Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Should North Carolina Join Six Other States in Outlawing KKK Masks, Burning Crosses? 1951

Editorial from the Feb. 5, 1951 issue of the Statesville Landmark

North Carolina’s two neighbors immediately to the south have taken action which promises to enhance the prestige of the whole Southern neighborhood.

Georgia this week became the sixth Southern state to outlaw hooded terrorism. A law forbidding the wearing of masks and outlawing the burning of crosses on private property without the owner’s consent was signed by Governor Talmadge, who was openly supported by the Ku Klux Klan in his 1948 campaign. Such fearlessness in George commands respect.

And in South Carolina, the Senate Judiciary Committee gave divided favor to the anti-mask bill aimed at the Ku Klux Klan, asked by Governor Byrnes. The South Carolina measure is drawn in the same vein as the Georgia law. It sets a heavy penalty for intimidation, threat or assault by anyone wearing a mask. It also outlaws cross-burning.

Such intrepid action on the part of two otherwise great states, long considered the strong holds of the worst elements of the Ku Klux Klan should have the commendation of every Southern state, whether they have displayed the same determination to rid themselves of this dastardly business or not.

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