thumbnail of WILL News; 1985-08-16--excerpt, Klan Rally in Mansfield; Klan Rally in Mansfield
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<v Klan Member>The Klan of today is a Christian organization <v Klan Member>that favors white people. <v Klan Member>We want our people to rise to the best position in government <v Klan Member>and in society as they possibly can without stamping on the toes of blacks <v Klan Member>or Jews or anything else. <v Klan Member>Actually, we're just a club of white people who probably a little outrageous in our <v Klan Member>mannerisms. And it's a fraternal. <v Klan Member>It's a club. It's a group. Just white people. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>The first glimpse of a Klansman comes at the turn off the main highway. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>He's standing there pointing like a traffic cop, but he's wearing a white robe with metal <v Reporter Neil Tickner>snaps. He's wearing the pointy white hood, too. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>No mask, though. On the front of the robe is a patch with the Klan symbol, a <v Reporter Neil Tickner>cross with a drop of blood, an arm patch, says California. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>On down the road is the farm, the rally site.
<v Reporter Neil Tickner>There's another Klansman in uniform here at the gate. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>His arm patch says Maryland. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>He smiles, offers a greeting and a pamphlet. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>White people, if you want to regain your rights, then you need the invisible empire of <v Reporter Neil Tickner>the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>That's what it says. There's an application form on the back. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>Just mail it to 5Pointz, Alabama. <v Store Worker>Now we have Coney dogs here at a dollar a piece. <v Store Worker>Hamburgers, hot dogs and barbecued sandwiches for dollar. <v Store Worker>We have pop and ice tea and coffee and for 75 cents and <v Store Worker>we have water-filled mugs for a dollar and a half. <v Store Worker>And there is one refill on the coffee and the iced tea. <v Customer>"May I get an iced tea?". <v Store Worker>"Iced tea okay". <v Customer>"You <v Customer>got you got enough money now?" <v Store Worker>"Yeah. Let me get some change." <v Customer>"Oh, OK. Thank you." <v Reporter Neil Tickner>A couple of these tents, trailer people milling about, but not much more <v Reporter Neil Tickner>than that in this open field.
<v Reporter Neil Tickner>There is a makeshift outhouse over there and an old wagon is the speaker's platform. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>And a large wooden cross wrapped in burlap is stretched down all in the grass. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>And a couple dozen Klansmen in their official robes are mingling. <v James Mitchell, Klan official>And that is not what the Constitution is about. <v James Mitchell, Klan official>I mean, if the Klan is so terrible and we are supposed to be so evil and our ideas is so <v James Mitchell, Klan official>un-American, why don't leave us the hell alone and let us fall or rise on our own merits? <v James Mitchell, Klan official>They know that the opinions of... [muted speaking]. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>James Mitchell is a Klan official in New York. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>Right now, he's talking to a couple of potential recruits. <v James Mitchell, Klan official>Listen to this. Because they they're afraid most people listen to us and they're going to <v James Mitchell, Klan official>start because taking our message to heart and becoming members, they are afraid of this <v James Mitchell, Klan official>organ. They weren't afraid. They wouldn't be trying to suppress us all the time. <v Different Speaker>White people just can't decide what's right and what's wrong. <v Different Speaker>[chuckle] <v Different Speaker>?Inaudible? People may have to find what they want instead of having it in the paper that <v Different Speaker>the Klan is uh murderers and rapists and everything. <v Different Speaker>Just like the ?inaudible? Paper here, a while back. <v Different Speaker>The right wing in this country has really been maligned by the media ?totally.?
<v Different Speaker>And I'm pretty ?good friend, Rob's? OK, we read the paper, the ?Tarryho? <v Different Speaker>Papers say, and this colored preacher goes to the state police. <v Different Speaker>Now he wants protection. He wants to know what the state police is going to do to get <v Different Speaker>this guy to protect people. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>A large wooden cross is lying on the field. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>It's been there all afternoon. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>Now it must be raised. [raising noise] At <v Reporter Neil Tickner>sundown, this cross will be blazing. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>Prepare for that, it needs a final dousing with kerosene. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>[liquid noise] <v Reporter Neil Tickner>The cross is slippery and about 30 feet long. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>It will not be easy to raise it. [construction noise] A
<v Reporter Neil Tickner>forklift is brought in to do the job, but the cross won't go in straight. <v Worker>Whoa, slow. ?inaudible? <v Worker>OK. Come forward, a little. <v Worker>?inaudiblke? <v Reporter Neil Tickner>And there's concern the arms might break off. <v Different Worker>It needs to be brought to the center of ?inaudible? <v Reporter Neil Tickner>It takes more than a half an hour to get the job done. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>[background conversations] One Clansman <v Reporter Neil Tickner>remarks, "I told them they didn't dig the hole deep enough." <v Reporter Neil Tickner>All speakers uh come on down here, people. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>You can come down here by the fence if you want to. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>We're going to get this started now. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>Down at the platform, sitting on the podium, is a copy of the Holy Bible.
<v Reporter Neil Tickner>It will be lifted for all to see this evening by speaker after speaker <v Reporter Neil Tickner>and quoted several times. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>Now it is being used for the invocation. <v Speaker>And only God almighty by Jesus <v Speaker>Christ can lift us out of the soil that we're in today. <v Speaker>Lord, without smile upon this presidency of the United States. <v Speaker>Well, I'll smile upon America. <v Different Speaker>United States of America and the republic for which it stands. <v Multiple Speakers>One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice <v Multiple Speakers>for all. <v Different Speaker>Thank you. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>Now the speeches, the clan reaching out for new members with old words. <v Speaker>The first speaker tonight. We're gonna have <v Speaker>is Jimmy Mitchell from the great state. <v Speaker>[microphone noise] From the great state of New York, Jimmy.
<v Jimmy Mitchell>Thank you. Thank you. <v Jimmy Mitchell>Just want to say that uh coming from New York, I very rarely get the opportunity to look <v Jimmy Mitchell>out in any direction and see nothing but white faces. <v Jimmy Mitchell>I mean, it's a welcome relief. <v Jimmy Mitchell>Before this rally started, a reporter asked me uh <v Jimmy Mitchell>"How come The Klan has never said anything good about the uh blacks and the Jews?" So I <v Jimmy Mitchell>said "it's because you never heard anything good about them. <v Jimmy Mitchell>If we did, we wouldn't believe it." [laughter in background] Now the thing is I hate no one, <v Jimmy Mitchell>black, yellow, white. <v Jimmy Mitchell>I love every white face out there. And see, this organization is not <v Jimmy Mitchell>a hate organization. It's an organization of <v Jimmy Mitchell>Love, Love for God or Country and our <v Jimmy Mitchell>rights. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>Leader, a Klan leader from Kentucky replies to an unfavorable local newspaper <v Reporter Neil Tickner>editorial. <v Klan Leader from Kentucky>The editor in this newspaper evidently is a Jew [crowd laughter], a damn nigger lover <v Klan Leader from Kentucky>too. [crowd applauses]
<v Klan Leader from Kentucky>?inaudible? The publisher, <v Klan Leader from Kentucky>?Josephine Zulmech,? <v Klan Leader from Kentucky>Richard J. Roth editor would be ?Rothchild?. <v Klan Leader from Kentucky>[crowd agreeing] Well our challenge, Zulmech and <v Klan Leader from Kentucky>Rothchild, come on over to Kentucky and I'm gonna treat him some good ol hillbilly <v Klan Leader from Kentucky>hospitality. <v Person in Crowd> Yeah! [crowd applauses] <v Klan Leader from Kentucky>My friend checked up on that. <v Klan Leader from Kentucky>[crowd laughes] <v Reporter Neil Tickner>And finally, the new head of the clan, imperial wizard James Blair. <v James Blair, head of clan>They should be concerned about the Ku Klux Klan. <v James Blair, head of clan>Matter of fact, they'd better be concerned about the Ku Klux Klan because <v James Blair, head of clan>we're the enemy. <v James Blair, head of clan>And if they don't watch it, they're gonna feel the sting of the Klan. <v James Blair, head of clan>And Mr. News media out here, it won't be violent either. <v James Blair, head of clan>It'll be by the law. It will be the way that they'll feel that they have that in their <v James Blair, head of clan>pocket books and they have things that I have a fat ?inaudible? <v James Blair, head of clan>Hold it.
<v James Blair, head of clan>[crowd applauses] They will say "why do you oppose the Jews?" I oppose them because they <v James Blair, head of clan>kill, Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior ?inaudible?. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>As dusk arrives, the speeches come to an end. It's <v Reporter Neil Tickner>time to light the cross. <v Klan Leader>The cross that we have out here. <v Klan Leader>When the Klan has a cross illumination, the cross is a symbol of our God <v Klan Leader>not to be buried in darkness, but is illuminated to shine forth <v Klan Leader>and penetrate darkness and announce God's presence among us. <v Different Klan Leader>Your command will be on the ?inaudible? system tonight. <v Different Klan Leader>Watch the person in the center. We do have some people who are not familiar with our <v Different Klan Leader>ceremony. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>There are 30 to 40 Klansmen in robes standing by the cross, <v Klan Leader>Forming a circle at arm's length. <v Klan Leader>Spectators, please give us plenty of room. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>They are facing the cross. <v Speaker> ?Inaudible?
<v Klan Leader>Lets march. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>Through the grass. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>Around the cross, first clockwise, then counterclockwise. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>A torch is handed to each Klansman. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>A stream of flame stretches from each torch. <v Speaker>?Inaudible? <v Child>I told you I'm not scared. <v Klan Leader>Put your torches back at the base and come back and form your circles. <v Reporter Neil Tickner>Like spokes of a wheel, torches are put at the foot of the cross. <v Different Speaker>Please step back out of your circle sir.
Series
WILL News
Episode
1985-08-16--excerpt, Klan Rally in Mansfield
Segment
Klan Rally in Mansfield
Producing Organization
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
WILL (Radio station : Urbana, Ill.)
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip-526-w950g3jb6j
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Description
Episode Description
"One of the national Ku Klux Klan groups held a series of rallies around the country this summer to recruit members. WILL's Neil Tickner attended one such rally in the small Indiana town of Mansfield. His report attempts to place listeners at the rally site so they can experience the emotional impact of the event themselves. "The production required an unusual sensitivity to the many sound images at the rally and the individuals who attended it. The Klan members were cooperative, yet suspicious of press intrusion; still our reporter was able to capture several natural interactions among the participants at the event. "This report makes excellent use of radio as a medium to communicate a complete experience, stimulating the sensory imagination of the listeners. The report takes no particular point of view except that of an interested observer of an often inaccessible, but influential, cult-like group, during an unusual public display. As such it is the type of distinguished journalistic achievement that deserves recognition in the Peabody awards competition."--1985 Peabody Awards entry form. There were excerpts from the speeches given at the rally by a few Klan leaders including James Blair, Jimmy Mitchell, and a Klan leader from Kentucky whose name was not mentioned.
Description
"One of the national Ku Klux Klan groups held a series of rallies around the country this summer to recruit members. WILL's Neil Tickner attended one such rally in the small Indiana town of Mansfield. His report attempts to place listeners at the rally site so they can experience the emotional impact of the event themselves. "The production required an unusual sensitivity to the many sound images at the rally and the individuals who attended it. The Klan members were cooperative, yet suspicious of press intrusion; still our reporter was able to capture several natural interactions among the participants at the event. "This report makes excellent use of radio as a medium to communicate a complete experience, stimulating the sensory imagination of the listeners. The report takes no particular point of view except that of an interested observer of an often inaccessible, but influential, cult-like group, during an unusual public display. As such it is the type of distinguished journalistic achievement that deserves recognition in the Peabody awards competition."--1985 Peabody Awards entry form.
Broadcast Date
1985-08-16
Created Date
1985-08-16
Asset type
Episode
Media type
Sound
Duration
00:11:16.704
Embed Code
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Credits
Producing Organization: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Producing Organization: WILL (Radio station : Urbana, Ill.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-cffd0c33147 (Filename)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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Citations
Chicago: “WILL News; 1985-08-16--excerpt, Klan Rally in Mansfield; Klan Rally in Mansfield,” 1985-08-16, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-w950g3jb6j.
MLA: “WILL News; 1985-08-16--excerpt, Klan Rally in Mansfield; Klan Rally in Mansfield.” 1985-08-16. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-w950g3jb6j>.
APA: WILL News; 1985-08-16--excerpt, Klan Rally in Mansfield; Klan Rally in Mansfield. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-w950g3jb6j