This is to continue the discussion begun by myself and Mr. Bobjam in the “Accidental Racist” thread.
I’m responding to the last post in that thread.
I will happily find sources other than the KKK website, I didn’t realize you would be so upset by that.
“A notorious slave trader and an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan Bedford Forrest became an obvious target for African American anger and contempt, especially in the late twentieth century. White Americans, however, have not always conformed to one particular view”(1). From a paper written by historian Court Carney on Forrest.
Or look at this review of a book that details the history of the KKK - the reviewer finds the author’s “sympathies to lie so patently with the [South] that his history is little more than thinly veiled propaganda.” Yet despite this bias the author’s carries out an “elaborate examination of circumstantial evidence to prove the well-known fact that General Nathan Bedford Forrest was the Grand Wizard and principal organizer of the Klan” (2).
Those are just two that I found. Looks like I wouldn’t really be “turning the credible writers and historians on their heads” and “becoming a wealthy individual and a celebrity of some note in the Civil War history arena.” Can you provide a source that proves that he was NOT the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, or at least that he was out of the organization well before 1870? If so, then I will consider your point.
However, your claim that Forrest was not a white supremacist is ridiculous - he fought AN ENTIRE WAR in order to maintain the “right” to keep one’s slaves, so I don’t think he’s very respectable even if you insist on denying the fact that he was involved in the violence of the Klan (not to mention the fact that just about everybody was a white supremacist back then). I’m arguing that Forrest actively used violence and intimidation to fight for white supremacy after the war through the KKK. Based on the fact that he was the Grand Wizard after the war, and the KKK committed acts of violence during that period, he must have condoned those acts.
Also, you promised to address Lincoln and abolition in a later post. Would you like to do that now or clear up Forrest first?
**1. The Contested Image of Nathan Bedford Forrest
The Journal of Southern History , Vol. 67, No. 3 (Aug., 2001), pp. 601-630
2. Invisible Empire, the Story of the Ku Klux Klan, 1866-1871 by Stanley F. Horn
Review by: Ray Allen Billington
The Catholic Historical Review , Vol. 25, No. 3 (Oct., 1939), pp. 359-360