The Bigot They Are | News | The Harvard Crimson

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2022-09-21 02:30:27

The career of a bigot is by nature a devious one. The story of John Kasper does little to reaffirm one's faith in the people's judgement. Kasper has now gone the way of Father Coughlin and Father Feeney, but his little-mourned departure from the segregationist ranks is not the result of a popular reaction against his views or his tactics. These views and tactics simply turned on him.

Even before Kasper entered Florida in early March, his cohorts were at work. Fred B. Hockett, a White Citizens Council Organizer in Miami, had been arrested and fined for cross-burning. Moreover, testimony was offered to the effect that Hockett possessed 100 boxes of dynamite, to be exploded at Kasper's orders.

When Kasper himself came to Miami for Hockett's trial and two segregationist rallies, he announced his intention of forming a white youth organization as a subsidiary to the Citizens Councils. Four days after his arrival, he was in Tallahassee, the state capital, to testify before a committee investigating anti-Negro activity in the state.

The story Kasper told the committee brought the wrath of his own faction down on him, but his activities have so far incurred no censure from the responsible citizens of Florida. Kasper admitted to a crime which is an affront to the segregationist ethic: he had danced, traveled, and corresponded with a Negro girls, whom he had met in his Greenwich Village bokstore: to the Ku Klux Klan, of course, all this equals miscegenation.

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