KKK marches down Pennsylvania Avenue in DC, circa 1928

As you know, at Sarah Palin’s Tea Party march on the White House yesterday, to protest the GOP shutdown of the federal government (which Palin supported and the Tea Party orchestrated), several of the Palin Tea Partyers were carrying Confederate flags, while others yelled a racist slur at the White House cops, and a speaker at the event accused the President of being a Muslim.

In the spirit of racist extremists storming Washington, someone Tweeted this video of a 1928 Ku Klux Klan march on Washington.

It’s an amazing video.


I think what’s so astounding, among other thing, is just the sheer number of people who turned out, so proud in their little white hoods.  Not afraid to hide their faces.  And of course, not just carrying American flags, but they even had people dressed up as Uncle Sam – the ultimate in patriotic statements.


It’s amazing in retrospect that people could be so naive, and hateful.  In gay politics, we often talk about how dumb the anti-gay haters are going to look in 50 years, about how unkindly history is going to judge them.  And it’s much like this video.  It’s quite literally “unbelievable,” difficult to fathom in retrospect, that people could be this evil en masse, and proud about it. Then again, we have quite a bit of mass evil ourselves to reckon ourselves.


Another better shot from the National Archives’ holdings:


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23 Responses to “KKK marches down Pennsylvania Avenue in DC, circa 1928”

  1. karmanot says:

    Legion of Honor?

  2. Tor says:

    I don’t think so, but i will try to figure it out. It does not look like any San Francisco landmark that I am familiar with.

  3. magster says:

    Klan was huge in 1920s and in Colorado, they were very influential. Here’s a picture of them in rural CO at a fair. Don’t they look happy.


  4. Monoceros Forth says:

    Lynyrd Skynyrd didn’t exist yet.

  5. karmanot says:

    Is that the Mint?

  6. I found this under the stairs in one of the houses I lived in during my time in San Francisco. Absolutely amazing…I still shake my head in disbelief at how proud they all seem.

  7. Houndentenor says:

    Not only are they marching down the street without their faces covered (as they would do later) remember that there are plenty of Klansmen in Congress and even sitting on the Supreme Court. The Klan runs most of the south as well as the state of Indiana. The first epic film is Birth of a Nation which proudly chronicles the birth of the Klan with a huge budget and the top Hollywood stars. This was mainstream in 1928.

  8. karmanot says:

    Nice try….didn’t work.

  9. karmanot says:

    Except he created the police state and murdered several hundred thousand civilians by nuclear fire. What a guy!

  10. jomicur says:

    The more things change…

  11. 2patricius2 says:

    Interesting. I didn’t see a single confederate flag being carried.

  12. Dave of the Jungle says:

    Hey, good try.

  13. Monoceros Forth says:

    The whole teabagger movement is phony from start to finish anyway. Why am I supposed to respect and take seriously a pack of yahoos who only seemed to realize that such entities as deficits and taxation existed once a Democrat was in the White House? During Bush Lite they were silent then all of a sudden they sprout from the grassroots the instant Obama’s elected? Liars and fakers, the lot of them.

  14. BeccaM says:

    It was all hunky-dory as long as us women knew our place — subservient to “our menfolk.” Y’know, good little often-preggers housewives and the like.

    The Klan didn’t object to women’s presence until feminism came along.

  15. BeccaM says:

    A featured speaker at the Tea Bagger rally made an explicit racist slur, and nobody repudiated or refuted his remarks. Indeed, many in the crowd of about 200 clearly agreed with him.

    Sorry, but the whole projection thing is getting really tired and overused. It’s not ‘hate’ or ‘intolerance’ to point out the inexcusable bigotry or racism of others.

  16. You’d have a point if the Tea Party hadn’t been dogged for years by its racism problem:


  17. I had the same impression. Oddly egalitarian.

  18. Outspoken1 says:

    Loved President Harry Truman!!

  19. heimaey says:

    I don’t think I realized there were women members of the KKK. I thought they would have hated them too.

  20. BeccaM says:

    The thing is, racists never perceive themselves as being ‘evil’ or mistaken in their beliefs. I grew up with one, and for him he felt it was just a simple statement of fact when he’d make some bigoted pronouncement.

    Back then, for the Klansmen and -women, being “not white” or “not Christian” was enough to qualify someone to be labeled as the enemy. Now, for a large proportion of the Tea Baggers and their allies, it’s “not-white immigrant” and/or “Muslim” — which is why they keep trying (futilely, mendaciously) to label Obama as both of those.

  21. ArthurH says:

    So those are the guys President Harry S. Truman described as being so dumb they pay $20 for a $1.98 nightshirt and then run around in it in public.

  22. Monoceros Forth says:

    True, the comparison is a poor one. Klu Kluxers are at least honestly and openly racist, whereas teabagger Republicans tend to be the shifty, evasive, “I’m not a racist but,” types. To paraphrase Lincoln, I would rather taste racism pure, without the base alloy of hypocrisy.

  23. pogden297 says:

    Wow. So someone at the tea party rally made a perceived racist slur and, thus, they’re just like the Klan! Really? Do you realize don’t you that you’ve just employed a hate group tactic as old as hate groups?

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