Klan had public support in enforcing morality

“While black victims of the Klan had no hope of  justice, most white victims had little more. Indeed, ‘through fear or shame,’  few of the Klan’s white victims reported to legal authorities….

“A North Carolinian opponent of the Klan later explained that much of its support derived from a public consensus that the whites ‘they punished had a whole lot lacking in their character and they deserved some punishment.’  According to him, non-Klan white residents would point to people ‘leading these immoral lives, and they’ve been doing it for 10 years and the children out there are suffering and nothing’s being done about it. So the Klan did something about; they put the whip to them.’ Neighbors like these were unlikely to indict or convict.”

— From “Hooded Americanism: The History of the Ku Klux Klan” by David Mark Chalmers (1987)

In jail cell, a Klansman changes his sheets

“For their crusade against the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina,  Editor Willard Cole of the Whiteville News Reporter (circ. 5,007) and Editor Horace Carter of the Tabor City Tribune (circ. 1,500) won a Pulitzer Prize this year, the only one ever given to weekly papers.

“Last week Editor Cole was praised from another quarter…. In the mail came an unsolicited letter from former Imperial Wizard Thomas L. Hamilton, who was sent to jail, along with 15 other Klansmen, as a result of the weeklies’ crusade.

“Said Hamilton’s letter, which Cole put on Page One:  ‘All my friends everywhere should disband the Ku Klux Klan…. I am through with [it] and believe all my former associates will best serve themselves and society as a whole by taking a similar stand.’ ”

— From Time magazine, Nov. 2, 1953