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July 3, 1919.

Hon. T. W. Bickett, Governor
Raleigh, N.C.

My dear Sir:

I have been interested in the Ku Klux organization in North Carolina, and have noted with interest your reaction, and have before me the editorial comment of the Observer on your statement. The Observer seems inclined to treat the matter lightly. I am surprised that they have not been able to see how dangerous a thing it is.

This organization has appeared in Tennessee and in Georgia. In Tennessee it is the opinion of some of those who have investigated it, that it is an effort to make some money out of the racial psychology resulting from the war. However innocent or otherwise may be the purpose of this organization, it is doing more than anything else to fan into flame the suspicion of the Negroes and play into the hands of the radical movements which are trying to make way among the Negroes.

This organization in Atlanta held a public parade recently, going through the streets with a burning cross and the insignia of the old Ku Klux Klan. The Negroes were so frightened that the students in at least one of our best known Negro colleges here in Atlanta were kept for twenty-four hours behind locked doors,- the rumor had reached the college that the Ku Klux were marching and would probably descend first upon the Negro schools, where they would probably kill all or at least some of the faculty and students. I am quite sure that these paraders did not have in mind anything of the kind. The fact that the Negroes were so afraid makes even the most innocently intended movement of this sort of grave danger.

I have been connected with the activities of the War Work Council of the Y.M.C.A., in the reconstruction work among the Negroes, and have come in personal contact with more than five hundred Negro leaders from all sections of the country, and I know how thoroughly aroused they are regarding this whole matter. Some of their best leaders have told me that there were 300,000 of these men organized throughout the south, who were planning soon to descend upon the Negroes and make it particularly unpleasant for the returned Negro soldiers. If these organizations continue to grow and receive publicity, I feel quite sure that sooner or later they will lead to an outbreak, however innocent may have been their purpose.

Expressing appreciation for what you have done, not only for North Carolina, but for the South in your protest, I am,


Will W. Alexander
Divisional Director