Alright it’s 1940’s post World War II Atlanta, although Atlanta is a beautiful city with more history than just Klan activities, it has been known to foster resurgences of the Klan during political turmoil. For a full history of the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia visit this website.
After World War II racism was raging due to the uneasiness of social tensions caused by the anti-Communist agenda and feeling of white supremacy again playing a role in world politics. The KKK was revamped and their political influence was increasing, after the the US Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education the Klan began a movement of “massive resistance” in which they refused to desegregate public institutions. Throughout the 1950’s and 60’s the Klan was extremely violent against supporters of the civil rights movement.
This being said, Klan activities began to take hold in Atlanta, causing fear and uneasiness among the community. So a door-to-door salesman named Stetson Kennedy noticed the Klan and wanted to expose their activities. The first step was to find a way into the KKK.
It was actually a lot easier than he thought it was going to be, he simply visited a bar known to be frequented by Klansmen where he met a man named Slim who offered him membership onsite.
Kennedy was then brought to the swearing in ceremony when he found the KKK to be a boys’ club where they did childish activities like pretend fight and talk about white supremacy.
Later, Kennedy was walking down the street when he saw a group of kids playing games and he realized how similar the Klan was to little kids, he used this revelation to power his next idea.
He wanted to expose the Klan, but they had too much influence and intimidated the over local authorities, so his information was of little use to them, but he did find a way to put his research to good use.
Kennedy found the people in charge of the Superman radio show and helped write a series of episodes in which Superman took down the Klan. In these shows, Kennedy would tell the broadcast writers the codewords and rituals of the Klansmen.
If you doubt me, here’s an article to prove it.
Kids found this amazing and would reenact the episodes while playing. This made Klansmen embarrassed that their secret club was being made fun of by the public, better yet their own children. Their membership sank and recruitment at virtually nothing. By the end of the decade people would go to Klan rallies just to make fun of them.
To this day, the Ku Klux Klan has continued to somehow remain an organization. In the 1980’s and 90’s the Klan joined forces with other terrifying white supremacists such as American Neo-Nazis and the Aryan Nation.
Today, there are about 7,000 active members of the Klan (which is a lot less than the reported 5 million of 1930, but not as low as the 1970 reporting of 2,000), there are still Grand Wizards, and there are still cross burning ceremonies meant to intimidate minorities of the community. Even though the idea of a fictional character making an impact on a real terror organization is amusing, do not forget that there are still people like this in the world and the fight for equality is not over.
A source documenting an outsider’s point of view learning about Klan activities today can be found here.