Lots of readers are sharing stories of the Klan and the like. One point I’d add to give it a little context. If watch the movie O Brother Where Art Thou?, you’ll actually get a pretty good sense of the Klan’s role. Recall it’s the modernizing champion of “reform” who is the Klansman, while the ward heeling party boss isn’t. Now I’m sure there were plenty of hackish party boss Klansmen in the south. But I think the Coen brothers provide an important corrective to Hollywood’s clichés about the Klan (while reinforcing others). Oh, and lest some folks be confused on this point, I am not defending the Klan.