UW-Madison is taking ownership of past campus groups with Ku Klux Klan affiliations. But the university has no plans to remove from campus buildings the names of student leaders who participated in the KKK in the early 20th Century.
A newly released report mentions two student members by name: Porter Butts and Fredric March. Both were members of a KKK group that emerged in 1919, during the rebirth of the KKK as an organization opposed to civil rights for African-Americans, and that also pushed an anti-Jewish, anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant agenda.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank tweeted about the report after its release on Thursday.
This report does not make for comfortable reading, nor should it.
It makes clear that the history our campus needs to confront is “a pervasive culture of racial and religious bigotry.”
Confronting our history is necessary, even when painful. https://t.co/CKSFAzy01M
— Becky Blank (@BeckyBlank) April 19, 2018
A second UW-Madison group was part of a national for-profit fraternal organization dubbed the “Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.” The report states it had some success among faculty and students between 1922 and 1926.
A summary of the report is available at news.wisc.edu.