The Klan in Fullerton

The OC Weekly’s Gustavo Arellano is penning a series on OC pioneer families with ties to the infamous Ku Klux Klan. Here’s the latest installment.

The Hetebrink House

According to the irrepressible Arellano it was Fullerton, not Anaheim that was home to the OCs 20th Century Klan movement – a veritable hot-bed of anti-Mexican sentiment replete with the membership of some well-known names. He has already fingered Herman Hiltscher, after whom a park is named! Now he ads Albert “Pete” Hetebrink as another member of the Invisible Empire.

I knew Pete, and Gustavo is right: he sure seemed like a harmless old codger (he lived to be 100 right there in the family house). If he was a Kluxer in his youth he never let on. I wish Arellano would share his documentation with his readers just so we know for sure he’s got the goods on Fullerton’s notorious past; and I’m pretty confident he does. If so, should Fullerton reconsider renaming Hiltscher Park?

35 Replies to “The Klan in Fullerton”

    1. Gabo, are you using some modern meaning of “nuts” that we’re unaware of? It sounds like you’re saying he’s a serious researcher. (Oh, and he was “poring” thru that stuff.)

    2. If Gustavo has poured over 800 documents attesting the presence of the KKK in the OC which Gustavo then uses to support his hypothesis that the KKK still exists except in the 21st century it has made itself invisible(wacky! but this is Gustavo’s throught process not mine), then why does he use his parrot phrase “Its in the Anaheim Public Library” when others ask him to name his sources? All we are asking for is a title, a document, a category, how about just a page number and the drawer it is located in at the library; just something more than its at the library. Hey, the delusional homeless man who mumbles invisible aliens are controlling his thoughts is at the library, too.

      1. The source of the names is the membership roll of the Orange County chapter of the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s that was provided to the Weekly by CSUF grad student Luis Fernandez.

  1. Oh, I cannot resist.
    Fullerton Rudy, I knew Thomas Jefferson. Herman Hiltscher was no Thomas Jefferson.

  2. Thanks Tony via Mr. Ask A Mexican for bringing this into the spotlight. It’s just terrible that a park would be named after a KKK member. Maybe you can start a grassroots effort to change the name of Hiltscher Park and when the City doesn’t respond to you, you can sue them with another frivolous lawsuit.

    We can have a contest to rename it and I’ll start. How about. “El Bufadora Bushala Park”. A tribute to the large Hispanic and Lebanese community in our City.

    1. Wow, somebody sure is grumpy! So you think opposing a fraudulent Redevelopment expansion is frivolous? Let me guess: it’s one of Fullerton’s Finest. Either that or a redevelopment leech.

  3. I vote for changing the name to “F. Richard Jones and Don Bankhead Park.” We can have a subsidized ghostown-themed restaurant and free donkey rides.

      1. Yes. It will have an authentic paleontological dig. And archaeological, too. Who knows what kind of antiquities will be dug up.

    1. I prefer the Bushala Slum-Lord Memorial Park…complete with your own frivolous lawsuit you can take home as a souvenir…

  4. I wish he’d share his documentation too. Unfortunately, I had a family member who was a member of the KKK, and not even his kids knew until he died and found the KKK membership card. So maybe these old codgers joined but weren’t active racists. (??)

    1. like all good little propagandists, Gustavo mixes in enough facts to support his lies that the OC still has the KKK, except now they are more discrete. The difference between Gustavo and a real historian is a historian, you know those guys who hold doctorates in history, seek out the significance of a social movement and ties it into humanity by showing the connection of this significant movement between the past and the present and its potential to occur again in all cultures and nations. In essence, the historian enlightens us to our own foibles while the Gustavo’s of the world only create far-flung conspiracy theories that they use to justify their moral relativism.

  5. I am not sure why it is important to anyone to dredge up racisim in Fullerton, Anaheim or any other Orange County Citys history. Unless you are a “historian” let us all let it die with the history books and the people who were racist at that time.

    1. That’s the problem, this history really never lived in the history books, so it can’t ‘die’ there.

      History is history. Who is afraid of a corrective counter-narrative?

    1. Sell outs and hypocrites are not race based compton. This is a new sort of brotherhood. We actually care about what people think, do and say.

    2. No, the KKK is race-based. We oppose idiots, carpetbaggers, and assclowns. Harry Sidhu – strikes one, two and three!

  6. What we really have to worry about are Teabaggers like Marilyn Davenport. They are the modern day KKK. Filthy scum!

  7. Regardless if he was KKK, the house is one ugly freakin’ thing. It is a hodgepodge of confused architecture trying to simulate “culture”.
    The fox theatre is just as ugly and who benefits from the crap, Angelos and Vincis on our dime.
    Raze both ugly as* structures.

  8. Yeah, but it was Anaheim that obliterated then gentrified a square mile of Mexicans east of Harbor.

  9. Racism is alive and well. . .the English colonists (Puritans) brought it to the New World in 1600s. Basically racism holds that this or that cultural group is superior while the other ones are inferior. Since 1840s, before the CA conquest, whites considered themselves superior to the hybrid Mexicans. Historically white society has labeled Native American, Blacks and Mexicans as culturally/intellectually inferior. White academics used their training to prove that these ethnics were inherently inferior. . .remember eugenics and IQ tests? My point of view is that racist practices will continue to have life because of their ties to the acquisition of wealth and status. In Orange County, first white agricultural society created some 50 segregated Mexican barrios for their cheap labor. Now we witness what Santa Ana planners have been doing vs the Mexican barrios since the 1970s. . .read the studies/research by Dr Lisbeth Haas (UC, Santa Cruz) / Dr Erualdo R González (CSU, Fullerton).

  10. Agree w/ Al. Racism is alive and well…it hasn’t gone away, just evolved into so-called color-blind, nativist, and race neutral thoughts, practices and policies that perpetuate race, class, and gender inequality. P.S. Spanish colonizers were just as racist as the British…and they had a 100 year head start in the “New World.”

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