The article, printed in The Clipper, the school newspaper is thorough and damning:
On April seventh, 1925, the Topeka Journal reported, “It was freely talked on the streets that the Klan slips served to line up Thomas and Hill in opposition to Porter and McGiffert. It was most evident that Fred Seaman and his robed brothers will not be recognizing the bond difficulty query within the college board battle.” The Topeka Journal additional reported “The Klan ticket, the primary of its sort in a Topeka metropolis election, appeared on the election polls… the tiny two inch by 4 inch slips bear throughout the face of the endorsement of Fred A. Seaman, exalted cyclops of the Klan group. Seaman is principal of the Seaman rural highschool, north of town.” Extra articles would come out in different newspapers implying additional involvement with the KKK.
However nationally and in Kansas, the rising Klan used its affect to fill public workplaces with Klan members or candidates they felt supported their anti-Black, anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish, anti-immigrant agenda.
“The Klan made battle through elections,” New York College historian Linda Gordon wrote in her 2017 e-book, The Second Coming of the Klan. “Nobody has been in a position to depend all of the Klan candidates elected to state and native workplaces.”
So, how did the Klan function within the Twenties?
A yr earlier, the Topeka Journal says he launched town’s first-ever “Klan ticket,” endorsing 10 individuals for public workplace, together with 5 candidates for varsity board positions.
The Klan sought to sway the races by handing paper slips itemizing the endorsements to voters on the polls on Election Day.
The shock endorsements and mass distribution of fliers mobilized last-minute efforts by opponents to undermine it by urging Black, Catholic and Jewish voters to end up on the polls.
We regularly consider racism concentrating on main races just like the Senate, Home, and the presidency. What has change into clear is that each race on the poll grew to become their goal, and for the Klan, controlling college boards, metropolis councils, and different workplaces was extremely essential.
This can be a lesson we must always take into 2020 and past, as a result of 100 years later, electing individuals of horrible backgrounds to native workplaces is less complicated and cheaper for many who have horrible concepts for our neighborhood. The harm is actual, and never sufficient persons are reminded or concentrate. The story from the school newspaper is only one part of their story:
The Clipper reached out to the USD 345 Board of Schooling after studying of Fred Seaman’s management within the KKK. Candace LeDuc, USD 345 Communications Director launched the next assertion from the Board:
“The board has been made conscious of Fred Seaman’s affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan by means of analysis carried out by our academics and college students.
These children are all proper. It’s analysis like this that brings us information of our previous, permits us to heal wounds, and transfer ahead. It additionally permits Seaman Excessive Faculty College students to desert a reputation that honors a racist. That alone is one thing that Fangman and Gearhart, who compiled the analysis, ought to be pleased with as they transfer on of their tutorial careers.