Notre Dame professor weighs in on the KKK's history in Michiana after more propaganda is found

NOW: Notre Dame professor weighs in on the KKK’s history in Michiana after more propaganda is found

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- After ABC57 reported that KKK recruitment cards are being found locally in Michiana, more people reached out about different instances of them finding the propaganda recently.

One New Carlisle resident told ABC57 several people have found KKK flyers in plastic bags in their driveways. Inside the plastic bag was contact information to join the KKK and other offensive material that said: “LOOK OUT N****R THE KLU KLUX KLAN IS GETTING BIGGER.”

The KKK is no stranger to Michiana. Korey Garibaldi, an American studies professor at the University Of Notre Dame, said it’s important to understand that Indiana was the heart of the KKK at one point in the 1920s.

The resistance to racial hatred even has roots on campus when Notre Dame students ran Klan members out of town.

“I think what we see now is kind of is an outgrowth of some of the racial chauvinism that has haunted this area for quite some time,” Garibaldi said.

 The material found in both New Carlisle and South Bend recently, he thinks, is reminiscent of the second emergence of the Klan in Indiana.

“The second Klan is going to be much larger than the first version.”

While the New Carlisle Police department said that they haven’t received any calls about the racist material being distributed, it is important for anyone who feels threatened to report it. The material itself is not illegal, but threats can be.

“If it’s actually being left in people’s property, this is threatening, it’s not free speech,” Garibaldi said. “Silence is the worst thing that we could possibly do.”

Garibaldi thinks the communities where this material is being found should take a little page from Notre Dame’s history and stand up against the racial hatred.

“One of the things that I would say especially with thinking about the second emergence of the Klan is that very famously; Notre Dame students fought the Klan,” Garibaldi said. “There’s a history of challenging this racial hatred that‘s local and important. We have power, right? We don’t just have to sit back, be afraid, be nervous and not speak up but that there’s actually a tradition of challenging that kind of racial hatred right here in our community.”

You can read more on Notre Dame’s history here.

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