Idaho's Gutzon Borglum, and his not-so-secret KKK connection

Wikipedia is not, by any means, the last word on everything.

But it does contain a reference to Idaho native and Mount Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum that should have piqued the curiosity of the folks at the Idaho Hall of Fame.

"Borglum's nativist stances made him seem an ideologically sympathetic choice to carve a memorial to heroes of the Confederacy, planned for Stone Mountain, Georgia. ... At Stone Mountain he developed sympathetic connections with the reorganized Ku Klux Klan, who were major financial backers for the monument."

Ideally, this might have prompted the Hall of Fame folks to dig a little deeper, using a state-of-the-art fact-finding tool known by many as Google. Once there, they might have found an informative article written to promote the PBS series "American Experience."

An excerpt: "While at Stone Mountain, Borglum became associated with the newly reborn Ku Klux Klan. Whether this accorded with a racist world view, or if it was simply one way to bond with some of his patrons on the Stone Mountain project, is unclear. Frankly, Borglum had little time for anyone, white or black, who was not a congressman or millionaire, or happened to be in his way. There is no indication, for example, that he treated his long-suffering black chauffeur Charlie Johnson any differently than any white employee — he owed him back pay just like everyone else."

Borglum's motivations for dealing with the KKK may be hazy, but the association has long been a matter of public record. Maybe not as well known as longtime U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd's KKK history — but well known nonetheless. Which renders this quote from Idaho Hall of Fame president Dallas Cox uninformed at best.

“Oh my gosh, you’re kidding?” Cox told The Associated Press. “Well, I’ll bet if we sat down and took every one of the inductees since 1995, you could find something on every one of them."

Now that's reassuring.

When Borglum joins the hall's class of 2010 inductees, this won't exactly represent a monument to due diligence.

Get Twitter updates on my blog and column and Statesman editorials. Become a follower. You can also get updates on Facebook's Idaho Statesman Opinion Page.

piqued?

They inducted Larry "wide stance" Craig after his conviction. They know how to pick 'em, warts and all.

Larry Craig's mommy

is on the selection committee, maybe that explains his nomination. I know this is a private club that selects these Idahoans, but they make it public and we deserve a better explaination on Borglum's nomination, than Gee we all have warts. Not good enough.

Racist’s like Gutzon

Racist’s like Gutzon Borglum always find a home in the Idaho as the white Idaho population and republican mafia hold no person accountable for there willful intolerant actions towards other human beings.

The republican mafia controlled legislature is loaded with Idaho GOPers that can be considered Nativist's. They are the one's who have been cultivating false claims of voter fraud and illegal immigrants stealing jobs from Idahoans, they brought in well known Nativst’s and hate monger Kris Kobach who penned the racist Arizona immigration law to present his white supremacist law to Idaho’s legislature.

It’s a disgrace to our democracy that these Nativist’s abuse our American freedom of speech to incite and try to justify there right to be racists and promote white power.

Gutzon Borglum position in the Idaho hall of fame is just more proof of the revisionist history that permeates the white controlled world of Idaho.

peace

give it a rest 01.

Idaho does not have exclusive rights to racism. It is everywhere. Just ask Rodney King.

Sometimes I wonder why.

Then I see I'm being an idiot and quit.

----------

If I think of something I'll let you know but I can't stand a naked signature.

Hey there i83701, when you say........

"....try to justify there (sic) right to be racists and promote white power." -- I thought you were refering to Bill Clinton's explanation of Robert "KKK" Byrd's 10 years as a Klan recruiter!

Why are you trying to be Zekenaja now and making less sense?

----------

If I think of something I'll let you know but I can't stand a naked signature.