Ohio county fair takes back blue ribbon awarded to antique KKK photo

By David Ferguson
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 12:41 EDT
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First Place Ribbon
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A print of a photograph taken at a Ku Klux Klan rally taken nearly 90 years ago won the blue ribbon in an antique photo contest Tuesday only to have its title stripped away because some people found the subject matter to be offensive. According to the Associated Press, officials at the Greene County Fair in Xenia, Ohio wanted to be clear that they did not award first prize to the photo because they endorse the Klan’s ideology.

“We stripped the first-place placing and we have removed the photo from the fairgrounds,” said Jeff Barr, Greene County Agricultural Society director, as quoted by the Dayton Daily News. Barr told the Daily News that the person who complained about the photo saw the first place award as an endorsement of the Klan’s values.

The fair had no intentions of offending anyone, he said, “We are inclusive of everyone here.”

In the image, taken September 27, 1924, showed a ring of robed and hooded Klansmen kneeling at the foot of three burning crosses. “Dayton Klan 23 … Realm-of-Ohio … September 27, 1924,” is written on the back of the photo.

The photograph’s owner, who declined to be named, gave back their $3 in prize money when the photo was returned.

[image of first place blue ribbon via Shutterstock.com]

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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