Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Time a Jew Partnered with the Klan for Justice

I published his back in March when I was just beginning to blog.
Since I had few visitors then, I'm guessing that few of you have read this. So I'm reposting what I think is a fascinating true story!

I swear this story is true. In her final years, I met and befriended a sweet old Jewish woman named Miriam, who is no longer with us in this world. Or perhaps she is, and I can just no longer see her. Miriam died about 5 years ago. She was 93 years-old when she passed from this life and I still remember what a big heart she had. She loved to tell stories of her childhood and parents and the people she knew and loved. The year before she died, I visited her in Corpus Christi, and we sat together on her sofa and talked. She told me this story, which I am now about to pass on to you.

When Miriam's father, Hiram, and her mother, Hannah, emigrated to this country, they entered through Ellis Island, like many refugees from all over the world. After being processed and checked for head lice and other contagious illnesses, they were allowed to pass through customs, and, mingling with the many other tired strangers, they headed for the train station.

They bought train tickets with their meager remaining money and headed south, having no other intuitive or directional compass. They did not know anyone in this strange new country, but they were determined to make a new life for themselves.
When the train finally reached the end of the line, they found themselves alone, standing by the tracks in a small rural decaying Mississippi town.

Without anywhere else to go and very little money, Hiram and Hannah decided to stay in Mississippi and raise their family. It was a time of anxiety mixed with expectation and hope, each day taking their feet further along the path into the unknown and away from their past, but they had faith.

After they settled, they discovered that there was another Jewish family living there, also immigrants from Eastern Europe. The father of the other Jewish family hired himself out as a handyman. Times were tough, but they all got by, and were always able to put some food on the table.

This small Mississippi town was all-white and all Protestant, except for these two Jewish families with their strange traditions, odd way of dressing and thick accents. And although many in the town looked down upon these two families, they were tolerated because they had skills the community needed.

The Black families, most descendents of freed slaves, lived in their own community a few miles down the road, not being encouraged or allowed to settle near the whites. Catholic immigrants, especially the rowdy intemperate Irish and noisy Italians, were looked down upon with suspicion as well. These townspeople didn't especially cozy up to Pope-lovers either. There was a pecking order. The Southern culture shimmered with an inbred quality reminiscent of Narcissus, who saw his reflection in the mirror, and fell in love with himself. What was familiar was what was tolerated and encouraged.

Miriam's father was a cobbler, and after a time, his hard work paid off and he was able to open a small shoe store. They co-existed peacefully with their neighbors, maintained a humble profile and kept to themselves.

There was a bit of trouble once when Miriam was a teenager. She was given the title of Tri-County Beauty Queen, and was the most beautiful girl in the three neighboring counties.

Miriam didn't exactly brag about her youthful good looks, she was beyond that when we met, but I saw a picture taken on her wedding day, and she was quite lovely.

The town had never selected a Jewish girl as the County Beauty Queen before and some Klan members were not happy with the election results, especially those who had daughters of the right age. These men and some women saw Miriam's reign as an insult to white American womanhood, saw Miriam as taking this title from their own girls.

Some muttered that the coveted position of Beauty Queen was something that defined the town, and should be given only to white Christian girls. They felt her winning was as if something pure, some part of their tradition was now lost to them, as other Southern traditions had been lost in the Civil War. The Civil War always lurked in the background of their psyches, never to be forgotten, never to be forgiven. It was an invisible cord that both bound them together and strangled their ability to change and move forward.

When the radiant Miriam rode in the parade float down Main Street, triumphant and somewhat giddy, she was unaware of this ill-feeling toward her. In an instant, she said, she went from ecstatic to terrified, as the float was doused with kerosene and set ablaze by one of those unhappy hate-filled men.

The hem of Miriam's dress caught fire, being one of those ruffled Southern confections. She nearly burned, but for the quick-thinking efforts of a classmate, a young Christian man who grabbed a blanket and smothered the flames on her dress, leaving her with only minor burns.

But the fact of Miriam being set on fire for rising above her station is not the story I want to tell. This is a story about domestic violence .

Making a Deal with the Devil

One day when Miriam was a small child, years before the Beauty Queen incident, she was playing with marbles on the wooden floor of her father’s store. She was young, about 6 years old at the time, so this would make it around 1913, right before World War I. When the other Jewish family came into the store to buy shoes for their children, Hannah noticed that there was something wrong with the Jewish man's wife. His wife kept turning away and hiding her face.

Hannah quietly went over to her, to ask a question, and saw the dark bruises hidden beneath her headscarf. Her question died away and she said nothing, when, looking into the woman's eyes, she saw her shame. She knew what caused those bruises. Hanna knew, in the way, that women sometimes know these things, that her husband was beating her.

Hannah was disturbed. Jewish men were not supposed to beat their wives. It was wrong and made all Jews look like animals. Back in the old country, the extended family, the community and the Rabbi worked together to stop this sort of thing, but there were no Jewish relatives, community or Rabbi here, only these two families.

The pieces came together in Hannah’s head. She had visited the woman a number of times over the years, bringing food and other small gifts, as she knew they were poorer of the two families. In this farming community, poor was always a relative term.

The woman always made excuses not to visit her back, but neither Miriam, or, I suppose, her mother Hannah, took "no" for an answer, both being strong, determined women with a stubborn streak. The woman finally confided that her husband didn’t like her to leave the house and got very angry when she disobeyed him.

She told Hannah that she knew a good wife was supposed to obey her husband, so she couldn't leave the house without his permission. Besides, she added, it only made it worse, because he drank and took it out on her and the children.

Hannah knew she had to do something, but didn’t know what. She prayed for guidance. Then she talked to her husband, asking him to reason with the man, but Hiram refused. Hiram said it would do no good, the man was a brute. But Hannah persisted and kept pestering Hiram until he threw up his hands in resignation and decided to take drastic action if only to get some peace and quiet at home.

It was in the late summer when the local sheriff came into Hiram’s store. Hiram approached him because he knew the sheriff was a Klan member, if not the leader. In small Mississippi towns, there are many secrets and no secrets.

These were not good times for a lot of folks economically, and this man had five children. Shoes for five children cost a lot, relatively speaking. Hiram asked the sheriff if he would like free shoes for all of his children to help them start school. The sheriff, not a stupid man, understood that Hiram wanted something, and they talked. In fact, they came to an understanding and the sheriff went home that night with new shoes for his family.

A few nights later, there was a burning cross in the front yard of the abuser’s home. The Klan members called the drunk Jewish husband out into the yard and hit him a few times, not enough to really damage him or keep him from working, but hard enough to hurt and to mark him. The Klan leader, in full regalia, told him that if he ever hit his wife again, they would kill him and burn his body in the woods. They put the fear into him and left him trembling and crying.

And after this "come to Jesus meeting" he never hit his wife or children again.

And that is how Hiram stopped the cycle of violence in that family with a strange, unholy alliance with the Klan, using, as it was, the only available tool he had to work with.


At 8:24 AM, Blogger Mary said...

Quite a story Glenda. I could listen for hours to the tales of our elders.

At 8:27 AM, Blogger glenda said...

Yes, Mary, me too. I wish I had more ofthem left to listen to.

At 9:56 AM, Blogger DivaJood said...

This story is heartbreaking on so many levels.

I'm not sure if other cultures feel this overarching sense of cultural responsibility described in this sentence: Jewish men were not supposed to beat their wives. It was wrong and made all Jews look like animals. When Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald, my mother said "I hope to god he's (Ruby) not Jewish." Because in our world, if one Jew does it, the blame and responsibility falls on all Jews. This burden is sometimes unbearable.

But abused women in any culture suffer the same way - abuse doesn't recognize race, religion, status. Abused women live in fear, in shame, and with a misplaced sense of guilt that they somehow caused or deserved the beatings from their husband. When I used to volunteer in a women's shelter in a suburb of Chicago, we learned in training that women, on average, leave and return to their abuser 7 times. If they survive, that is.

The enlisting of the Klan to stop this violence is fascinating. The Klan loves to hate Jews anyway; Hiram clearly understood how to channel that hate and use it toward a greater good. That he could not just get the sherriff to do the right thing speaks volumes. That the sherriff was able to end violence by using fear speaks volumes as well.

Powerful post, Glenda.

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Grish said...

Wow, that was really something. I love reading these stories.

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

Thank you so much for posting this - I love it and who knows what the solutions to our problems with violence might turn out to be. You are super, you know that?

At 11:02 AM, Anonymous anita said...

wow, this story is fascinating. Good job in reporting it.

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Renegade Eye said...


At 11:46 AM, Blogger Tabor said...

A very moving tale and it certainly reminds me of the strength of our ancestors in just dealing with life on a daily basis.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger glenda said...

Thank you all. When I heard this story, I couldn't believe it myself. Back then, of course, women were property, A woman could not get legal help or cry foul. Hiram could not get the sheriff to help legally, because there was no law against beating your wife.

We owe this change to the (mostly) women who have had the courage to speak out against domestic violence and get laws passed to protect those who need and deserve protection.

At 1:08 PM, Blogger The Fat Lady Sings said...

I live in the south. Not all that much has changed in all these years. Life is still quid pro quo - you gotta give to get; and the Klan infects every facet of life here. I'm surprised that sheriff didn't just take the shoes and not do anything in exchange for them. He must have realized the cobbler’s family would have moved somewhere else if that were the case – and skill is skill. Marvelous story. We are our history - and the personal history of our friends and family is important. The truth is too often colored by ‘formal’ history – which means it’s changed to reflect political opinion. Its true reality mustn’t be forgotten. Kudos’s to you for chronicling this.

At 1:12 PM, Blogger glenda said...

Thanks, my friend.I also grew up on stories of the south as my grandmother grew up in the French quarter of New Orleans. Oh, how times have changes and how some things really don't change.

At 1:22 PM, Blogger WeezieLou said...

i remember you telling me that story, glenda. it was fascinating then, and is now again. that's for putting it down 'in writing'.

At 5:30 PM, Blogger John Good said...

Great post, Glenda. Thank you for re-sharing it with us late-comers.

At 6:57 PM, Anonymous karena said...

It is a wonderfully interesting story and cause for ponder. More complex than it seems on first read. Must take time to think.

At 8:09 PM, Blogger Kelley Bell said...

About an hour after I read this, I recieved a phone call from a woman, who has battled alcoholism all her life. After a decade long bad streak, I am pleased to support her recent efforts at sobriety.

Tonight, the sound of her "hello" was like a shaky hand reaching for the bottle. She was struggling. Hard.

"Would you like me to tell you a story?"
"At the turn of the century, a Jewish couple named Hiram and Hanna emigrated to this country..."

I told the whole tale, and heard her voice let go as I spoke.

We talked until she was ready for bed.

Thanks Glenda.

At 8:36 PM, Blogger glenda said...

Aww,what a great ending to the story. Thanks kelly bell, you are a good friend to her...if you are not her sponsor, I hope she has one. I also believe in supporting those who are doing the work to stay clean and sober.

At 10:39 PM, Blogger Crazy Me said...

Crazy. I'm not even sure what to think of this story but it's definitely an interesting one.

At 1:33 AM, Anonymous Pekka said...

So, these things happen even outside the realm of a Holly Wood celluloid. I can see marvelous ingredients for a great script here if we just could find somebody with writing skills...hmmm.

At 1:34 AM, Blogger sumo said...

Wonderful story...a lesson to be learned in everything called life.

At 5:09 AM, Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

Who would of guessed? That is quite the story.

At 12:16 PM, Blogger JBlue said...

Glenda, it's a wonderful story, and I'm glad you shared it via your lovely prose.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger glenda said...

Thanks, all!

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great tale, beautifully written Glenda

At 9:39 PM, Blogger Diane S. said...

I live for stories like this Glenda. I could listen or read them for hours on end. This one is a true treasure. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it down and to render it so beautifully, with all the good and the bad thrown together, just like... life.

At 9:56 PM, Anonymous earl bockenfeld said...

A really amazing story, Glenda. Thanks to you for writing it and again for reposting it.

At 2:24 AM, Blogger Tina said...

Thanks so much for sharing that story Glenda. It is fascinating & heartbreaking all in one.

At 1:42 PM, Blogger Rory Shock said...

yep ... good one ... I guess that might the closest the klan ever came to doing "good works" ...

At 1:58 PM, Blogger glenda said...

My pleasure! Thanks.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger Candace said...

Very moving, Glenda. Thanks for repeating it for those of us who hadn't seen it before.

At 2:37 AM, Blogger MichaelBains said...

You know, Glenda, this kinda thing is why I give everyone the "benefit of the doubt", even when there IS no doubt that they're generally whacked.

Not even the Chimperor is totally irredeemable.

I just hope Americans are really learning from his mistakes. "God" knows he never will, but perhaps some good will come of them anyhow.

RAmen ya Good Witch!

At 4:23 AM, Blogger glenda said...

Thanks, Candace and michael!

At 2:09 PM, Blogger Reflections said...

What a wonderful story!

At 4:13 PM, Blogger glenda said...

hanks, refflections.

At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great site venlafaxine and solubility Bipolar and provigil Automatic faac gate Anime with sex effect+of+venlafaxine+on+cholesterol Fairmont chateau lake Chicago illinois celebrex lawyer 1987 nissan pathfinder dash kits suzuki outboard steering shaft venlafaxine and weight gain No fault uncontested divorce phone card On vicodin pregnancy citalopram venlafaxine concommittent Abc tv chicago nanotechnology batteries 'home show bolingbrook furniture 1

At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if its true god bless her, but the klan still sucks.

At 2:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice site! film editing classes

At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi people,this is a simple test
sorry [url=""]sex video[/url]

At 8:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]Hot babe in black thigh high boots on red ferrari[/url]
[url=]Anal Destructing Twinks Show Skills[/url]
[url=]Amateur Teen Cutie Gives Head And Gets Fucked Outdoors[/url]
[url=]Cheerleader Adorable Teen Rides Big Cock Hardcore Couple Fucking[/url]
[url=]Adorable Babe Getting Pussy Drilled[/url]

[url=]free amateur movie[/url]

At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]Tight Brunette Getting Anal Fucked[/url]
[url=]Angel Eyes Sitting On White Penis[/url]
[url=]Sexy Asian Schoogirl Drops Panty And Shows Shaved Pussy[/url]
[url=]Busty Anime Babe Gets Pussy Pounded By Hard Cock Action[/url]
[url=]Hot Busty Slave In Action[/url]
[url=]Blonde Tranny And Dude In Action Outdoors[/url]
[url=]Brunette teen strips naked[/url]

[url=]free long sex video[/url]
[url=]hot babe video[/url]
[url=]free fat porn video[/url]
[url=]first time lesbian video[/url]
[url=]porn video clip[/url]
[url=]bogo gratis porn video[/url]
[url=]adult gay video[/url]

At 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]An Amateur Girl Get His Cock In Both Jer Holes[/url]
[url=]hot asian spank machine[/url]
[url=]French Katsumi Demands Hard Anal Fucking By American Stud[/url]
[url=]American Busty Shaved Blonde Teen Deep Fucked By Big Cock[/url]
[url=]An Adorable Blonde Teen Gets Fucked And Facialed[/url]
[url=]Hot Beauty American Babe[/url]
[url=]Adorable Cute Blonde Teen Gets Nailed By Big Dick[/url]

[url=]de foto sexo video xxx y[/url]
[url=]amateur free home sex video[/url]

At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]Dirty Amateur Asian Teen Slut Dana Gets A Rough Pussy Banging[/url]
[url=]Anal Loving Babe Got Black Cock Assfucked[/url]
[url=]Three Hot Asian Cuties Loni And Nyla Thai And Jade Moore[/url]
[url=]Adorable Blonde College Chick[/url]
[url=]Perfect Round Ass Babe Angel Dark Gets Hardcore Anal Session[/url]
[url=]Cute Asian American Barely Legal Teen Getting Banged In Bed[/url]
[url=]Busty Blonde Pornstar Melissa Anal Ruined By Monster Dicks[/url]

[url=]Renee Pornero[/url]
[url=]Jill Kelly[/url]
[url=]Victoria Sin[/url]
[url=]Anita Dulce[/url]
[url=]Brandy Talore[/url]
[url=]Sindy Lange[/url]
[url=]Tiffany Holiday[/url]
[url=]Aaralyn Barra[/url]
[url=]Lorena Sanchez[/url]
[url=]Lexi Love[/url]
[url=]Katrina Kraven[/url]
[url=]Veronica Stone[/url]
[url=]Hailey Young[/url]
[url=]Hollie Stevens[/url]
[url=]Renee Pornero[/url]

At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]Teen gets lost in the woods[/url]
[url=]Ugly Amateur Slut Fucked Really Hard[/url]
[url=]American Natural Huge Tits Brunette[/url]
[url=]Adorable Latina Mom Sucking And Fucking Her Sons Friend[/url]
[url=]Eve Angel Birthday Sweetheart Plays With Balloons[/url]
[url=]Two Horny Lesbians Action In Bedroom[/url]
[url=]Adorable Anime Sweeties Having Their Pussys Pumped[/url]
[url=]Cute Asian Babe Blowjob And Penetration[/url]
[url=]Cute American Young Teen Hottie Taking On Two Huge Cocks[/url]
[url=]Hot Asian Kaylani Lei Pussy Licked And Nail For Face Cumshot[/url]

[url=][/url] [url=]adult-clips[/url] [url=]free2peek[/url] [url=]auntmia[/url] [url=][/url] [url=]boneprone[/url] [url=]fuckk[/url] [url=]celebrityscandal[/url] [url=][
/url] [url=]akissbetweenthelegs[/url] [url=]dailybasis[/url] [url=][/url] [url=]dreamqueens[/url] [url=]assparade[/url] [url=]bustypassion[/url] [url=][/url] [url=][/url] [url=]bigmouthfuls[/url] [url=]carlaschoice[/url] [url=]elephantlist[/url]

At 12:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]Cartoon Porn Adventures Of The Stars Of American Comics[/url]
[url=]Perverted Anal And Rectal Exam[/url]
[url=]Hardcore Interracial 3some With Angel Dark And Simone Peach[/url]
[url=]Mature Asian Black Lingerie[/url]
[url=]Adorable Cute Blonde Chick[/url]

[url=]panty-ass[/url] [url=]indienudes[/url] [url=][/url] [url=]mature-secret[/url] [url=]moviepost[/url] [url=][/url] [url=][/url] [url=][/url] [url=]inthevip[/url] [url=][/url] [url=]oh-teen[/url] [url=][/url] [url=][/url] [url=]hotorange[/url] [url=]hardbabes[/url]

At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]Old Ladies In Hard Action With Guy[/url]
[url=]YearOld Amateur Teen Twins Having 3Some Sex Action[/url]
[url=]Average South American Chica Jerking And Sucking[/url]
[url=]Angelic Blonde In Sexy Black Stockings Touching Her Vagina[/url]
[url=]Babe With A Tight Asshole Gets A Thick Anal Creampie[/url]
[url=]Adorable Asian Teen Stripping Outdoors[/url]
[url=]Adorable Teen Brunette Showing Her Feet And Small Tits Nude[/url]
[url=]Great Hardcore Interracial Action With Black Lex Steele[/url]
[url=]Cute Asian Babe Blowjob And Penetration[/url]
[url=]Hottie Babe Gets Fucked Hard And Gets Hot Anal Cum[/url]

[url=]voyeurzine[/url] [url=][/url] [url=]shemp[/url] [url=][/url] [url=][/url] [url=][/url] [url=][/url] [url=]searchgalleries[/url] [url=]video-post[/url] [url=][/url] [url=]teenel[/url] [url=][/url] [url=]teenboat[/url] [url=]pornstargals[/url] [url=http://geq-xnxx-com.][/url] [url=]socalmovies[/url] [url=]searchvids[/url] [url=]wetplace[/url] [url=]slutsvideos[/url] [url=][/url]

At 6:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]Very Cute Asian Nautica Fucked Hard[/url]
[url=]Blonde Teen Angel Get Vagina Examined With A Speculum[/url]
[url=]An Amateur Girl Get His Cock In Both Jer Holes[/url]
[url=]Hot Asian Pornstar Nautica Thorn Having Hardcore Sex On Film[/url]
[url=]asian spreads her wet pussy in her kitchen[/url]
[url=]Celebrity Angelina Jolie Nude In Sex Scenes[/url]
[url=]Lustful Latina Eating A Juicy Cock And Banging Hard Anally[/url]

[url=]camcrush[/url] [url=][/url] [url=]virginfucked[/url] [url=][/url] [url=][/url] [url=]soft17[/url] [url=][/url] [url=]roundandbrown[/url] [url=][/url] [url=][/url] [url=]ixiixi[/url] [url=http://sexmaxx-com-fr33site.blogspot.c
om/]sexmaxx[/url] [url=][/url] [url=][/url] [url=][/url] [url=][/url] [url=]pinkpornstars[/url] [url=][/url] [url=][/url] [url=][/url]

At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great site. A lot of helpful information herе.
I'm sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks in your effort!

Visit my web-site: abrir cuenta facebook

At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hі aгe using Wоrԁpгess for your sіte platform?
Ι'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to gеt starteԁ and create my own.
Do уou гequіre аnу сoԁіng expeгtise tо make youг own blog?
Any help wοuld be гeally аppreсiateԁ!

Here iѕ my pagе; crear facebook gratis

At 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heya! I'm at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the great work!

Look at my web site; vacation reply

At 2:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there to every one, it's genuinely a good for me to go to see this web page, it includes precious Information.

my web page


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home