Your challenge is relatively self-explanatory: have there be a large-scale conflict between the American Mafia and the Ku Klux Klan.
 
There have been roughly three incarnations of the KKK. Since the Reconstruction-era guerilla movement could not have fought the mafia, that leaves...

-the Birth Of A Nation groupies who formed the largely anti-Catholic Klan in the 1920s.

-the loosely knit, old-school southerners who formed their own version some time later, redoubling the focus on African Americans. (David Duke being the most famous example these days.)

And actually, the 1920s boys did play some role in harassing immigrant booze-sellers during Prohibition, so maybe that could be your opening?
 
Your challenge is relatively self-explanatory: have there be a large-scale conflict between the American Mafia and the Ku Klux Klan.
I'm sure that there is a better and longer source than wikipedia's article on Charles Birger (my first exposure to this
was an off-hand mention in an RPG-supplement on weapons of the 1920s) but from said article:
War with the Ku Klux Klan

Charlie Birger and the Shelton Brothers Gang fought for control of the coal fields of southern Illinois, but their attention was diverted by a common enemy. In the 1920s the Ku Klux Klan supported national prohibition. Alcohol was regarded as an "un-American" vice practiced by immigrants, many of whom were Roman Catholics and other religions. Many immigrants worked in the coal mines of southern Illinois, living mainly in very small towns with a strong ethnic identity. Alcohol was a part of their life, and bootlegging came naturally to them.

In the spring of 1923, the Klan began organizing in Williamson County, holding meetings attended by more than 5000 people. The Klan drew its support from both the farming community and people in the larger towns, the latter mainly of southern origin and belonging to the Baptist and other traditional Protestant churches.

The Klan soon found a charismatic leader in S. Glenn Young, a 58-year-old former federal law enforcement officer. Large mobs began going door to door, forcibly searching houses for alcohol. If alcohol was found, the occupants were taken to Klan "prisons". Federal authorities apparently had deputized the Klansmen to aid in the enforcement of Prohibition.

Many elected public officials of Williamson County were viewed as being allies of the bootleggers, perhaps correctly. These elected public officials were driven from office and replaced by Klan members. The state government was either unable or unwilling to reestablish lawful authority.

On January 24, 1925, a shot was fired in the street in Herrin, Illinois. Deputy Sheriff Ora Thomas responded and walked into a cigar store, where he saw Klan leader Young. Thomas drew his pistol and shot Young twice. Young was able to shoot Thomas once before falling to the floor. Two of Young's companions joined in the melee, and all four men were fatally wounded. The Klan held a public funeral for Young that was attended by more than 15,000 people.

In April 1926, Charlie Birger and the Shelton Brothers joined forces to attack the remaining Klan leaders in Herrin, using Tommy guns and shotguns. The police were called repeatedly, but did not respond. The Klan buried its dead and the coroner ruled that the deaths were homicides "by parties unknown.

Although the Klan's losses were not large, the Herrin attack broke the back of the local KKK. Lawfully elected officials returned to their offices, and Birger and the Shelton Brothers went back into business.

That's Irish and Jewish gangsters taking time off from fighting each other to fight the klan.
 
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There have been roughly three incarnations of the KKK. Since the Reconstruction-era guerilla movement could not have fought the mafia, that leaves...

-the Birth Of A Nation groupies who formed the largely anti-Catholic Klan in the 1920s.

-the loosely knit, old-school southerners who formed their own version some time later, redoubling the focus on African Americans. (David Duke being the most famous example these days.)

And actually, the 1920s boys did play some role in harassing immigrant booze-sellers during Prohibition, so maybe that could be your opening?
Not quite. David Duke represents what's known as the "Fourth Klan", which is distinct from the Third Klan in that it's not a singular group, is closely connected with Neo-Nazis, and has looser membership restrictions.
 
@Mort the Reaper

I Loved that because you have made a distinct contribution to my knowledge of the Klan.

Mostly, I was in a hurry to get to work, and used Duke as shorthand, assuming he was a direct manifestation of the Third Klan. Thanks for the correction.

(But, on that point, how "singular" a group was the Third Klan anyway? I always thought they were a fairly loose affiliation, but with a lot of people who probably knew one another.)
 
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For once i’m rooting for the mafia.
Maybe you could make the KKK get into conflict with the mafia over the KKK’s nativist sentiments and the mafia’s bosses originally being italo-americans.
 

Kaze

Banned
Actually happened in Southern Illinois - Al Capone fought the KKK. The KKK was against Catholics and pro-probation, so Capone fought them. Capone won nearly driving out the whole of the KKK from Illinois.

There is even a funnier part of it -

There is a guy from Southern Illinois that profited off the fight - he practiced voodoo with his wives (all five of them), his mistress / housemaid, ran booze for Capone's competitors, fought the KKK (he loved his black wife and liked to invite her to all the white-only parties) and Capone, and then up and died. When the IRS came they found nothing - they tore up his house which was overbuilt for the neighborhood, searched his tomb four times (people still vandalize the tomb for Black Masses on occasion), and inquired of his wives who only found five cents each. It is estimated that Millions of dollars were gone! Rumor and legend has it that somewhere buried on the grounds of a university that he endowed is a chest with all his money - it has yet to be found, but the university still wants claim to it IF it is found.
 
I don’t see much of a big changing point, but more a bunch of smaller ones. Perhaps stronger anti-Catholic sentiments in the KKK lead to Irish and Italian immigrants being hassled more and leading to growing common ground between them and the Afro-Americans and maintained as such over the years.

As such, it would lead to a large growing conflict, probably in the South as they expand operations and escalation of conflict would really begin growing. Government getting involved would be messy, especially if anyone tried suspecting people like MLK Jr of mob connections (though they in turn would be accused of being KKK sympathizers and this sympathizing with treasonous supporters of the dead CSA).

MLK’s assassination would be a potential spark for larger conflicts. Another could be the growing influx of Latino immigrants, which would lead to them aligning with the mafia over the KKK and then we have some massive conflicts. US government would have to be careful in dealing with both.

Ramifications would be massive as the religious conservatives would be so split that it would change the course of the Democrat and Republican parties. Hell, we might have a three party system of sorts when the progressives get their act together and see both as problematic and how both exploit poor conditions in crime.
 
The 1920s Klan hated Catholics and immigrants, and Italian-Americans were generally both, so the idea of the Klan hating the Mafia is quite plausible.



Not really. Having D.C. Stephenson never get caught for his crimes would be sufficient to keep the Klan powerful.
Not for long, the Civil Rights Movement really hammered the Klan and it is hard to see how you can keep the Klan powerful past the late '70s, possibly early 80's.
 
Not for long, the Civil Rights Movement really hammered the Klan and it is hard to see how you can keep the Klan powerful past the late '70s, possibly early 80's.

The Civil Rights movement hammered the Third Klan, which was significantly weaker than the Second Klan. The Second Klan had millions of members, wasn't restricted to the South, and basically took over the entire state of Indiana.

The Civil Rights movement wouldn't be able to do jack shit about a surviving Second Klan.


And the Second Klan is the only one that would have a motive to fight the Mafia anyways, and such a conflict would probably occur sometime between the 1920s and 1940s. So I don't get why you're arbitrarily insisting that the Klan has to survive into the 70s and 80s in order to fight the Mafia.
 
The Civil Rights movement hammered the Third Klan, which was significantly weaker than the Second Klan. The Second Klan had millions of members, wasn't restricted to the South, and basically took over the entire state of Indiana.

The Civil Rights movement wouldn't be able to do jack shit about a surviving Second Klan.


And the Second Klan is the only one that would have a motive to fight the Mafia anyways, and such a conflict would probably occur sometime between the 1920s and 1940s. So I don't get why you're arbitrarily insisting that the Klan has to survive into the 70s and 80s in order to fight the Mafia.

I thought you meant the Third Klan staying strong to the present day, the man died in 1966 after all.
 
I thought you meant the Third Klan staying strong to the present day, the man died in 1966 after all.

D.C. Stephenson was arrested in 1925, and it caused the fall of the Second Klan. D.C. Stephenson had nothing to do with the Third Klan. Apparently you didn't even read the article?


Without D.C. Stephenson getting arrested, the Second KKK would be pretty hard to get rid of.
 
D.C. Stephenson was arrested in 1925, and it caused the fall of the Second Klan. D.C. Stephenson had nothing to do with the Third Klan. Apparently you didn't even read the article?


Without D.C. Stephenson getting arrested, the Second KKK would be pretty hard to get rid of.

Not really, I should have done more than quickly glance over it.
 
Perhaps you get the organization of the American Mafia into the Commission earlier and make its organization include not just the Italian mafia groups but also the Irish and Jewish organized crime groups, and the Klan stays powerful into the Great Depression. Sensing fascism's ability to take over American government and knowing that such an event would all but eradicate all involved, by 1931 the Commission has organized the highest of Jewish mafia leaders, including Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel and Louis Buchalter as members of the commission, and eventually the Irish mob became part of the Commission, including the likes of Bill Dwyer and Frank Wallace.

The KKK's fighting against numerous immigrant and Roman Catholic groups led to also fighting against Black Americans, actions which ultimately led to alliances with the likes of Stephane St. Clair and Bumpy Johnson, as well as organizing black groups in many parts of the United States, particularly the South. The Mafia's direct attacks on the KKK led to attacks back, but by 1935 it was clear that the Klan was losing the fight, even as the authorities began to see the organization of the Commission under Lucky Luciano as a serious threat. During World War II, however, the American Mafia provided help at high levels to the war effort, with Luciano having a prison sentence commuted as a result.

Having successfully fought the KKK during the Depression and made allies of Jewish, Irish and black groups, the American Mafia saw itself as a board of control for crime across the country, and it spread out across the nation, making allies (and eventually members) all across the United States, even as the FBI recognized the problems this caused. As the Civil Rights Movement grew into open violence against black Americans in the South the black criminal organizations quickly allied themselves with the Mafia, which led to the KKK reviving much of its anti-Catholic stance and nativism. The lynching of Emmett Till was taken personally by black Americans, particularly in Chicago (where Till had been from) and made the crusade bigger and uglier. The second war between the KKK and Mafia initially only involved the black community and the Klan, but as the Klan began attacking Mafia interests the Irish and Jewish mobsters got into the act against the Klan. It wasn't long before groups associated with Native Americans also began becoming a part of the Commission's interests, particularly after the Battle of Hayes Pond.

The victory of Black Americans in the Civil Rights Movement was also seen as a massive victory for The Commission, and the members who had been most successful in the conflict became complete members of the Commission, Bumpy Johnson was the first black member of the Commission, holding a seat for just a few months before his death from a heart attack in 1968.
 
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