Talk:Howell, Michigan

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Klan Activities[edit]

I was reviewing recent changes to articles when I came upon an annon IP added statement concerning Klan Activity. I placed a {{Fact}} tag on the relavent sentence. A quick google search proved this to be the case, with a NY Times cite about Klan Leader Robert Miles in the area. This probably deserves more than a sentence in first paragraph. Many of the recent articles concern a Klan robe acquired by a African American History project. WP does not have an article on this particular Robert Miles.Edivorce 00:25, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

I reverted two edits performed on 30 May 2007 by 70.91.238.33, which had removed sourced references to Klan activity, without contesting the statement's accuracy. Their third edit (not reverted) added links to the city's official website. --Sacolcor 19:26, 20 July 2007 (UTC)


I removed the edits. There is no Klan activity in Howell. Period. Robert Miles lived in Cohoctah Township (which is actually closer to Fowlerville than Howell). Also, the City of Howell never annexed land belonging to Cohoctah Township. It annexed land from Howell Township (West/North), Genoa Township (South East), Marion Township (Southwest), and Oceola Township (Northeast). Cohoctah Township is . Howell gets the rap sometimes for Miles, but that is because people have a poor knowledge of geography. Just because ignorance is widespread among some outside, or even inside of Livingston County, does not mean that it is true. There's more Klan Activity in Fraser, Dowling, and Milan, than there is in Cohotcah today. Source - http://www.splcenter.org/intel/map/hate.jsp#s=MI ---

Neutrality Tag[edit]

I have tagged this for bias as it seems that any mention to Howell's KKK connection is being edited out. There is currently no reference to Howell's connection to the Klan at all. I come from the Detroit area and everyone around here knows it as the "KKK City" even if the Michigan Klan headquarters are not there anymore. Therefore, in order for this article to be neutral it needs to be mentioned somewhere. Wikipedia needs to be unbiased; stop removing those references. I don't have time to keep an eye on this constantly, but hopefully now that it's been tagged someone can.Beggarsbanquet (talk) 02:21, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

I concur. The quote from the NYT article reads: "Although Mr. Miles's cross-burning gatherings took place in neighboring Cohoctah Township, it was Howell that was branded as a haven of white supremacist activity." The focus of the article is that Howell continues to deal with the legacy of the KKK's presence in its area. That presence, and its legacy, is of historical interest, and is properly sourced. There is therefore no valid reason to remove such content. Having already undone a similar edit in the past, I will defer to another, however I recommend that the revision in question be reverted. --Sacolcor (talk) 18:24, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
I do not concur. Howell is fifty miles from Detroit and believing the false perception that Howell has a ties to the KKK should not justify reverting the edit. Pull out a map and you will notice that the city of Howell is an entire township away from Cohoctah. The NYT article covered an auction of the estate located 10 miles away from the city. A mention about the auction is fine but spreading the false perception that Howell is "KKK City" is irresponsible. --Drivet (talk) 17:29, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I concur as well. I grew up in Howell in the 1970's and 1980's and the presence of racism was still strongly felt. Editing out this information does a disservice to history. It stops the conversation. If you don't reference the KKK issues and racism then you can't talk about the work the high school has done partnering with New Detroit to have high school exchanges to help open peoples minds, the active Howell High School Diversity Club, you can't talk about the awards that the High School paper has won for publishing anti-racist articles... all of these things that stand out in opposition to an old, outdated and shameful history of Cohoctah which based on school district lines is considered part of Howell. When I was 7 years old a cross was burned in my neighbors yard. When I was in middle school one of the local real estate agents got into the paper and exposed for refusing to show African American families homes in Howell. When I was in high school I knew of women who wore their Howell School jackets to Detroit for shows and were beat up for Howell's racist reputation. When I worked for the City Parks department many African American folks would come to Thompson Lake to fish and we (as staff) were aware and did discuss extra patrols to ensure that they were not harassed by locals - which did happen more than once on my shift. When I return home to visit with my spouse who is not white the racism is still prevalent. The history of the KKK in Howell is something that people as far away as Lake Tahoe, NV are aware of. These are all personal experiences that don't belong on the information page - but they show both a context and pattern. This is part of Howell's history, for better or worse. There are people in Howell working to undo the generations of prejudice and Howell is a good town with good people and for it's faults it is still my home of origin. But to erase the mention of this history is shameful. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.101.216.186 (talk) 16:58, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
I concur as well. Howell's reputation may be factually inaccurate and unfortunate, but it is well-known on a national scale. You can't talk about Howell without at least acknowledging it. (From the NY Times article I just added to the refs: "Although Mr. Miles's cross-burning gatherings took place in neighboring Cohoctah Township, it was Howell that was branded as a haven of white supremacist activity." It also notes that Klansmen visiting the Miles farm for gatherings would stay in town at the Holiday Inn.) I know, as a former Michigan resident myself, that most residents of Howell prefer not to talk about this part of their history, but an encyclopedic source has a higher loyalty than to preserve hometown pride and stay silent about (dare I say 'whitewash'?) a place's reputation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.181.50.167 (talk) 18:37, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
There's a difference between pointing out the national association between Howell and the KKK and saying that the KKK was headquartered there if it was actually headquartered in Cohoctah. Just because people might have gotten the facts wrong does not undo the fact that the city is viewed that way and, as the Howell poster explained, the city has had to extensively work to undo the racism problems that come with living in a city with such a strong Klan association. I don't know why we can't post something along the lines of "Though the Michigan KKK was actually headquartered in Cohoctah Township, the city of Howell has traditionally been associated with the KKK" and them mentioning how it still suffers from the stigma or how the Howell school system has had to take extensive measures to show themselves as a more tolerant community. 205.215.249.229 (talk) 04:39, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

I got here because of the comment made in the current gay student kerfuffle video getting national attention that Howell is the headquarters of the KKK. Simply removing any mention of the KKK from the article simply means that I'm forced to take this student's statement at face value. Whitewashing the article helps nothing. - BanyanTree 23:35, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Howell Intro[edit]

Just like I make a point of on the Brighton page concering the intro, someone needs to pare this one down. The intro should simply define the location of the city or place, and maybe an interesting fact or two about what the town is known for. All other facts need to be placed in a 'description' category or deleted, altogether. --Criticalthinker 04:14, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Howell is a large community of many people...only a small minority of them ever had anything to do with KKK and I think it is unnecessarily vindicative to label the town for the actions of a small group. I moved near Howell from Ann Arbor over six years ago, and for four of those years, commuted back to the Ann Arbor area to my church, thinking that any church or community in Howell would be so terribly biased because of the KKK association. Nothing could have been further from the truth. In the past two years I have gotten to know many people in Howell, and all I can say is that they are among the nicest, friendliest, decent people I've ever met. I've lived in many places in the U.S., and I can say unequivocally, that I enjoy this community more than communities I've known in Michigan, Massachusetts, Virginia, Vermont, and California. I've never met anyone who was racially bigoted. It's the kind of place when you go to the grocery store, if the bagger notices that there's a short sell by date, they'll offer to run back in the store and get you something fresher. If you lose a check in a mall parking lot, like I did, it will turn up at the cashier's in the nearest store. When you go swimming at the school pool, you don't need a lock for your locker, because nobody steals. When your car is leaking fluid while out shopping, the person who parks next to you waits for you to make a phone call and offers you a ride home. When you go for a ride on the bike path, everybody you pass says hi....this is a wonderful community!!!! There are very few places left like this in the U.S. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.231.191.62 (talk) 00:03, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm glad that you have a positive opinion of the place where you live. However, Wikipedia policy prohibits the use of personal experiences as a basis for edits. --Sacolcor (talk) 17:46, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

This issue can be resolved by stating that "a section of persons view Howell as being known for historical KKK activity. However, the majority of its citizens have zero affiliation with this organization. Further, while assembly of the KKK or any other racial group is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States constitution in any city, any assembly promoting racial division enjoys minimal attendance, usually attracting more counterprotesters than backers." —Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.218.41.94 (talk) 13:47, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't know if all the clarification about First Amendment rights is necessary; that topic is more one that should be discussed on a page about white-power or racist groups. Something like "Howell is commonly misattributed as the former site for the headquarters of the Michigan Ku Klux Klan. The Klan was actually headquartered in Cohoctah Township. However, Howell continues to be associated with the Klan by non-residents, and the misinformation was brought up in articles covering [whatever the thing with gay rights in the classroom was]" And we should cite the SPLC link above identifying the hq as in Cohoctah Township and a story about the gay rights incident that misidentified Howell as the former KKK hq.
However, I absolutely don't support anything saying that, as a previous person here said, "There is no KKK activity in Howell. Period." That's pretty unverifiable, and if talking in a historical sense, almost certainly untrue; for periods in America's history, such as in the 1920s, the KKK was so mainstream and widespread that it was nearly impossible to find any part of the U.S. where there weren't KKK members, especially a place close enough to the Michigan KKK headquarters to be misidentified as the actual headquarters itself. These misconceptions don't come about in a vaccuum. And as I pointed out below in my bit about re-adding the neutrality tag, consensus seems to be that there should be something on the page about KKK activity. It's only individuals who can't stand to see their city criticized who are thwarting this attempt to follow WP:NPOV. In addition, we have had at least one former resident claim we need information on there about it.Beggarsbanquet (talk) 20:08, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Neutrality tag re-added[edit]

Consensus was that something needed to be mentioned about Howell's history with the KKK. Even if it was headquartered in another, nearby city, as was pointed above, the association still remains, and comes up whenever Howell receives national attention as it did with the gay rights incident mentioned above. Most of the people who seem to want it removed are Howell residents who don't want their city to look bad, but keeping info out of a page due to personal feelings is a violation of WP:NPOV. Beggarsbanquet (talk) 04:12, 16 December 2011 (UTC)