinked by ( ) KKK’s phony appeal to morality.” Id., pp. 216-17.
KKK still has members. White nationalism is the manure in which its roots are sunk. For that matter, white nationalism is the manure of which KKK is made. Its racists have ebbed in numbers, but the past few years have seen a rally.
KKK is evil. I thought any rational person in this country understood this as a maxim. I was shocked when, after the far-right rally in Charlottesville, the current occupant of the Oval Office said there were fine people on both sides.
KKK represents evil. I would ask the other GOP candidates for U.S. House from Indiana’s 5th Congressional District to join me in saying simply: “KKK is a hate organization.” That’s all. If we candidates unite and say this it will mean a lot.
KKK arose, in large part, as a reaction to Reconstruction in the South after the Civil War. The GOP was a force behind Reconstruction. That means someone who really is GOP should agree that KKK is evil.
KKK is not alone, but of any hate group in Indiana, its history is longest and most pungent. It gained strength from people disillusioned and impoverished after WWI. Its rise here can teach us lessons we do not want to repeat.
KKK infected us a hundred years ago. Centennials are supposed to celebrate good things. The only good thing that happened occurred with Stephenson’s conviction. He should not be remembered for doing “good” for that event.
Madge Oberholzer - her name deserves to be repeated and known - died and brought down KKK. If we have a Centennial in this regard, it should be in 2025. That should be a time of mourning for an involuntary martyr and a REAL Hoosier Great.
By law and the Rules of the Indiana Republican State Committee, Inc., I am a Republican in good standing and eligible to run in the primary. My primary voting history is a matter of public record. Until the May 2019 primary, I always had requested a Democratic Party ballot.
In 2010 people in the “tea party’ movement crossed over to take over the GOP. Turnabout is fair play. I would ask any 5th District Republican, or any other voter in the 5th, opposed to the GOP as it has become to vote for me.
My name is Mark Small. I am a GOP candidate from the nomination for U.S. House District 5. I say vehemently: KKK is a hate organization. (I don’t use “the” in front of it because I don’t want to make its thugs seem special.) I approve of this blog. Hell, I wrote it.