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As It Was: Editor Espouses White Supremacy in Grants Pass, Ore.

White supremacy had an outspoken advocate in backwater Grants Pass, Ore., between 1924 and 1927 in the form of a short-lived newspaper published by J.J. Hoogstraat, cheerleader for the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.
He wrote, “We hope IT shall echo forevermore in the minds of the generations who shall live, move, and have their being in these parts, long after this editor has gone to his reward.”

The “it” called for by the ranting editor was white supremacy.  The publication was peppered with denigrating terms for African Americans during the four years it was published.
Hoogstraat’s insistence on keeping Grants Pass what he called a “Whiteman’s Paradise” intensified when a man from Alabama came to town with three black servants.  Unwilling for Southern Oregonians to share their community with black people, Hoogstraat warned the men to leave or risk injury, and refuted claims that Christians were morally obligated to treat them with tolerance and love. 

Hoogstraat wrote, “The most Christian-like act America could perform would be to ship every member of the black race back to Africa”.

Source: Hoogstraat, J.J. "Comments, Opinions." Southern Oregon Spokesman, 5 July 1924 [505 So. Sixth Street Grants Pass OR], p. 4.

Lynda Demsher has been editor of a small-town weekly newspaper, a radio reporter, a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for the Redding Record Searchlight, Redding California. She is a former teacher and contributed to various non-profit organizations in Redding in the realm of public relations, ads, marketing, grant writing and photography.