Happy St Patrick’s Day

Irish Jig, from National Dances (1889). X X

Irish Jig, from National Dances (1889). X X

Irish_Jig,_from_National_Dances_(N225,_Type_2)_issued_by_Kinney_Bros__MET_DPB874574 1889

On this day: the Ku Klux Klan’s views on St Patrick’s Day

There were three movements of North America’s most infamous racist group, the Ku Klux Klan.

The second wave ran from around 1915 to 1944, and one of their aims was to “preserve American culture” by stopping European immigration (which was happening at a higher rate because of the two World Wars) into both the United States and Canada.

695px-KKK_-_St_Patricks_Day.In this 1927 cartoon the Ku Klux Klan chases the Roman Catholic Church, personified by St. Patrick, from the shores of America.

In this period, the US version of the KKK was supremely anti-Irish and anti-Italian (amongst other nationalities), and anti-Catholic. The Canadian version was concerned with trying to stop immigration from Eastern Europe, in an attempt to preserve Canada’s “British culture”.

800pxTheendkkkThe End Referring to the end of Catholic influence in the US. Klansmen Guardians of Liberty 1926.

1926

Because of these racist views, St Patrick’s Day was a target.