Second Thought

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Terror in the Night: the Klan's Campaign against the Jews

Editors' comment: Once called a "mad dog killer," Thomas Albert Tarrants III suffered four shotgun blasts at close range as police endeavored to stop his terrorist bombings against Jews in the American South. Against doctors' expectations, he survived, and in 1968 he was sentenced to thirty years in the state penitentiary in Mississippi for his crimes. A member of the Ku Klux Klan at the time, he was adamant in his hatred of blacks and Jews. He succeeded in escaping from prison, only to be recaptured. At first he felt this was just a temporary setback. Then, as his months in prison dragged on, he found the hate literature that had formerly sustained him beginning to lose its appeal. He started to search for a new purpose in life.

This search led him back to the Bible, which he had formerly read with an eye toward supporting his racist, bigoted views. From there, he dipped deeply into philosophy. Jack Nelson, in his book Terror in the Night: the Klan 's Campaign against the Jews, tells what happened next:

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"They which run in a race ..."
May 31, 1993

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