Ellie Kemper was crowned queen at a debutante ball as a teen two decades ago. The organization hosting it had a history of segregation, so naturally the left is calling Kemper a racist.
Actress Ellie Kemper, most known for her roles on The Office and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, has been called a “KKK princess” after a 20-year-old photo of her attendance at a debutante ball was unearthed.
- Kemper, who was 19 years old at the time, was crowned the “Queen of Love and Beauty” at an event organized by St. Louis high society organization Veiled Prophet.
- The group was founded in 1878 by a confederate soldier with multiple outlets saying it was “reportedly associated with white supremacy”, while providing no links to evidence proving any links between the Veiled Prophet Organization and the Ku Klux Klan.
- The Veiled Prophet Organization did not allow black members until the 1970s, and critics say it “is a force for institutionalized racism in St. Louis.”
- Reactions and hot takes flew off the keyboards and onto Twitter, with CNN commentator and St. Louis native Keith Boykin saying “I was always told [the Veiled Prophet] was only for white people.”
- The Root, which helped start the controversy by referencing a random twitter account calling Kemper a “KKK princess”, takes the leap into ridiculous hyperbole declaring Kemper a “teenage prejudice princess.”
- Newsweek did its best to explain the history of the Veiled Prophet Organization, which did exclude African-Americans and Jewish-Americans until the 1970s, yet suggesting the comparisons between Veiled Prophet and Ku Klux Klan are disingenuous because the all-white hooded attire associated with the Veiled Prophet pre-dated its association with the Klan by 35 years.
- Huffington Post noted the “scrutiny” Kemper drew “for her place in St. Louis society.” She comes from a wealthy banking family and participated in the Veiled Prophet ball 20 years after it officially began admitting non-white members.
- The Daily Mail’s reporting on the outrage noted “Kemper had no know history of being racist.” The fact that this even had to be printed demonstrates how absurd and ridiculous this controversy is.
- The Daily Wire noted the many inconsistent leaps made in reporting that attempts to tie Veiled Prophet to the Ku Klux Klan, even though there is “undeniable racism” intertwined in the organization’s past, while defending Kemper’s participation as “obvious” given her family’s social status in St. Louis.
- RedState criticized cancel culture, saying it is going after “one of its own” (meaning a liberal), and that the vitriol would be expected if Kemper appeared in blackface (like the Governor of Virginia did) or was caught using racial slurs, but that “Kemper participated in a fancy ball” once run by racists as a teen and by the transitive properties of woke-ism, she must be racist also.
This is one of the most profoundly dishonest and infantile attempts at cancel culture ever undertaken. In no just world would the participant of a debutante ball 20 years after it was integrated be held responsible for the segregated history of its organizers. At no point was there ever a connection between Veiled Prophet and the Ku Klux Klan, but a random twitter user uttering the phrase launched a dozen media hits comparing the two.
So many of these reports were written to inflame the fires of the culture war, encourage outrage clicks, and drive revenue. All because a handful of Twitter users found a photo of an actress wearing a white ball gown as a teenager.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021