Mormons and blacks had a common enemy: the Ku Klux Klan.

Many of the members of the anti-Mormon mob that murder the first President of the Church, Joseph Smith, are members of a secret racist society called the “Knights of the Golden Circle.” After the Civil War the organization is outlawed. A few members of the Knights of the Golden Circle found a new organization called the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.–1844

(See BlackMormon)


Soon after its formation, an LDS apostle writes that the KKK will prove a “curse” upon America.–1868

(See BlackMormon)

The KKK holds anti-Mormon meetings and, in the south, kills and in some cases tortures Mormon missionaries.–1870s-1890s

(See Blazing Crosses, pp.11ff)

J. Golden Kimball receives a telegram indicating that the Ku Klux Klan again plans to torture Mormon missionaries in the South if they don’t leave immediately.–1891

(See BlackLDS)

When a nation-wide tour of the stage version of “The Clansman,” a story that insults blacks and glorifies the KKK as white heroes, arrives in Utah, the anti-Mormon “Salt Lake Tribune” praises the production. The Church-owned “Deseret News,” however, while recognizing that the play is well done in technical terms, states that the Klan is not to be praised, for it “rode about the country at night killing or torturing negroes and their sympathizers…[and] became a band of idle, dissolute and vicious individuals who entered upon a career of brutality and violence that appalled the country.”–1908

(See Deseret News, Nov. 2, 1908)

The Church owned “Deseret News” calls the KKK “an insult and a menace to orderly government” that would lead “to riot and bloodshed.”–1920s

(See Deseret News, 23 Dec., 1920)

The “Salt Lake Tribute” accepts KKK advertising and notices, but the “Deseret News” refuses and only writes of the KKK to condemn it in editorials.–1920s

“So far as its operations are known–its secrecy, its mummery, its terrorism, its lawlessness–it is condemned…These mountain communities of ours have no place whatever for it in their social scheme of things…[he who tries to establish it among us] should be made emphatically to understand that his local endeavors will be worse than wasted, and his objects [goals] are detested, and his [absence] is preferred to his company. The people of Utah have no taste or patience for such criminal nonsense…”–1921

(See Deseret News, July 23, 1921)

Because of the Church’s condemnation of the KKK, the KKK “Grand Wizard” of Wyoming considers the Church it’s “greatest enemy.” “In the Realm of Utah and scattered over the West in general, we have another enemy, which is more subtle and far more cunning [than other anti-KKK groups] in carrying its efforts against this organization…the Latter-day Saint Religion!”–1923

(See Papers Read at the Meetings of Grand Dragons, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, 1923, pp.112-3)

Utah and Idaho, both predominantly Mormon states at the time, are the only states without significant KKK populations, according to the New York Times. “In Utah and Idaho the masked order [KKK] is without any foothold worthy of the name. It is said that there are a few Klan units in isolated spots, but they are negligible in number and in influence.”–1924

(See New York Times, Oct. 19, 1924)

The Church-owned “Deseret News” compares the KKK to German storm troopers and called the KKK “a sad event for America.”–1946

(See July 17, 1946)

The “Deseret News” called the KKK a plague, “the virus which will sap the liberty and freedom of all Americans.”–1948

(See July 19, 1948)

The “Deseret News” calls on the U.S. to “stamp out such organized conspiracy and lawlessness.”–1966

(See Jan 1., 1966)

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