Friday, July 29, 2005

Superman and the KKK

Because of an overwhelming surge in interest, I will tell you the story of Superman and the KKK.

According to popular lore, there was a man named Stetson Kennedy. He was a reporter for a short-lived rag called the "PM". This was at the height of the clan, in the forties.

Stetson was a bit of an equal-rights activist, but being white, he had an advantage no black man ever had: he could join the Ku Klux Klan. So he did.

And, over the course of several years, he discovered a lot of very interesting details. Like the fact that the KKK had such a reputation that it didn't really have to do very much to maintain that reputation.

More importantly, he found out all their code words and rituals.

At the time, the Superman radio show was extremely popular. The two decided to combine powers, and with the information Stetson fed them, the Superman writers forged a four-part series of "Superman vs the KKK".

Using real rituals, codewords, and practices (which are shockingly dumb by today's standards) combined with a dismissive contempt for the organization, the Superman radio show turned the nation's children against the KKK.

Diminished in the eyes of everyone - including the members - it didn't take too terribly long for the KKK to dissolve from a terrifyingly huge, well-organized faction into a bunch of backwater hicks saying how them's gen-et-cally sooperior.

Thanks, Superman!

Edit: His web site.

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