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Black Thought

"Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true." -Susan L. Taylor

Black Thought

Inglewood, CA baddest street gang: The KKK

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Today Inglewood, CA is known as one of the last VERY Black enclaves in the Southbay region of Southern California. During the 80’s and 90’s the ramifications of the crack cocaine era ushered in a wave of unprecidented gang violence that left the city with a larger than life reputation. I get it, I’m born and raised in Long Beach, CA a beach city known just as much for entertainment at The Pike as it is for the overwhelming amount of Crips that in-habitat it. Wearing all blue anything in Inglewood was and still is an absolute NO, it would attract the same attention as any fool who decided to adorn himself in all red on 21st street in Long Beach. But what would happen if I wore all white in Inglewood today? Probably nothing. Many have forgotten and most don’t know the true history of Inglewood’s street gangs.

Inglewood is experiencing one of Americas fore-fronting housing crisis blights: gentrification. Now a Los Angeles City resident, my home directly treads the border of Inglewood and South Los Angeles. The building of the Los Angeles Rams Stadium has afforded me and many other home owners an exaggerated boost in equity values. New shopping centers are being built, a transit system to the always hectic LAX is tunneling beneath us, and the whites are pouring back in. Young eager white homeowners are flocking into an area that their parents once forbade them from visiting, the same area their grandparents and great grandparents TERRORIZED with the vigor of all the Bloods and Crips combined.

The KKK (a white supremacist organization which bases its ideologies on sheer ignorance and hatred) ran Inglewood not that long ago. White people were the biggest and greatest gang members for Inglewood, CA.

The Ku Klux Klan arose in the South immediately after the Civil War. They overthrew new state governments in the South and violently attacked African-American leaders, farmers, men, women, and children. In the 1870s they’d fallen off. After the debut of Birth of a Nation they emerged in Southern California around 1915. By the mid 1920s they claimed over 5 million members in Southern California alone.

On April 22, 1922 more than 100 klansmen performed a nighttime raid on a suspected bootlegger and his family. They forced his two teenage daughters to disrobe and raped them with their mother and father present. Following that they bound, gagged, and beat the father to near death. 36 klansmen were tried and not one conviction resulted.

Today Downtown Inglewood is a hub of storefronts almost all of them catering to the Black and Latino residents of the city, before Market Street was the main drag for the weekly Klans parades. They marched and rode in open flat-bed trucks in full Ku Klux Klan regalia, being cheered on by the white residents of Inglewood, CA. The klan was powerful in Inglewood and the neighboring cities like Culver City. Elected officials, law enforcement, newspapermen and business leaders were all active members and supporters of the hate group. The Los Angeles County sheriff and Los Angeles Police Department chief were members and turned a blind eye to the Klan’s reign of terror that included extortion, threats, intimidation and even murder.

Many of these men are buried at Inglewood Cemetery, here is a picture of Med B. Mosher’s grave in the cemetery, party of his headstone reads: “a Klansman true a Shakespeare might portray.” Don’t believe me take a look at this picture below of his headstone.

This is at Inglewood Cemetery.

Members of the kkk at Inglewood Cemetery for the funeral of the Med B. Mosher.

The headquarters of the klan were located at 219 W 7th St, Los Angeles in the Haas Building thats still standing today and has been renovated into luxury housing.

Former headquarters of the Los Angeles klan.

Former headquarters of the Los Angeles klan.

April 26, 1922 raid on the ku klux klan Los Angeles office inside of The Haas Building.

April 26, 1922 raid on the ku klux klan Los Angeles office inside of The Haas Building.

Throughout the 1940’s and 50’s the influence of the klan reigned, the police department even went as far as recruiting World War II Veterans from the South to maintain racist influence throughout the department.

In 1960, the census counted only 29 'Negroes' among Inglewood's 63,390 residents. Not a single black child attended the city's schools. Real estate agents refused to show homes to blacks.

On February 3, 1969, Harold P. Moret became Inglewood's first black police officer. A full year later Jimmy Lee Worsham became the second. He was followed by Barbara Harris, the first black female officer, then Otis Hendricks, Melvin Lovelace and Eugene Lindsey. The seventh black officer was James T. Butts, Jr. He became Inglewood's first black Motorcycle Traffic Enforcement Officer, first black lieutenant, captain and only black deputy chief in the history of the department. Butts left Inglewood in September 1991 at the age of 38 to become the first person of color to command the Santa Monica Police Department as Chief of Police, and the youngest ever to do so. Twenty years later, on February 1, 2011, Butts returned to Inglewood by being elected as its fourth black mayor.

Schools in Inglewood were desegregated in 1970. Thats only 49 years ago.

Whites fled, property values dropped, the government distributed crack cocaine, black men sold it and got arrested for doing so, single parent households soared, gangs rose, white people came back in and purchased the property, and no one remembers the most ruthless gang to ever roam the streets of Inglewood, CA were exclusively white men.

California is an illusion of diversity. Los Angeles is just as segregated as any city in the South, if not more. The population of Black people is only 6.5%.

Following the massacre of the nine church members at Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, by white supremacist and klan sympathizer Dylann Roof residents in Fullerton and Whittier found klan hate literature on their doorsteps and cars. The fliers were emblazoned with the emblem “Loyal White Knights” and spewed venom and hate against minorities and President Barack Obama.

The major media outlets gave minimal coverage to this story.


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June 29, 1924: Members of the Ku Klux Klan gather at 5th and Olive streets in downtown Los Angeles for church service at the Temple Baptist Church.

(Los Angeles Times)

Kandice Hill1 Comment