“Keith Sampson is a 50-ish student at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis who is studying communications and works as a janitor.
“He loves to read and always has a book going. So during a work break in the break room last year while on duty at the Medical Science Building, he pulled out his public library copy of Notre Dame vs. The Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan. Published in 2004 by Loyola Press of Loyola University in Chicago, the book is about the efforts of the South Bend Irish and students at Notre Dame to fight back against the Klan in 1924. It was written by Todd Tucker and has been well received.
“But say Klan in some circles, and all light of reason goes out the window.
“The first to object to Sampson’s reading material reportedly was his AFSCME shop steward. That person told Sampson that reading a book about the Klan is like bringing porn to work. Later, a coworker in the break room told him how offended she was. According to Sampson, nobody was interested in hearing what the book was about.
“Next came the message telling him to report to Marguerite Watkins at the IUPUI Affirmative Action Office. A coworker had filed a racial harassment charge against him…”
I heard this on the radio and mentioned it in my talk last week. I’d love to know if blacks complained, or if whites complained “on their behalf.”
Sandra Miesel sent me the link, adding:
“The Klan ran Indiana in the 20s, their targets mostly Catholics and immigrants rather than blacks. There have been several books written about the era. It ended when Grand Master DC Stephenson raped and caused the death of a young woman. After his conviction, the whole thing collapsed. But even in the ’80s, the sheriff of one of our counties was also Grand Dragon of the local Klan.
“Shortly after we moved to Indianapolis in the ’60s, the Klan tried to hold a ‘Cross-Burning followed by Wienie Roast’ in a neighboring town. As they passed out their leaflets, members of a biker gang trailed after them, taking the leaflets out of people’s hands and tearing them up. This is a quaint state!”