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

Aug 28, 2017

Among the white supremacist groups at the Aug. 12 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia were several individuals displaying modified Red Wings logos.
Credit CRAIG STANLEY / NBC NEWS

As white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, some carried shields and a flag with a slightly modified Red Wings logo. Evidence suggests they were members a Michigan-based group called the Detroit Right Wings.

To explore the history of right wing extremism in Michigan, 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 Angl0-Saxon heritage) were a part of the group.

To learn the history of the KKK and other right wing extremism in Michigan, listen to the full conversation above.

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