Tag Archives: Ku Klux Klan

Comment of the Day: Unethical Website of the Month: Chimpmania, And The Unethical Petition Opposing It

ku klux klan

The post defending the right of the racist website Chimpmania to stay on the web despite its offenses to decency, civility and fairness predictably attracted racists to this blog—very articulate racists, I must say, but racists nonetheless. One of them, Paddy Roller, who operates his own, slightly less crude racist website, attracted this response from one of Ethics Alarms’ most thoughtful and passionate readers, known here as fattymoon. It is a deserving Comment of the Day, an open letter sparked by a racist screed posted here by Paddy, itself sparked by the post, Unethical Website of the Month: Chimpmania…And The Unethical Petition Opposing It.

[ Paddy and about six of his compatriots in hate have been banned here after violating my warning to eschew racist epithets rhetoric after I had granted them one reprieve. No more reprieves…if one of the Klan wannabes has a comment to this post he wants to have read, there had better be no uses of “nigger” in it.]

Here’s Fattymoon: Continue reading


Filed under Character, Comment of the Day, Race

Ethics Hero Emeritus: Stetson Kennedy (1916-2011)

And he gave his book to Superman...

Author and folklorist Stetson Kennedy, who died this week,  is another important and courageous American that most of us never heard of. Let’s try to catch up.

After a back injury kept him out of World War II, Kennedy began a lifetime career of crusading against bigotry and what he called “homegrown racial terrorists.” He served as director of fact-finding for the southeastern office of the Anti-Defamation League and as director of the Anti-Nazi League of New York.

In his 1954 book “I Rode With the Ku Klux Klan,” Kennedy wrote that he gained entrance to the Klan by posing as an encyclopedia salesman and using the name of an uncle who was a Klan member. While posing as a member, he learned many Klan secrets that he put to use undermining the organization’s reputation and support. With evidence he snatched from the Grand Dragon’s wastebasket, he gave the Internal Revenue Service what it needed to collect an outstanding $685,000 tax lien from the Klan in 1944, and he helped draft the brief used by the state of Georgia to revoke the Klan’s national corporate charter in 1947. He also testified in other Klan-related cases. Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Heroes, Government & Politics, History, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Popular Culture, Professions, U.S. Society

Don’t Cheer Mississippi’s Westboro Baptist Tactics Too Loudly: You Never Know Who Might Hear You

"Demonstrators? Just leave them to us."

Sgt. Jason Rogers, who was killed in action in Afghanistan, was buried two weeks ago in Brandon, Mississippi. As is its custom, the Westboro Baptist Church, fresh from U.S. Supreme Court-confirmed constitutional protection, was prepared to sully Sgt. Rogers’ funeral with its usual hateful chants about how God kills our soldiers to punish our sinful, homosexual-loving ways. Its plans were foiled, however, by a little bit of traditional Mississippi social control ingenuity.

A couple of days before the funeral, one of Fred Phelps’ vile cultists boasted about the upcoming protest while visiting a Brandon gas station, and the good citizenry on the scene gave him the sound beating they felt his sentiments warranted. Continue reading


Filed under Citizenship, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, History, Law & Law Enforcement, Popular Culture, Professions, Religion and Philosophy, U.S. Society, War and the Military

Hero, Villain or Hypocrite: The Dilemma of the Undercover Dog-Fighter

The limits of absolutism and the drawbacks of utilitarianism both come under scrutiny in assessing the strange saga of Terry Mills, whom the ASPCA recently appointed as its Animal Fighting Specialist.

Beyond question, this is a job he is uniquely qualified to hold. In 2008, Mills worked for the FBI’s domestic-terrorism task force, and went under-cover for more than a year to expose and break up a national dog-fighting ring. His efforts resulted in many arrests, and the rescue of more than 500 animals. Accomplishing all of this, however, required Mills to become part of the culture he was attacking. He trained and fought his own dogs, engaging in the very cruelty he was working to prevent. Continue reading


Filed under Animals, History, Law & Law Enforcement, Religion and Philosophy, War and the Military

Unethical Quote of the Week

“He once had a fleeting association with the Ku Klux Klan, what does that mean? I’ll tell you what it means. He was a country boy from the hills and hollows from West Virginia. He was trying to get elected.”

Former President Bill Clinton speaking fondly—and dishonestly— of  the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV).

Bill Clinton has never had much understanding of  the principle of integrity. To him, wanting to get elected is justification enough for joining a violently racist organization that you don’t believe in, and giving support to a movement that you find offensive is a reasonable moral compromise to make in the pursuit of power. But how do we know that Sen. Byrd didn’t reject the Klan when the group’s cross burnings and lynchings became unfashionable in order to stay elected, while secretly sympathizing with them? Well, we don’t—and the facts support this interpretation more than Clinton’s. Continue reading


Filed under Ethics Quotes, Government & Politics, History, Leadership, Race, U.S. Society, War and the Military

Pit Bulls and Bigotry

Writer Charles Leerhsen has experienced a conversion. After witnessing his best friend being viciously attacked and nearly killed on a city street without provocation, he has embraced bigotry with both hands. Now he writes screeds condemning not the attacker, but all individuals of the attacker’s race. In a passionate and angry essay for The Daily Beast, he denigrates not only those individuals but also anyone who defends them, such as “certain PC urban professionals who long to tell the world that they are super-sensitive and understanding souls.”

It’s an ugly essay, emotional, doctrinaire, and illogical, employing the well-worn racist technique of generalizing from the individual to the group and back again. Why would any respectable media outlet print such bile?

Perhaps it is because Leerhsen’s best friend was Frankie, a Wheaton terrier, and Frankie’s attacker was a pit bull. Continue reading


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Daily Life, History, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Popular Culture, U.S. Society