by Dave Weigel

I mentioned in my post about Megyn Kelly that Glenn Beck, too, had been running sensationalist stories about the basically irrelevant New Black Panthers. Here's some of his July 7 show on the Panthers to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. He's talking about the Reconstruction period and assaults on black voters from the Ku Klux Klan, comparing the military-garb-wearing NBPP to racists of the past.

Reconstruction. They aimed to intimidate Republican voters of both races. They sought to obstruct radical Republican policies. Please don't just hear the Republican and Democrat in this. Please.

They wanted to restore the rule by native whites. Now the most violent racial clash was the Colfax Riot. Dispute was over the 1872 election, ended with Louisiana having dual governments at all level of politics.

Former slaves feared Democrats would seize power. They tried to take over Colfax. A massacre ensued. Fifty African-Americans were murdered after they already surrendered.

This is a horrific period of our time and our history, but we should know it so we don't repeat it. In 1874, organized white paramilitary groups formed in the Deep South. They intimidated and even killed black voters. Again, listen to this. A paramilitary group. White paramilitary. What does that mean?

That means people who are not in the military, but are dressed up. They were the Knights of the White Camellia, the white league. And they were among the early, really violent hate groups. Awful. Awful people.

The right here is the surrender of the Louisiana State House to the white league. That's the trouble. Whites, many of them Democrats, joined these terrorist organizations when they began losing power to the radical Republicans, both white and black.

Let me show you a cartoon, OK? This is a political cartoon from "Harper's Weekly," October 1874. The artist is showing here - they're mocking the white league and the Klan for making conditions of freed slaves worse than slavery themselves.

Here is the KKK and here is the militant white league. Got it? Now, 100 years later, have we changed? Have we changed? This is what we were trying to stop.

Does Beck actually believe that the New Black Panthers -- who have appeared, harmlessly and clownishly on Fox News for a decade -- are on the verge of a violent, government-backed war against whites? I doubt it. But how many people hear this and believe him?

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