The daughter of a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon explained how her family’s economic hardship led to her father’s violent white nationalism.
In an interview with Pacific Standard, Jvonne Hubbard said her father Joel losing his job “absolutely” impacted his decision to start hosting KKK meetings in her childhood home in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
“Economic hardship directly contributed to the hate and anger in my childhood home,” she said. “In my case, my father was also an alcoholic—another problem that disproportionately affects poor communities.”
Her father’s alcoholism, Hubbard said, “was both a problem itself and a catalyst for further troubles” that made him “driven to commit violence and spew hatred.”
Hubbard — whose book White Sheets to Brown Babies documents her life with and escape from her father’s tenure in the KKK — noted that although her father ostensibly disavowed the group after being shot multiple times in a domestic dispute, the racism remained.
That same racism cropped back up when calls for the Confederate flag to be removed from government grounds after white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine people at the Mother Emanuel AME Zion Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
The writer linked “neo-Confederate” movements — those that seek to preserve the history of the Confederacy in the South via the rebel battle flag and monuments — to white nationalism.
“To me, it seems like white nationalists and neo-Confederates have the same outlandish agenda: to keep stoking the flames of something that is, and should be, dead and gone,” Hubbard said. “I’m not sure I can point to any other point in history where a failed rebellion is allowed to keep flying its ‘battle’ flag without it being considered treason.”
Read the entire interview via Pacific Standard magazine.