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  #1  
Old 07-10-2020, 01:26 PM
Sen's Revenge Sen's Revenge is offline
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The Epic Take-Down that Kappa Alpha had coming

It was never my intention to become an expert in “Confederatized” college frats. But when I upset the local KA chapter, the national organization demanded I prove my allegations. So I did.

https://www.chronicle.com/article/Th...qm_g1Rq8_Pi_eg

In the event that this article is behind a paywall for you, it's the story of how a local chapter of Kappa Alpha accused a professor of defamation for criticizing the organization's belief in the "Lost Cause" version of the civil war. When the Executive Director had a meeting with the professor, he proposed (dared?) the professor to prove that his allegations were true.

And he did.

A quote:

Upon the resurgence of the 1920s Klan, William Kavanaugh Doty, editor of The Kappa Alpha Journal, proclaimed that “The Ku Klux Klan was of contemporaneous origins and had an identity of purpose with Kappa Alpha,” and The Washington Times advertised a KA "smoker" event in Washington, D.C., about the KKK’s origins. “The archives of this fraternity, it is stated, contain much material relating to the founding of the Ku Klux Klan,” the Times wrote, “and it is believed among the older members of the fraternity that it was founded by college boys who were members of the Kappa Alpha and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternities.”

Two members of the Washington University in St. Louis chapter stated KA’s Klannish Lost Cause identity most clearly in a glowing 1915 review of Birth of a Nation, published in the KA Journal:

“The Kuklux Klan came and grew and served its purpose . . . [KA] came and grew and it embraced all the Southland . . . and still serves and cherishes those same ideals which the clan came forward to preserve. . . . The actions and the membership of the Klan are shrouded in mystery. . . . But its members wore upon their breast the circled cross of the Kappa Alpha Order. And the Klan served, by militant, warlike means, those same ideals which our Order was organized to cherish."

Those ideals, they said, were “the manners and customs” that Lee’s “personality helped to give . . . that stamp and character which have since connected the name of Kappa Alpha with all that is best of Southern chivalry.”

In Dixon’s Klan, KAs saw themselves.
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Last edited by Sen's Revenge; 07-10-2020 at 01:29 PM. Reason: More info, in case of paywall
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2020, 02:10 PM
andthen andthen is offline
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Sen thank you for sharing this, I was able to access the full article. While I had heard previously that some fraternal organization in particular those that were founded during the post-Civil War era had some connections to the Klan.

I'm glad the author brought this to light and provided some clear evidence based on their own historical documents.

I hope this perhaps serves as a learning opportunity that while the past cannot be changed its current membership can take a step forward into the future and work to address the mistakes of their past.
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  #3  
Old 07-10-2020, 02:55 PM
Sen's Revenge Sen's Revenge is offline
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You're welcome.

Kappa Alpha has been discussed over the years on GC (not much lately).

I don't have a lot of hope that their current membership will do much to change things, unless their voting power is largely within the hands of college chapters.
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  #4  
Old 07-10-2020, 04:03 PM
APhi2KD APhi2KD is offline
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Bravo!
As if Old South wasn't enough to convince anyone...
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2020, 04:41 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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I'm pretty out of the loop with KA Order, but as I understand it, on a national level, they ended the Old South parties and have banned the wearing of confederate or antebellum costumes. Not a lot of recruits are going to join an organization because of what they stood for 100 years ago, let alone 1 year ago.

I'm not sure what the purpose of this thread is. Are we to be playing gotcha with KA Order because of some records from the 1920s which are admittedly problematic--because if you take a deep dive into any southern traditionally white fraternity or sorority--particularly in the 1920s, you're not going to like what you find.

Do many of our organizations have racist, even white supremacist roots? Sure do. And we each process things in our own way.

Are any of us very surprised that an organization which until not very long ago included the Confederate flag as an unofficial symbol and who hosted Confederate dress up parties has white supremist underpinnings?
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  #6  
Old 07-10-2020, 05:54 PM
Sen's Revenge Sen's Revenge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post

Do many of our organizations have racist, even white supremacist roots? Sure do.
Do many of our organizations have roots that depend upon the lie of the Lost Cause?

Would many of our organizations elevate a local issue to the point of an Executive Director daring a professor to find evidence?

I'm not going to be questioned about the "point" of a thread about a fraternity in the Greek Life section, lol. I've posted about everything from AKA wax statues to Alphas killing pledges.

I think the article speaks well enough for itself, actually. And as a person of color, I am definitely going to call "gotcha" on racism being outed. It's not just from the 20s. It's in the DNA of the org and it replicates.
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  #7  
Old 07-11-2020, 07:48 PM
naraht naraht is offline
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Kappa Alpha Order Catalog..

https://archive.org/details/director.../2up?q=when+we

Note, written in an early 1920s Catalog of the Fraternity.

At the time in 1866 when we were organizing, in the
academic sphere, for the defense of Southern culture,
another organization, the Ku Klux Klan, was forming,*
in the political and economic spheres, to overthrow the
carpet-bag governments that were bankrupting the
Southern states. The Klan soon achieved its object,
which was just, patriotic and limited, and disbanded in
1869. Its mission was ended. Not so ours. Ours is a
subtler task. The maintenance of the spirit of Southern
youth on a high plane of principle and conduct is a per-
petual interest and duty.
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Last edited by naraht; 07-11-2020 at 07:52 PM. Reason: change to give direct link to 1920s catalog
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  #8  
Old 07-11-2020, 08:50 PM
SWTXBelle SWTXBelle is offline
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Challenging an academic to do research strikes me as the same as Gary Hart telling the press to follow him - with similar results.
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  #9  
Old 07-11-2020, 11:44 PM
APhi2KD APhi2KD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWTXBelle View Post
Challenging an academic to do research strikes me as the same as Gary Hart telling the press to follow him - with similar results.
LMAO Id forgotten all about that. 😂
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  #10  
Old 07-12-2020, 10:24 AM
naraht naraht is offline
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One thing that I was thinking about with this.
The fraternities founded in the South have had some level of public issue in terms of the support for the Confederacy.

I've *never* seen any public issue in terms of the confederacy in any specific sorority. I don't know if sororities founded in the south would be more likely to be the invited sorority for the Old South dances, for example.
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  #11  
Old 07-12-2020, 05:48 PM
PhilTau PhilTau is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naraht View Post
https://archive.org/details/director.../2up?q=when+we

Note, written in an early 1920s Catalog of the Fraternity.

At the time in 1866 when we were organizing, in the
academic sphere, for the defense of Southern culture,
another organization, the Ku Klux Klan, was forming,*
in the political and economic spheres, to overthrow the
carpet-bag governments that were bankrupting the
Southern states. The Klan soon achieved its object,
which was just, patriotic and limited, and disbanded in
1869. Its mission was ended. Not so ours. Ours is a
subtler task. The maintenance of the spirit of Southern
youth on a high plane of principle and conduct is a per-
petual interest and duty.
The footnote: "*Organized December 20, 1865, at Pulaski, Tenn. The "Prescripts," "creed" and "oaths" of the Klan were remarkably similar to the principles and obligations of the K.A. -- so much so that our brother Thomas Dixon, author of the Clansman, claims a participation of K.A.'s in organizing the Klan, a claim made debatable by chronological difficulties. The two organizations were reactions against the same evils, but their spheres and methods of action differed." Directory of the Kappa Alpha Order 1865-1922 (1922).

Interesting that, even in 1922, KA seemed to be trying to distance itself from the KKK while at the same time placating the beliefs of many of its members. Though these passages certainly do support argument of KA’s Lost Cause identity.

Last edited by PhilTau; 07-12-2020 at 05:55 PM.
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  #12  
Old 07-12-2020, 11:04 PM
thetalady thetalady is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naraht View Post
I've *never* seen any public issue in terms of the confederacy in any specific sorority. I don't know if sororities founded in the south would be more likely to be the invited sorority for the Old South dances, for example.
KA's Old South was not a function with a specific sorority, whether they were founded in the South or not. It was a themed formal to which members invited their dates and girlfriends. They might be sorority girls, they might be unaffiliated women.
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  #13  
Old 07-13-2020, 08:19 AM
naraht naraht is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thetalady View Post
KA's Old South was not a function with a specific sorority, whether they were founded in the South or not. It was a themed formal to which members invited their dates and girlfriends. They might be sorority girls, they might be unaffiliated women.
Thank you. I decided to look to see if any of the NPC Sororities had all of their early growth in the Confederacy like Kappa Alpha Order

I took a look through the chapter lists of the NPC Sororties in the 1991 Baird's. Manual Every NPC Sorority had a chapter outside the 11 states of the Confederacy (West Virginia being counted as Union) either in their first 10 years or the first 10 chapters (For Phi Mu and Alpha Delta Pi, the first expansion was *decades* after founding.)

Note, then I went back to look at Kappa Alpha Order, wierdly enough it *almost* makes that criteria. Kappa Alpha Order's 12th chapter (Now referred to as Nu-Prime) was at Pennsylvania College of Dental Science and lasted from 1877-1879. (https://www.lostcolleges.com/pennsylvania-dental)

Other than Pennsylvania Dental, Kappa Alpha Order (Founded in 1865) had its first chapter at a state outside the Confederacy at William Jewell College in Missouri in 1887 which appears to be about the 30th chapter.
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  #14  
Old 07-13-2020, 01:41 PM
VioletsAreBlue VioletsAreBlue is offline
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The Confederacy claimed Missouri as a state even though it was officially governed by the Union.
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  #15  
Old 07-14-2020, 09:48 AM
naraht naraht is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VioletsAreBlue View Post
The Confederacy claimed Missouri as a state even though it was officially governed by the Union.
I am aware of that, that's why I said 11 states rather than simply stating it as the Confederacy.
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