Friday, August 18, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 42 (Grandpa Scott and the KKK)

Over the last several days we have watched something really awful happen in our country.   Many of our family have been involved in politics at some level.   Although he never ran for any public office, our grandfather, E.A. Scott, was always involved in Democratic politics and union activities.

I remember a story my mom or Teresa told when I was young and something was going on in the country.  It might have been during some of the civil rights movement in the 1960's but I don't remember.

I know that when JFK was running and elected to the Presidency, there was an undercurrent of prejudice because he was a Catholic.   

Apparently, during the early days in Douglas, there was an active KKK organization.  I am thinking that this must have been in the 20's or 30's.   I think that when I have a little time, I may do some research as to the timing.

However, the KKK not only hates people of color and those who are Jewish, in those days they hated Catholics, too.    

I remember being told that the KKK was having a rally and was walking down 10th Street in their "garb."     I was told that our grandfather went to Immaculate Conception Church, which is on 10th Street, and stood proudly on the steps as the KKK marched by.   When I think about that today, all I can say is "WOW"--what courage that must have taken!!!!!

I also remember my mom saying that he was proud to stand there and be recognized and not be hiding behind some "garb."

I shared this post with my cousin, Ted, and asked him if he had heard this story before.  He hadn't.  But he gave me a little history.   There was a resurgence of the KKK in the 20's, so most likely it happened then.   

He also reminded me of something I had heard my mom say that was from Harry Truman, who our grandfather deeply admired.   Truman said that the KKK was a bunch of damn fools.  "Who else would spend $16.95 for a 69 cent cloth and put it on their heads?" 

After watching the awful things that are happening right now with all of the hatred that is being thrown around, I can honestly say that I was raised to be accepting of all and to treat everyone with dignity and respect.  

Growing up in Douglas which has a very large Hispanic population because of being on the border, I never thought about who my friends were other than they were my friends!  And I will always appreciate that I was taught that from an early age.  

Children are not born to hate.    They don't see color or make judgements.   They have to be taught this.    How fortunate we are to have been brought up the way we were.   

My hope for this wonderful country of ours that is what it is because of immigrants like our grandparents from all places all of the world can start a dialog about hatred and racism.   And maybe our current leadership will cause that to happen because of his actions, words and basic lack of any kind of empathy.

I can't imagine how my mom would feel about what is happening today.    Knowing her like I did, I think she would be out there with her "fighting spirit!"

Again, I will say, that we have had wonderful role models in this Scott Family and I know that I am most grateful!!

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