Historic, But Neglected/Suppressed Quaker Documents
Ed. Note: Daisy Douglas Barr (1875-1938) was a popular preacher in Indiana Yearly Meeting. She served as pastor for at least six different Friends meetings/churches there. She was also a key figure in the statewide women’s Ku Klux Klan group, and a Vice-Chairmam [sic] of the state Republican party. She read this original poem at the national meeting of Grand Dragons of the Ku Klux Klan, among whom she was the only woman, in Asheville, North Carolina, 1923.
I am a Searchlight on a high tower.
I run my relentless eye to and fro throughout the land; my piercing place penetrates the brooding places of Iniquity. I plant my eyes and ears in the whispering corridors of Crime.
Wherever men gather furtively together, there am I, an austere and invisible Presence. I am the Recording Angel’s proxy.
When I invade the fetid dens of Infamy there is a sudden scampering and squeaking as of rats forsaking a doomed ship.
I am the haunting dread of the depraved and the hated Nemesis of the vicious.
When the Law is weak, then I am strong. When Justice stands impotent and dumb, then do I speak with majesty and power. I am an outstretched arm to Society’s unrequited victim — the swift avenger of Innocence despoiled.
My voice is as the sound of many waters. Sometimes it rises in mighty wrath until it muffled the thunders of Niagara. Sometimes it sinks to the still, sad music of consolation and sympathy. Always and ever I speak for the sanctity of the home, for a stainless Flag, and for the preservation of these benign institutions of the free.
Corrupt politicians, letters, despoilers of the State, seek to quench my light and still my voice.
I am a bulwark and bell-tower to Democracy. Within my realm Dives relinquishes his millions and Lazarus his rags. The poor man here is as rich as the richest and the rich man as poor as the pauper. I know but one distinction, and that is unsullied manhood.
I am the burning beacon in the uplifted hand of Liberty.
I am the sword and buckler of that mighty, invisible Emperor of a free people — Justice.
My symbols are the Fiery cross and the scintillating, stainless Flag.
The foe of Vice, the friend of Innocence, the rod and staff of Law, I am —
THE KU KLUX KLAN