Records: Former-Gov. McKeithen Made Payments To KKK To Stop Racial Violence
Former-Governor John McKeithen made payments to the KKK in the 1960s to stop racial violent outbreaks. That’s based on FBI records obtained by the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication. Gus Weill, Executive Secretary to the former-governor, knew nothing about the payments at the time, but says he was recently told by a man that McKeithen arranged a payment of $10,000 to leaders of both black and white supremacist groups to stop a violent outbreak in Bogalusa.
“To give half to both sides in that potential bloody conflict, and sure enough it stopped things cold, and there was no blood shed,” Weill said.
Weill says McKeithen went out of his way to end racial violence, like one occasion when he sent the National Guard, armed with unloaded guns, to protect civil rights demonstrators. He says he’s not surprised to hear McKeithen used money as a way to quell the racial strife.
“From the moment he was elected, he turned a lot of his energy, most of it done very quietly, to stopping the racial nightmare in this state that we had seen in Alabama and Mississippi,” Weill said.
Weill says the money for the payments probably came from a fund containing privately raised dollars that was established by the previous administration to control civil rights issues.
“There was something called the Sovereignty Commission to deal with racial problems, and they had a budget mandated by the state, and I’m certain that’s where the money came from,” Weill said.