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Beyond Belief: How The KKK Used Objects To Spread Hate

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Courtesy of Kelly Baker
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Most people think of white supremacy and racialized hate groups as being organized around beliefs. But author Kelly Baker points to their important use of things.

In her essay “The Artifacts of White Supremacy,” she reveals how the Klan appropriated Protestant imagery and objects to brand themselves, recruit members and attempt to gain legitimacy. She says the white supremacists’ use of the white robe, fiery cross and even the American flag was an attempt at making their beliefs more tangible — and more performative.

Host Frank Stasio talks with author Kelly Baker about how the Klan used Christian artifacts to create an identity, and how they responded when it didn’t quite succeed. Kelly Baker speaks at North Carolina State University on April 11 at 4:30 p.m. in Winston Hall.

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Jennifer Brookland is the American Homefront Project Veterans Reporting Fellow. She covers stories about the military and veterans as well as issues affecting the people and places of North Carolina.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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