Bill Clinton Explains Robert Byrd's Membership In KKK - YouTube
"He once had a fleeting association with the Ku Klux Klan, what does that mean? I'll tell you what it means. He was a country boy from the hills and hollows from West Virginia. He was trying to get elected," former President Bill Clinton said of Sen. Robert Byrd.
"And maybe he did something he shouldn't have done come and he spent the rest of his life making it up. And that's what a good person does. There are no perfect people. There are certainly no perfect politicians," he added.
Robert Byrd held the titles Kleagle (recruiter) and Exalted Cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan.
In the early 1940s, Byrd recruited 150 of his friends and associates to create a new chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.
Each local chapter, or Klavern, is led by an Exalted Cyclops.
He presides over the Council of the Centaurs.
Writes quarterly reports to the Grand Giant.
In the Klan hierarchy, the Exalted Cyclops reports to:
A Grand Giant, or provincial leader;
A Grand Dragon, or state director;
And the Grand Wizard, or national chair.
Below the Cyclops were:
The Grand Magi,
The Grand Monk,
The Grand Exchequer,
The Grand Turk,
The Exalted Cyclops' responsibilities include presiding over Klavern meetings, initiating new members, and appointing Councils of Centaurs--that's Klan-speak for a jury--to try and punish wayward Ghouls.
In 1944, Byrd wrote to segregationist Mississippi Senator Theodore Bilbo:
"I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side ... Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds."
-- Robert C. Byrd, in a letter to Sen. Theodore Bilbo (D-MS), 1944,
In 1946 or 1947 Byrd wrote a letter to a Grand Wizard stating,"The Klan is needed today as never before, and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia and in every state in the nation."
Byrd joined with other Southern and border-state Democrats personally filibustering the bill for to filibuster the Civil Rights Act of 1964,14 hours, a move he later said he regretted. Despite an 83-day filibuster in the Senate, both parties in Congress voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Act, and President Johnson signed the bill into law.
Membership totals are hard to track, because the Klan doesn't willingly release member lists. Over the long term, the KKK is clearly contracting, since its rolls have shrunk from millions in the 1920s to between 3,000 and 5,000 today.
(T)he Ku Klux Klan is losing chapters, according to data released on Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The number of KKK chapters dropped from 221 to 152 in just one year.
Former KKK Grand Wizard Don Black in 1995 launched the website Stormfront, which enables individuals in the white supremacist movement to share ideas and read news stories reported from a racist perspective.
Ku Klux Klan in decline: Why did the KKK lose so many chapters in 2010? - Slate Magazine
In August 2008 Black's 19-year-old son Derek was elected to one of 111 seats on the Palm Beach County, Fla., Republican committee, with 167 of 287 votes. The committee has refused to seat Black, citing a loyalty oath he failed to sign before registering his candidacy. The oath states candidates must refrain from activities "likely to injure the name of the Republican Party."
An estimated 3,446 blacks and 1,297 whites died at the end of KKK ropes from 1882 to 1964.
Although it is relatively unreported today, historical documents are unequivocal that the Klan was established by Democrats and that the Klan played a prominent role in the Democratic Party," A 13-volume set of congressional investigations from 1872 conclusively and irrefutably documents that fact.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 voting:
The original House version:
Democratic Party: 152-96 (61%--39%)
Republican Party: 138-34 (80%--20%)
Cloture in the Senate:
Democratic Party: 44-23 (66%--34%)
Republican Party: 27-6 (82%--18%)
The Senate version:
Democratic Party: 46-21 (69%--31%)
Republican Party: 27-6 (82%--18%)
The Senate version, voted on by the House:
Democratic Party: 153-91 (63%--37%)
Republican Party: 136-35 (80%--20%)
Blacks mostly voted Republican from after the Civil War and through the early part of the 20th century. That's not surprising when one considers that Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president, and the white, segregationist politicians who governed Southern states in those days were Democrats. The Democratic Party didn't welcome blacks then, and it wasn't until 1924 that blacks were even permitted to attend Democratic conventions in any official capacity. Most blacks lived in the South, where they were mostly prevented from voting at all.
I'm not a Republican but to those who say racists are welcome in the Republican Party, I haven't found the evidence of that. The KKK was started by the Democrat Party and evidence of that is abundant.