Denver was the site of a KKK revival in the early 1920s. By 1925 Denver City government was awash with Klansmen controlling the police department and most other city agencies. Stapleton became a member of the Klan for practical reasons. He wanted to be mayor of Denver and stood for election in 1923. Were he not a member of the Klan he would not have been elected, the Klan stronghold on Denver being what it was at that time.
By the end of 1925 the Klan was no longer a powerful force in Denver City government. Its hold on Denver began to wane in early 1925, and Stapleton could see that the Denver Klan revival was well past its zenith and on the way out. Stapleton began his breakup with the Klan. On April 10, 1925 he bypassed the Klan police chief he had appointed under pressure from KKK leaders. He ordered vice raids that rounded up bootleggers, prostitutes, and gamblers and exposed a dozen Klan members who had been serving in the police force. They were all ultimately dismissed. On June 30, 1925, Colorado Klansmen kicked Stapleton out of the Klan. He must have been grateful for that.
Stapleton had survived a previous recall election and by the end of his term as mayor he was cleansed of his temporary dalliance with the KKK. He was elected Colorado State Auditor in 1932, a job he found he didn’t like so he ran for mayor again 1935. That year he won, and also the next two races in 1939 and 1943.
The Denver Municipal Airport (constructed in 1929) was renamed Stapleton International Airport on August 25, 1944 in honor of Ben Stapleton.
When Denver International Airport was built to replace Stapleton Airport the area became residential and commercial and is now known as the Stapleton community. A group of busybodies is now intent on changing the name of the Stapleton community because of Ben Stapleton’s short membership in the KKK in the 1920s, a period when the Klan was perhaps the most powerful political force in Denver.
If the current climate of the Stapleton Community is to drive out the memory of everyone who might have had any Klan affiliation at that time, most of Denver’s landmarks are going to have to be renamed. But while those ethnic cleansers are at it they better also get rid of the Democrat party. The Democrats created the KKK at the end of the Civil War, and the KKK was the military and racial enforcement wing of the Democrat party from that time until at least the mid 1960s. All Klansmen were Democrats. Not a single Republican ever belonged to the KKK.
Ben Stapleton’s great grandson, Walker Stapleton, is currently running for governor of Colorado. Last July Democrats sought to discredit Walker Stapleton claiming that his grandfather was, “…a powerful member of the Ku Klux Klan, a bespectacled former judge who helped the KKK seize control of Colorado government in what is now considered one of the state’s darkest periods.” This is an exaggeration of epic proportions.
Anyone who cares for the truth over lies will see that Ben Stapleton was a peripheral member of the KKK only because, at that time Denver, the KKK was politically powerful. So powerful that Stapleton had no chance of becoming the mayor of Denver without its endorsement. Stapleton never was active enough in the KKK to be considered a powerful member.
The KKK’s power in Colorado politics was short lived. Stapleton was no doubt glad of that, as were many others who where forced by circumstances to become temporary members. It’s chutzpah for today’s Democrats to try to malign anyone’s character for the light participation in the KKK for only a short period. The KKK was invented by Democrats and served as its racist military arm for decades. Today’s Antifa is just another iteration of the Democrat party’s penchant for violence against anyone who does not drink their Kool-Aid.
Walker Stapleton has never been associated with anything as evil as the violent KKK or Antifa. Shame on these liars and frauds for using a period of Colorado history they had nothing to do with to try to destroy them politically.
I assume and would bet money that all or most of the mischief makers in the Stapleton community today are proud members of the Democrat party. I haven’t heard of any of them calling for a name change of the Democrat party.
Former West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd was once a Grand Kleagle in the KKK. Nearly every highway and bridge in West Virginia is named after him. House Speaker Tip O’Neill nicknamed him “sheets.” It would be sort of cool if they’d named a bridge or highway in West Virginia “sheets.”
Speaking at Byrd’s funeral in Charleston on April 2, 2010 Bill Clinton criticized newspaper eulogies that dwelled on Byrd’s association with the Klan. Clnton said:
“They mention that he once had a fleeting association with the Ku Klux Klan, and what does that mean? I’ll tell you what it means. He was a country boy from the hills and hollows of West Virginia. He was trying to get elected. And maybe he did something he shouldn’t have done, and he spent the rest of his life making it up. And that’s what a good person does. There are no perfect people. There certainly are no perfect politicians.
That might, in part at least, describe Ben Stapleton, except he was from Kentucky not West Virginia. He also wanted to get elected at a time and in a place dominated by the Klan.