chapter  12
16 Pages

Women and organized racial terrorism in the United States

ByKATHLEEN M . BLEE

In April 2003, 28-year-old Holly Dartez of Longville, Louisiana, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison and fined $1,000 for her part in a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) cross-burning the previous year. Ms. Dartez, whom the U.S. Attorney’s Office characterized as secretary to the local Klan chapter, pled guilty to conspiracy for driving four other KKK members to the residence of three African-American men, recent migrants from Mississippi, where a cross was erected and set ablaze. Among the Klan members convicted in this episode was her husband, Robert, described as a leader of the local Klan, who received a 21-month sentence and a $3,000 fine. Despite these arrests and convictions, the African-American men targeted in the attack clearly received the message intended by the Klan’s action. All abandoned their desire to move their families to Longville and returned to Mississippi.1