Today we received an informative and interesting historical tour from Dr. Sylvie Kleinman. Throughout this tour Dr. Kleinman discussed Irish architecture, politics, and conflicts. She also mentioned the controversy surrounding different moments throughout Irish History. These moments are often considered uncomfortable to discuss. United States history is not immune from these uncomfortable and controversial moments. One example comes in the form of the 1929 march on Washington D.C. conducted by the Ku Klux Klan. The Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist organization, took to the streets protesting against civil rights and equality. This demonstration represents the middle of a period known as the “The Nadir of Race Relations” which existed from 1890 to 1940. These 50 years saw arguably the most racist period in United States’ history with instances of violence and white supremacist alterations of history. The march is specifically controversial because the government allowed the demonstration on the grounds of free speech under the first amendment. However, they also would arrest and prosecute individuals who protested in favor of civil rights and equality. Overall, this march symbolizes a controversial and uncomfortable moment in U.S. history where the government failed to uphold the rights of all its citizens and white supremacy running rampant.
Although this moment in history is controversial it is important to learn about and truly understand. When teaching this situation, context must be provided along with the inconsistency and hypocrisy of the United States government. The main issue is the lack of consistency regarding free speech, specifically those who protested against civil rights were not persecuted, while those who protested in support of civil rights and equality were.