THE TEXAS OBSERVER Texas Observer Co., Ltd. 1965 A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South 59th YEAR ESTABLISHED 1906 Vol. 57, No. 22 7a 4MP November 12, 1965 and he kept laughing and yelling at her “What about the good Samaritan?” A kindly looking old Klansman who must have been at least an Exalted Cyclops was telling a couple of men about the ranks in the Klan. He said the Klan is something like the Masons. “We aren’t secret,” he was saying. They looked like a fairly ordinary bunch of hayseeds. They wore their white robes with a sort of velvety sheen. There were different crossed or flowery-like emblems on their chests. They had red tassels coming out of the tops of their pointed hats. A few of them, three or four, had on red robes, a couple of them were women. There were only thirty of them with robes, but they had several relatives and hangerson with them. They were indeed an odd looking bunch. AND THEN they started marching. I was wondering if the crowd down the street a little ways would let them through because they were carrying all sorts of anti-Klan signs down there and I thought there might be a rumble, but they made it through all right. The crowd were content to follow them with their signs. A group of Negroes were following them singing “We shall overcome.” There were all kinds of signs being hoisted about, “We’re for LBJ, not the KKK,” and “The KKK is the Viet Gong of the USA.” It was like something out of the Twilight Zone. The whole setting was eerie. Beards intermingled through the crowd. Youths with Beatle haircuts, and some who had never had a haircut. Some Negro girls had gotten mixed in among the Klan as they marched on the Capitol grounds. The crowd was pressed so tightly around the Klansmen, they could hardly get through. They paid no attention to their surroundings but marched steadily on. They stayed on the sidewalk where they were ordered by the police, but the crowd spilled out into the streets. A man in the crowd, looking at the Klansmen as they passed, said “I don’t see any with one eye.” Cops came by on motorcycles threatening the crowd to make them get back on the sidewalks. I was following behind them a ways when a young man rather tall and slender, wearing a coat and tie, but not of the highest tonsorial elegance, gave me a pamphlet. I thought he was one of the followers of the Klan passing out literature. When I looked at it I thought it was pretty rough even for them. Then I looked for its origin. I saw that it was put out by the American Nazi Party and copyrighted by George Lincoln Rockwell. There were two young men in my vicinity passing these flyers out. I began following them. My man handed a slip to a prosperous looking young man suited out with his family. He might have been a Jew; he was rather dark. Starting to read it, he recoiled with horror. “Get away from me,” he screamed, “Get away from me!” The young man continued handing out his pamphlets nonchalantly. I walked up to him and said “The Klan 2 The Texas Observer is too liberal for you boys, huh?” He hissed contemptuously between his teeth and said “yes” and continued handing out pamphlets. There were twelve Nazis in all, tagging along, uninvited, behind the Klan. The Klansmen were much more amiable. One of them was late catching up. He had stayed behind to adjust his sheet or something. An elderly businessman who was crossing the street impishly patted him on the back and said, “Better hurry.” It was a Sunday afternoon for lovers as well. Youths and maidens intermingled in the crowd holding hands as if they were on their usual Sunday outing in the park, instead of Congress Avenue. As the Klan reached the Capitol steps the crowd swelled around them so that they could hardly move. There were still some Negroes mixed in with them. One of the Klansmen tried to speak, but it was useless. Some University students who had made it there ahead of them began to hold a pep rally. A cheerleader had gotten up on something so that the others could see him. Every time a Klansman tried to speak, the cheerleader would lead a yell. The students started out with “Beat the hell out of T.C.U.,” then they sang “Texas Fight.” Then they gave some more yells, and then they gave the hook ’em horns sign with their fingers that has scandalized so many Italian visitors to the fair city of Austin. THE KLAN, finding out that it was wasting its time trying to speak, turned around and headed back the way it came. The crowd thinned out, but a few hecklers still following the Klansmen back to the parking lot from whence they had start Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the State Week and Austin ForumAdvocate. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Editor and General Manager, Ronnie Dugger. Partner, Mrs. R. D. Randolph. Business Manager, Sarah Payne. Contributing Editors, Elroy Bode, Bill Brammer, Larry Goodwyn, Harris Green, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Robert L. Montgomery, Willie Morris, James Presley, Charles Ramsdell, Roger Shattuck, Dan Strawn, Tom Sutherland, Charles Alan Wright. Staff Artist, Charles Erickson. Contributing Photographer, Russell Lee. Subscription Representatives: Austin, Mrs. Helen C. Spear, 2615 Pecos, HO 5-1805; Dallas, Mrs. Cordye Hall, 5835 Ellsworth, TA 1-1205; Fort Worth, Dolores Jacobsen, 3025 Greene Ave., WA 4-9655; Houston, Mrs. Shirley Jay, 10306 Clifford Dr., PA 3-8682; Lubbock, Doris Blaisdell, 2515 24th St.; Midland, Eva Dennis, 4306 Douglas, OX 4-2825; Odessa, Enid Turner, 1706 Glenwood, EM 6-2269; Rio Grande Valley, ed. A couple of students were walking along conversing in loud voices in the middle of them. One said, “No, the Klan’s not like it used to be. All they want to do is bring back the slave block and return to good old fashioned Americanism.” The other one said, “They’re progressive now. Burning a few crosses and wearing sheets is all they want to do, and maybe a lynching or two.” I started talking with one of the Klansmen. He was a friendly fellow. I asked him about their officers. “I can’t call all of them right offhand,” he said, “but we got a Kleagle, but we ain’t got no Grand Dragon yet, but we’re gonna have one the first of the year. I gotta get home now and feed my cattle. That’s about all we raise now around Crockett.” A few feet away a youth was raising hell with the Klan. He said he was a Catholic and told them he was diametrically opposed to them. A more -interesting conversation was taking place beside me. I had caught a few snatches of it as I had come up. A young fellow of college age whom I judged to be the son of one of the Klansmen was arguing with another young man who evidently wasn’t. A woman, rather heavily built, was the third party to the argument. She was definitely pro-Klan, but ungowned. I took her for the first boy’s mother. The first boy was saying, “The F.B.I. is for the communists.” The second boy said, “What do you mean by communists, communists of leftists?” “They’re all the same, and if you want Mrs. Jack Butler, 601 Houston, McAllen, MU 6-5675; San Antonio, Mrs. Mae B. Tuggle, 531 Elmhurst, TA 6-3583; Cambridge, Mass.. Victor Emanuel, 33 Aberdeen Ave., Apt. 3A. 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