From the KKK to the Detroit Right Wings: Michigan’s history at the forefront of extremist movements

Nov 29, 2017

Among the white supremacist groups at the Aug. 12 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia were several individuals displaying modified Red Wings logos.

The New America Foundation tells us that between 2008 and 2016, far-right attacks outnumbered Islamic terrorism by almost two to one in this country. And they were deadlier.

That got us thinking about Michigan and its history with right wing extremism. To dive into that history, Stateside spoke with JoEllen Vinyard, a professor of history at Eastern Michigan University and the author of Right in Michigan's Grassroots: From the KKK to the Michigan Militia.

In the 1920s, Michigan had more KKK members than any Southern state, Vinyard said. She estimates one in ten eligible Michiganders (white, protestant and of Anglo-Saxon heritage) were part of the group.

To learn about the history of the KKK and other extremist groups in Michigan, listen to the full conversation above.

Stateside originally broadcast this story on Aug. 28, 2017.

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