(Miscege)NATION - The open secret at the heart of US white supremacy
"An American Secret" By CYNTHIA CARR in the NY Times Magazine
"I was 17 when I learned that my grandfather had been a Klansman. I didn't want to know more then, and I didn't want to talk about it. The news wasn't just shameful; it was frightening. I wondered if I could find out too much, if Grandpa could become someone I wouldn't love. After all, this information suggested that I'd never really known him." [...] "Grandpa had always been so quiet, so abstemious and, I thought, so predictable. He worked his whole life at the Marion, Ind., Post Office and, for a hobby, studied railroad timetables. He owned a single necktie that he would wear out before he bought another. He was a teetotaler who did not allow liquor in the house. I don't remember ever hearing a racial slur. But there was also a fury in him that he never showed the grandkids. I heard the stories with some astonishment: when the alarm clock didn't work, he stomped it in the backyard and smashed it into a telephone pole. When my dad got pericarditis as a boy, Grandpa flew into a rage; it was going to cost money.
He was also intensely secretive. He would not say who his father was. Born out of wedlock, he had taken his mother's last name, and of her we knew little except that she died young. He would not say where she was buried. Every year on Memorial Day, he would go alone with three geraniums to a certain cemetery. After Grandpa's death, we looked hard for that grave and could find it nowhere." (more)