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History group's discussion of book on KKK doesn't make it past Facebook filter

Author:

Is this what they mean by revisionist history?

A group of historians had to revise the invitation to a chat with the author of the book "The Ku Klux Klan in Minnesota" after Facebook shut down their event page.

The Hennepin History Museum is hosting a March 8 event with the author, Elizabeth Dorsey Hatle.

As City Pages reports, the Facebook page the museum created to promote the chat disappeared last weekend – replaced by a warning about "violating community standards."

Museum director Cedar Imboden Phillips tells the paper she suspects the use of the Klan's name was enough to trigger an automatic shutdown of the page by Facebook, which Phillips considers excessive.

But these historians were undeterred and found a way around their Facebook censors.

Under the heading "Censored," they're now promoting a history talk about "An ethnically-oriented organization that is known for wearing white hoods, divisive politics, and whose abbreviation rhymes with 'JJJ.'"

Hatle's book looks at the influence the Klan held in Minnesota during the 1920s and the prosecution of the group by Hennepin County Attorney Floyd B. Olson, who would go on to become governor.

While the Klan is more often associated with the South, Hatle's book points out that the white supremacist group once had 51 chapters in Minnesota.

Museum director Phillips tells the Star Tribune, "We interpret and share the whole gamut of Hennepin County experiences, from the wonderful and the uplifting to the difficult or unpleasant.” On the museum's Facebook page she writes that the group's story in Minnesota is too important to ignore.

As for Hatle, she says on her own page that she'll tell those who arrive for the March 8 fireside chat "...to deactivate their smart phones' location sharing service so Facebook won't know they're there!"

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