Announcing the 'Which OC Pioneers Were KKK Members?' Series!

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Last week, Luis F. Fernandez--the historian who rediscovered the long-forgotten desegregation story of Alex Bernal--went to the Anaheim Heritage Room and got a copy of a list that had long eluded him: the membership roll of the Orange County chapter of the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s, when the Invisible Empire took over Anaheim and had a member list into the hundreds. He graciously provided the Weekly a copy, and boy, are we going to have fun over the next couple of weeks!

The provenance of the list is unknown--no one knows for sure who compiled it or even when--but it does list the names, addresses and occupations for hundreds of men. It was instrumental in defeating the Klan, an incident long celebrated by orange-crate historians. Most of the names are that of regular ol' working-class Whites--but not all of them.
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Henry W. Head, one of the founders of Orange County
Over the next couple of weeks, the Weekly will reveal some of the more prominent names on the list, men immortalized in city and county annals via parks, streets and businesses, as well as in the history books as pioneers, as good men--as everything except Kluckers. Tune in next Monday for the first installment! And for the Weekly's previous coverage of the original Klan in Orange County, read this and that.
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47 comments
wolfmann4u
wolfmann4u

I don't think this country is changing for the better including Anaheim

Jmunoz8155
Jmunoz8155

I think that it is time that we stop looking for things to divide us as a nation. We are always looking for the shock factor in every thing. I am amazed that some one would find it strang that in the 1920's prominent members of society belonged to the KKK. It seems that we forget that things were different in those days.

Alice Wu
Alice Wu like.author.displayName 1 Like

How do people not know that the past affects the present and the future? When people say shit like "Let's go back to the good ol' days" and "this city used to be nice," they have a false understanding of the progress that has been made and probably aren't aware of the continued injustice. It also makes them sound stupid. Americans like to sweep dirt under the rug so often bc they think it doesn't matter! Very immature and unintelligent.

Ordinary Human
Ordinary Human

Do any of you actually hear yourselves? You talk about how this person or that was racist and Klan....then you use words like "whitey" and call people "vaginas" which in effect, makes a slur out of a natural womanly area of the body. This is called "reverse racisim" (for the whitey remark) and denigrates women by making slurs and insults out parts of their bodies. Who are the real racists here then? Lots of crap happened in the past to good people at the hands of bad people, no one is denying that. Most of those people's descendants are probably ashamed of them and are not like that now. If they are, then they are jerks, and nuff said. But, YOU guys, who are saying you are oppressed and victims of racisim, YOU are denigrating women and using racist remarks yourselves. So who are the real racists now? Take a look in the mirror, folks.

Alice Wu
Alice Wu

"Who are the real racists here then?" and "So who are the real racists now?" LOL! It's cute how you're trying to sound profound.

Just because ignorant random people who commented used whitey and vagina doesn't mean the people discussed in the article weren't really racist.

Nieche Vargas
Nieche Vargas

i dont know why this is a big deal, lets just say i know someone very famous that was a KKK member! :/

beside why would no one think OC had KKK members! theres still KKK members living here in OC they just dont come out cuz they know what mite happen!

gustowind
gustowind

Gustavo, if you want people to take an interest in your upcoming faction, you know its your unique blend of mainly fiction seasoned with facts=faction, present this story in comic book format. The Invisible Evil Empire attempt to conquer Anaheim until Gustoman (thats you) puts the Invisible Evil Empire into his favporite taco and eats them all away. totally juvenile menudo buth then so are you

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

I haven't written fiction since eighth grade, so what's your point again?

gustowind
gustowind

Gustavo, write about what you know, gastronomy and confabulation. You are not a journalist, historian or social commentator; only a person whose soliloquies inflame your readers into indignation that you oddly enjoy.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

When asked for proof of his accusations, the troll can't give any...

Stephanie
Stephanie

I guess the question is, if we're talking about long-dead names . . . who cares? "We are going to have fun?!" I think after the first few installments, Gustavo, people will get bored . . . why not just publish the list and be done with it? If there are living members, make that news.

Seriously, if you tell me Chapman was a Klansman, well, that's interesting . . . so, how 'bout them Angels?

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Stephanie: And that's why you're a snarky commentator, and I'm the writer!

junior
junior

CW - Did the OC Klan ever string up any mackeral snappers?

Cynthia Ward
Cynthia Ward

It is my understanding that the list came from the official membership records of the Klan. Opposition leader Lotus Loudon, publisher of the Anaheim Bulletin, got a hold of it and published the list to out the "fine upstanding civic leaders" hiding beneath their white hoods! While Anaheim's Town Council, Police department and Fire department were overrun by Klan leaders, I am proud to say that the people of Anaheim refused to put up with that nonsense. We recalled the Town Council members with allegiances to the Klan, and fired City employees with ties to the organization. Yes,they got their foot in the door, by pretending to be a men's Bible study, working through a local church. But the minute Anaheim residents discovered what was up we stood up and kicked their racists asses right our of our town! And for the record, the Klan in Anaheim was not anti-black or even anti-Latino. The battle was focused primarily on a Protestant vs Catholic issue. The Klan was staunchly anti-Catholic, but even other Protestants in town helped get rid of them. Anaheim just does not put up with this crap. So Gustavo, while I applaud you for covering this story, please be fair to Anaheim. Thanks. CW

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

You're right, Cynthia: forced Mexican segregation didn't happen until AFTER the Klan left. Let's not be selective with our history here. And the Klan, not anti-black? HA!

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

And if it makes you feel any better, no big-time Anaheimer is on the list. Rudy Boysen wouldn't come until later...

Mern
Mern

Your comment was better than his entire story.

Miguel
Miguel

Great article - maybe in another couple of years, based on the previous articles, we will get the full story - I mean after all a coconut minstrel only has so many hours in the day to do substantive work - he has to spend most of his time shucking and smilin' and getting paid throughout promoting stereotypes about his own people - just "Ask A Mexican"

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Uh, if you actually took off your goggles, you'd know everything I do is in this vein...

Mern
Mern

You nialed it bro. Suck it Gus.

briansays
briansays

explains a lotpassed down their "values" over generations to their heirs who never left oc

The guest that wouldn't leave
The guest that wouldn't leave

I don't deny there were KKK throughout OC's history.But, come on now... you have some list which you admit the origin is unknown, and you are not only going to write an article using it, but probably milk out some douchey series of articles by outing people.

Well, I have a list that I got from a friend who had to blow a museum clerk to get, and it has your name on it. Wah.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Guest: If you actually read my piece, I said that no one knows who compiled it, but it it a legitimate list—the Anaheim Bulletin published it in 1925, and it brought down the Klan. BURN...

The guest that wouldn't leave
The guest that wouldn't leave

Just because some town newspaper published it does not make it true...The Protocols of the Elders of Zion have been published numerous times, does that make them true?

Regardless, you stated "the providence of the list is unknown"... fancy words for 'The authenticity is unverifiable'.And you call your self a journalist?

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Hmm...a list used by contemporary people to shut down the Klan, one cited by dozens of scholars, is not a rock solid source? I'm sure you're the type of person who refuses to believe the sun sets because there's a picture of it on your living room wall—how quaint!

The guest that wouldn't leave
The guest that wouldn't leave

Was jus' sayin'If I called myself a journalist, I would have rock solid sources, not something the providence of which is unknown.But that is just me. Good luck with your series.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Yeah, the list was SO untrue that all those people who subsequently resigned that were on the list really weren't Klan members. Spare me your affronted morés.

Mico
Mico

Whitey is a paranoid vagina.

Whitey
Whitey

You can't change history! Accept it for what it is and stop being vagina's.

Bill T.
Bill T.

Understanding history is critical to understanding where we are today. Thank god there are no Nazi, KKK, scum-sucking, ignorant, .., (well you get the point - maybe), alive today. It will be interesting to see how many descendents of those criminals acknowledge their ancesters' actions and condemn the KKK. For a model, see Germany. And stop being a vagina's what, finish your sentences.

Facts
Facts

Bill, how is belonging to the KKK a criminal act? Is it a good thing? No. Is it criminal? Nope.

Just so you know your facts, the last lynching in OC happened in 1892 by an angry mob over the killing of a popular ranch hand, not by guys in white hats with crosses ablaze.

There were other lynchings that happened in OC over cattle theft (the Weir Canyon hanging tree) and murders, but not by idiots wearing hoods.

Bill T.
Bill T.

I understand that it's not against the law to be an asshole. I'm also well aware of these groups' histories and they are composed of criminals. Even if they weren't actual perps they were aware of the actions of others, concealing criminal acts is also illegal. Lynching is not the only form of intimidation.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Actually, Facts, it wasn't an "angry mob" that lynched Francisco Torres, but the city fathers of SanTana—you can look it up!

smh
smh

"there are no Nazi, KKK" um, you have been to the 909 or HB, right? Yes, Virginia, they do exist. it isn't as though racism has magically disappeared, and it's a bit scary that people think it has.

Raymundo Garcia
Raymundo Garcia

Henry Segerstrom is on the list and he is still alive and running South Coast Plaza

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Folks: Raymundo is talking out of his ass...

Miguel
Miguel

Actually coconut i would never have thought to look you up via facebook. I was aware of your minstrelsy going back to your UCLA days, (you know when you realized you actually weren't just HISpanic but "latino") so perhaps we give ourselves a little too much credit and apparently your minstrel ways are known by many, which is a good thing. By the way how is Carlos Mencia? I hear he's pretends to be Mexican too. Shuck, shuck, smile, smile.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Oh, I mistook my llorones Miguelitos. My apologies for the confusion!

Miguel
Miguel

Folks Gustavo makes a living talking out of his ass.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Folks: Don't mind Miguel. He's acted like a piglet torn away from his teat ever since I booted his inanities from Facebook...

Boom
Boom

kill whitey

Peet
Peet

No shit?

Culichi1967
Culichi1967

I sure do hope we will see some recognizable names on that list. I have gabacho friends that give me indication that their fine families came from such stock. Hurry so that I can give them all the carrilla that their white nalgas deserve...

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