The major function of Klan conspiracy talk was to instill fear. There were many things to be afraid of: Crime, for example, blamed on immigrants even though in the 1920s, as today, immigrants were less likely to commit crimes than the native-born. And that immigrants, and occasionally blacks, were stealing jobs from “true” Americans, that is, Anglo-Saxons. In fact there was little evidence of such theft of jobs, but mere allegations, often accompanied by fraudulent “data,” nevertheless constructed anxiety.
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