Last week, the residents of the small town of Fruitland Park, FL were stunned when an investigative report linked two city police officers with a Ku Klux Klan initiation that occurred just five years ago. In its heyday the KKK was violently active in the area. One of the officers was fired and one resigned.
From time to time over the years I have wondered where they went. At its peak, the organization claimed to include about 15% of the nation's eligible population, approximately 4–5 million men. It faded significantly in the 1940s but experienced a resurgence in in the 1950s and 1960s. The name was used by numerous independent local groups opposing the Civil Rights Movement and desegregation. During this period, they often forged alliances with Southern police departments, as in Birmingham, Alabama; or with governor's offices, as with George Wallace of Alabama. Several members of KKK groups were convicted of murder in the deaths of civil rights workers and children in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Researchers estimate that today there may be 150 Klan chapters with upwards of 5,000 members nationwide.
But where did the others go? The KKK did not die; most were not lynched, killed, or imprisoned. Did most of them change? Did they die and take their hate with them without passing it on? Or did they go undercover and resurface in more politically correct attire? Where did these people who can be seen seething with hate in the civil rights documentaries go? Where did these people who loathed the Negro go? Where do you think they went?
Now we know the answer. The were working to gain the White House.