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South Carolina Politician Joined The Klan For A While, Wasn’t Super Into It

Ugh, so many boring meetings about how this rally was going to goYou know how it goes: you’re young, you’re questioning a lot of things, you’re working as a sheriff’s deputy in South Carolina, and you’re open to some “out there” ideas! Why not experiment with eastern religions? Why not drop some acid? Why not join the Ku Klux Klan? That’s the sort of thing that might come back to haunt you, though, if you later grow up and become a county councilman. Or not, we guess? Eddie Moore’s local political career seemed to be going OK until he had to testify under oath in a lawsuit between the county and its former administrator (side note: this lawsuit is almost certain full of vicious recriminations, we bet it makes for good local drama), which apparently resulted in some awkward Klan-related questions. Why did Moore eventually leave this racist terror group? Was it because he realized that its hatred was a cancer eating away at American society? Or was it because it was boring and lame?

Our only evidence is his testimony from the lawsuit, during the course of which Moore was asked under oath about his Klanish ties:

“Mr Moore, have you ever told anyone that you have an affiliation with the KKK” asked attorney Lance Davis.

“Not that I recall,” answered Moore.

Davis: “Do you have an affiliation?”

Moore: “No, not right now”

Davis: “Did you ever?”

Moore: “I did”

Davis: “when?”

Moore: “Back in my early younger days.”

Davis: “Can you define younger days?”

Moore: “Probably as a teenager”

Davis: “When did you discontinue that affiliation?”

Moore: “It probably lasted a couple of years”

Davis: “Were you a member?”

Moore: “I was”

Davis: “Did you participate in any sort of ceremonies?”

Moore: “No, I don’t remember a ceremony, no. I went to a few meetings, and that was the whole gist of it.”

Davis: “Were there cross burnings?”

Moore: “I never went to a cross burning.”

Davis: “Did you own a hood?”

Moore: “I don’t recall owning a hood. I went to some meetings and that was it.”

Yeah, we’d think that that owning a fucking Klan hood would be the sort of thing you remember, but maybe we’re wrong. Do they give you a hood, do you think, or do you have to provide your own? Or are you expected to browbeat your white gentile woman into sewing one for you, out of your nicest curtains?

Anyway, we can see why Moore quit the Klan, because it sounds like a bunch of bullshit. No ceremonies, no hoods, no cross burnings, just a bunch of meetings, which, if you’ve ever been to a meeting of any organization ever, you know are dominated by the two loudest/stupidest people there, and everyone whines about how nothing ever gets done. It’s the sort of thing that makes you realize that it’s not just the blacks and the Jews and the Catholics you hate, it’s people, ugh, God, why won’t they shut up, are we going to go burn a cross somewhere or what.

Fortunately for Moore, the people of Anderson County (i.e., the people commenting on local TV station WSPA’s website using their real Facebook identities) are willing to overlook youthful indiscretions, particularly youthful indiscretions that involve white supremacy.

I mean, who hasn't lynched a colored fella or two when he was a kid, amiright?

Go, and sin no more! [WSPA]

About the author

Josh was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, leaving him with a love of chicken wings and a tendency to say “pop”. He taught ancient Greek and Roman history to undergraduates before fleeing from academia in terror; worked for a failed San Francisco dot-com that neglected to supply him with stock options or an Aeron chair; lived in Berlin, where he mostly ate Indian and Ethiopian food; finished in third place on his sole Jeopardy! appearance (the correct answer was “Golda Meir”); and was named 2007 Blogger of the Year by The Week, for obvious reasons. Josh is the creator/editor of COMICS CURMUDGEON (which you should read) and does geeky editing and writing about geeky things such as "the Java programming industry for JavaWorld." He lives in Baltimore with his wife Amber and his cat Hoagie.

View all articles by Josh Fruhlinger
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      1. eggsacklywright

        Really. That was like The Swarming. Good thing there's no sound on Wonket, would've been annoying buzzy.

    1. PsycWench

      …in his deputy uniform.

      from the link: Moore…confirmed that his time with the KKK coincided with his years as an Anderson County deputy.

  1. PsycWench

    I went to an anti-Khomeni rally when I was a freshman in college (still have the t-shirt but it doesn't fit anymore). That's about the same thing, right?

    1. Tundra Grifter

      I was on an extended Caribbean jaunt around 1980 (details are fuzzy) and there was a Calypso song on the radio we always enjoyed. "Give Me Back Me Shah."

    2. Tundra Grifter

      Back in the Reagan days there were some great bumbersnickers.

      "What's black, flat, and glows in the dark? Iran after Reagan is elected."


      "Let's play Cowboys and Iranians."

    3. Doktor Zoom

      I went to a couple of Nuclear Freeze rallies wearing a t-shirt that said "Join the Army! Travel to exotic foreign lands! Meet interesting unusual people and kill them!"

      In the early 80's we hadn't quite gotten with the whole "never say anything bad about the troops" thing

  2. memzilla

    we all do crazy stuff when we're young

    Unless of course that "youthful indiscretion" is left-wing, and then it's OMG Bill Ayers Terrist Soshlist Commie Kenyan Muslin 'Lebenty!

    1. PsycWench

      The standard is definitely way different. Went to rallies for a group that was dedicated to keeping black in their place? Meh. Sat on a committee that included Bill Ayers? TREASONOUS BASTARD!!!

      1. PsycWench

        I don't think they understand the origin of "Labor Day". They probably think the labor refers to the work involved in grilling and opening beers.

        1. PsycWench

          Indeed. Remember the Republican "Young Guns" group that included Eric Cantor at the fresh-faced age of 49?

        2. YasserArraFeck

          When talking about 'Tards, a more accurate term than "youthful" might be "infantile", or "puerile".

          Of course, "cocksucker" also works………

  3. Boojum

    I was in a fraternity. We didn't burn crosses, but we did mud wrestle. This is why I can't have nice political offices.

  4. Schmannnity

    I feel better that he quit because there wasn't enough action. Too many meetings, not enough mayhem.

  5. EatsBabyDingos

    Gee, most of my youthful indiscretions involved smoking pot and farting in the back of the bus. And making binders of women, and you know how that always turns out.

  6. ManchuCandidate

    I don't think it is a coincidence that the dunce caps and white hoods are the same shape.

    I guess it is fortunate for the rest of US Amercia that only the most stupid, unaware, and ignorant white people join shitheel organizations like the KKK.

  7. Goonemeritus

    Joining a hate group isn't a youthful indiscretion. Listening to Prog-Rock is a youthful indiscretion.

        1. LesBontemps

          Me too. I'm just thankful I was never a Rush fan; that's the kind of thing that haunts you for life.

          1. elviouslyqueer

            Our local college radio station played a JAZZ cover of "Tom Sawyer" yesterday. I didn't know whether to laugh hysterically or curl up in the fetal position.

          2. Tundra Grifter

            A few years ago I heard one of those string quartets that specialize in classical music play a Bob Wills tune. I wouldn't want to hear it all day long, but it was kinda neat as a one-off.

          3. prommie

            Tom Sawyer is the epitome of sophomoric psuedointellectual pretension, it gives me douche-chills. Rush defines the level of "intellectualism" that leads to Ayn Rand and libertarianism.

          4. FakaktaSouth

            I think douche-chills comes from putting that spout in the wrong place. You should be more careful where you stick things.

          5. prommie

            That raises what is really a kind of a philosophical question, I mean, is the essence of a thing, what it is or what its used for? Like, you know, postmodernism, the author says this, but the reader reads that. What then is the meaning? Is Pearl Jam's "Alive" a cry of despair or a triumphant declaration? Eddie says he wrote it as a cry of despair, but the audience heard it as triumph, and now the audience's meaning has come back to him and become his meaning. So, if it was manufactured as douche, but you put the spout in the wrong place, does that turn it into something else entirely?

          6. FakaktaSouth

            Nothing I like better than a good postmodern douche simile. I am saying Pearl Jam's Alive, as a triumphant response to despair is very much the right way to stick things places? That follows, yes? And honestly, in recanting my prior statement, who's to say what the "wrong" place is anyway?

          7. HempDogbane

            You're getting Close To the Edge.

            note to self: read a little more of the comments before posting.

          8. Chet Kincaid_

            The Yes Album/Fragile/Close To The Edge are respectable; they went off the deep end after that.

            Rush did a lot of embarrassing stuff in the '70s, came to their senses in the '80s, and get a pass from me because they're nice guys and Canadians.

          9. HempDogbane

            You're making me want to dig out the Rick Wakeman 6 Wives of Henry VIII cassette I've got in some box in the closet.

          10. Chet Kincaid_

            It was just that one album 2112, I am not sure that Rush is "in the tank" for Ayn Rand. And the album with "Tom Sawyer" is actually the one where they finally grew up.

          11. HeadsIWin

            I was 15 and offering to help to the roadies breakdown the stage after Rush played Madison Square when the biggest, angriest, roady of all started screaming at me. "Don't hurt him, Rob" they told him. In the meantime, my "friends" left me and I had to wander the streets of city penniless trying to find my way back to Grand Central. (The pills we bought in the men's room seem germane to this antidote I suppose.)
            The dismayed looks on the faces of the beat cops I asked directions from was the priceless point of the evening though.

    1. prommie

      There's been this awesome long article on prog-rock on The Awl for some time now, its really good, I upfist it heartily.

    1. YouFail4eva

      Man, this guy should get together with the Arizona National Guard guys. They could expand their hunting grounds! It's win-win, baby!

  8. Oblios_Cap

    It's no crazier or racist than converting to Mormonism. At least he quit when he "realized it was boring".

      1. James Michael Curley

        In my youth in my Italian neighborhood, the guys coming around often in all black suits were Mormons, the guys coming around in grey suits were the dime a week insurance salesmen, the guys coming around in all black in the middle of the night were …. ghaaahggg!

  9. elviouslyqueer

    *assesses Mr. Moore's glamor shot*

    Let's see… Bad combover? Check. Tie bought at the local Dollar General? Check. Jowly grin that would make Haley Barbour proud? Check. Pronounced turkey waddle? Check.

    Oh please. This man is a poster boy for "Today's Klan."

    1. AlterNewt

      Did you know that on a cool Autumn night at the Shady Oaks country club in Jackson Mississippi, If you're really, really quiet, you can actually hear the sound of Haley Barbour's jowls waddling?

    2. Negropolis

      It's funny, I will not set foot into a Dollar General, but I have no problem shopping in a Family Dollar. What? There bathroom and cleaning products are quality and a great value, I swear!

  10. SorosBot

    It was just a youthful indiscretion? But wait, I thought the fact that Robert Byrd was in klan when he was young meant that all Democrats everywhere are the real racists, forever.

  11. ph7

    I grew up in Montgomery County MD, not exactly the South, and in the late 70's, KKK guys would hang out in the high school parking lot and hand out business cards with the Klan emblem and invite you to meetings. Never went, but I did talk to these wackos. I'm sure the meetings were evil, but I got more of the sense that it was a club for stupid ignorant rednecks to bitch about why their lives suck, and blame it on someone else. The guys in the parking lot reeked Big Loser, and seemed too hapless to be much of threat to anyone. It reminded me of the Little Rascals Women's Haters Club.

    1. PsycWench

      a club for stupid ignorant rednecks to bitch about why their lives suck, and blame it on someone else.
      We have a video in the college library on hate groups, narrated by a former member, and that is almost exactly how he describes them.

      1. Terry

        My dad explained them to me when I was little, saying that some people who have hit bottom look for people to put under them rather than working to improve their lives.

    2. Terry

      I saw some Klan guys once in southern Prince Georges County, MD, when I was little in the late 60's, but they were fighting an uphill battle in that area since even then the community was made up of a lot of immigrants, black people, and government workers who in large part got along.

      It shocked me when I moved to the Deep South to see Klan still popping up from time to time. When I lived in south Louisiana, two competing Klan groups were both trying to recruit in my town at the same time for some reason. They ended up on the local news debating whether or not Cajuns counted as white and whether Catholics should be admitted to the Klan or not. Neither of these debates went over well with the largely Catholic Cajun population.

    3. Weenus299

      That was about the tone of it in the SC upstate back in the 1970s. Dumbshits who could know better but had trouble with books and shit.

    4. James Michael Curley

      Ironic in that Maryland was a slave state and refused to join the confederacy. (Which would have played havoc on the Union Army command in DC.)

      1. doloras

        Refused? I heard the Maryland legislature was going to vote to secede until Abe Lincoln sent the troops in. (And if Maryland had gone Confederate, then the Rebs were going to take DC and make it their own capital.)

    1. James Michael Curley

      When Romney mentioned that I was disappointed Obama did not mention that as Governor Romney he vetoed the legislative attempt to construct an offshore wind farm on the outer banks of Nantucket. Unfortunately, when the legislature tried to override the veto Ted Kennedy gave them a lot less than mediocre support.

  12. FakaktaSouth

    I feel way better about my Donnie and Marie fascination when I was a youngster. Dabbling in a little bit country, little bit rock and roll, toothy Mormonism just doesn't sound so bad next to the Klan, ya know?

      1. FakaktaSouth

        Abba is NOT as bad as D&M, as those Dancing Queens are all OVER my prommie playlist right now, and there's no Osmonds in ipod sight, but I appreciate the back-ups.

        1. Doktor Zoom

          So you're saying that since he's met you, your life is as good as an Abba song. It's as good as Dancing Queen.

          Also, factcheck: NO ONE can feel the beat of a tambourine.

          1. FakaktaSouth

            I dunno, sometimes a good jam can cause one to just go crazy with the tambourine hip slam, no? And MammaMia proms has just added so much to the Fakakta playlist, ABBA notwithstanding.

  13. Terry

    "we all do crazy stuff when we're young"

    My youthful indiscretions involve 1980's fashions and bad haircuts, not hanging out with the Klan.

    I'd feel very different about this guy if he said that he went to a meeting or two with a friend or crazy uncle not knowing exactly what they group was, then realized what a hateful bunch of f'ers they were and got as far away from them as possible. That would be a youthful indiscretion. Instead, he wants us to believe that he can barely recall anything about the whole thing and doesn't know if he had a hood or not. I can guarantee you that anyone who has bought or was given a klan hood remembers the moment in crystal clarity.

  14. Chow Yun Flat

    No, I don’t remember a ceremony, no

    There was that one time that I drank something and fell asleep at the clubhouse and when I woke up my ass was really sore…nothing other than that, though.

    1. YasserArraFeck

      Nothing worse than passing out at a Klan rally and waking up with your robes bunched up about your waist. Burning cross in the evening, burning ass in the morning.

  15. Weenus299

    O sweet memories of my youth! Ya'll, if you're from Sparkle City and elsewhere in the upstate, the Klan was, around the 1970s, pretty involved. I can't think of one big hang-everybody rally back then, but there were lots of little showings at parades and all. Also at that time, lots of chapters ditched the robes and shit, and some renamed it the "White Patriot Party" to sort of, you know, modernize it and such.

  16. prommie

    So this means my Trotskyite phase (ongoing) should be no hindrance to running for high office either, right?

  17. SpiderCrab

    Yes, I was romantically involved with an opossum for a little while. Maybe three years. I was young. We petted pretty heavily, but we never went all the way. Well, maybe once. Or twice.

  18. thatsitfortheother1

    I don't recall having a half inch manilla rope with a thirteen over-coiled noose tied off by with barrel knot…

  19. Toomush_Infer

    Yeah, there was that time I dropped acid at the local Black Panther house, but they all laughed at me when I tried to join in the tribal dance….

  20. Chet Kincaid_

    Apparently, Zach Green's "crazy stuff" includes cutting his girlfriend's legs off at the knees and calling her "Stumpy", then shoving his hand up her ass and using her as a ventriloquist's dummy.

  21. Mumbletypeg

    the people commenting on local TV station WSPA’s website

    Actually, listening to "WSPA" radio while growing up in Sparrkleberry SC might be what I'd consider the entire MUMBLETYFAMILY's youthful indiscretion of note.

  22. smitallica

    I'm sure the GOP will totally let this man's time in the Klan go by completely unnoticed, and not make an issue out of it six or seven decades after he has publicly and repeatedly apologized for and vehemently renounced his affiliation with that group.
    You know, like they did with Robert Byrd.

  23. pdiddycornchips

    I'm guessing the affiliation with the Klan will not hurt him much in South Carolina. That fact alone speaks volumes about our friends in the south. Fuck off. You southerners don't just keep your racist past alive, you cherish it. You keep it in the cellar like a bottle of Chateau Lafite de Rothschild. You're just waiting for the right occasion to open it up and enjoy it.

  24. MacRaith

    I've been told that the eastern North Carolina Klan nearly disbanded in the late 80s because of its lameness. Apparantly there were no active members under the age of 60. Younger guys just weren't into it – the hard-core racists were pulled into the militia movement, and the rest just kind of said "Ah, fuck it, I'm just gonna get drunk."

    There was an uptick in membership starting in early 1993, though. And another in late 2001. And then in 2008, the Klan really started booming again. Can't exactly put my finger on the reason for that, though…

    1. Negropolis

      That's what happened to the Klan up here in Michigan in Livingston County. They simply transitioned into "survivalists". It didn't hurt that Livingston County was the fastest growing county in the state during the 90's, so they were kind of maligned by the end of the exurban boom. What had once been an isolated fringe county had basically become suburban Detroit.

  25. 69WideStance

    This is complete bullshit. The guy doesn't even remember owning a hood and never went to a single cross burning. And he probably was only in for a couple of years. It's amazing the crap people try to bring up on u.

  26. Yellerdawg

    What does it take to be the loudest, stupidest guy at a Klan meeting? Do you just stand up, yell "UNNNGH!" and run headfirst into a wall?

  27. SaintRond

    I believe he was a very young, boyish maybe, teenager maybe, police officer when he was in the Klan.

  28. owhatever

    He dropped out of the KKK because after months of trying, he still could not get the spelling right.

  29. IceCreamEmpress

    Well, I mean, now that those commenters put it that way, I see the light. We all do silly things when we're young! I went to grad school, this dude joined a racist terrorist organization, it's all the same.

  30. ttommyunger

    "Be a Man, Join the Klan". I still remember seeing this on billboards in the South. It still has a certain elan' with the mouth-breathing types.

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