Birth of Hiram Wesley Evans, Future KKK Imperial Wizard Hot

Birth of Hiram Wesley Evans, Future KKK Imperial Wizard

Hiram Wesley Evans, Imperial Wizard of the KKK
Source: Wikipedia

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Hiram Wesley Evans is born in Ashland, Alabama. The son of a judge who becomes a thirty-second-degree freemason, Evans will leave his moderately successful dental practice in 1920 to devote all of his time to the Ku Klux Klan.

By 1922, he will be named Imperial Wizard of the KKK, giving him leadership over the the Klan across America. This gives him the opportunity to transform the Klan from a loose association of local groups into a more national movement. For a brief time, the KKK will exercise real influence on national politics.

Early on, Hiram Wesley Evans will be a strong supporter of using violence to suppress racial minorities. He tells others about his fond memories of a lynching he witnesses as a boy, and as a Klan leader in Dallas he will encourage the creation of "black squads" for assaulting and even torturing minorities.

Later, though, Evans will reverse this policy and discourage open violence — not due to any personal change of heart, but rather because he fears that it will impede his quest for political power. His public denunciations of violence will not, according to some, prevent him from privately presiding over continued and even brutal violence against blacks.

Politically, Hiram Wesley Evans will position the Ku Klux Klan as a representative of the "common people of America." He promotes a populist economic and political agenda, though one heavily influenced by White Supremacism.

His first step will be to establish the KKK as a respectable political movement in a few states, then replicate the same on a national level. Evans will make significant progress towards his goals, but he will never fully realize them — in large part because there is too much internal diversity and disagreement within the KKK itself. Across the country, there are too many KKK members who disagree with what Evans is doing and how he's doing it.

It's ironic that an organization dedicated to racial homogeneity is prevented from achieving real political power because of a lack of internal homogeneity.

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