“Klan crime talk sounded a steady drumbeat announcing the collapse of law and order. In fact, the Klan became the leading law-and-order spokes group in the 1920s. Its crime talk functioned as a potent recruitment strategy, kindling fear and promising a satisfying moral superiority to potential members. Crime discourse also evoked resentment, typically shared by police, that criminals were going free through trivial, procedural legal loopholes. Law-and-order talk could thus authorize action outside the law.”
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