Alongside the male-led Ku Klux Klan (KKK), the Women’s KKK (WKKK) formed in 1923 used their social and political influences to maintain power under the guise of feminism. With the 19th amendment freshly ratified and other significant cultural shifts that afforded new freedoms for white women, many ‘empowered’ white Protestant women of the 20s became members of the WKKK in efforts to maintain their positions of power over Black and Jewish people, and anyone that threatened the fabric of a ‘good’ and ‘pure’ American society, while simultaneously advocating for women’s rights, such as eight-hour work day wages for mothers, and keeping their maiden name after marriage. This paradoxical narrative echoes the early suffrage movement, when after the 15th amendment was ratified in 1870, women suffrage advocates rallied for their own right to vote under the belief that their voice mattered and should have mattered more than that of Black men, moreover former enslaved Black men. If this history has taught us anything, it’s that justice cannot be won by claiming the rights of one marginalised group is worth more than that of others. Building equity involves rethinking how freedoms have historically been prioritised and afforded to some, and where that continues to show up today. In the case of the white women in the WKKK and the women in the early suffrage movement, their claim to freedom was not on the basis of true equity, but upheld by the constructed idea of whiteness inherently being worthier than Blackness, and Protestants being purer than Jewish people.
AntiSemitism in Sweden and how it ties to our workplaces
Written by Asher Firestone/
November 2, 2020
November 2, 2020