This City in Indiana Has Been Named the Most Racist City in the State


Indiana has a long and turbulent past marred by racism, segregation, and discrimination. Since its creation, the state has struggled with discriminatory policies, such as the initial constitution, which prohibited people of color from settling.

The Ku Klux Klan rose to prominence in the twentieth century, making many people of color feel unsafe. Sundown towns, or intentionally all-white enclaves, arose in Indiana, employing signs, legislation, threats, and violence to exclude persons of color, mainly African Americans. James Loewen’s research focuses on Indiana’s concentration of sundown towns, which number in the hundreds and have a significant influence on the Midwest.

The Notorious Case of SanPierre

According to Loewen’s statistics, San Pierre in Starke County has the most KKK organizations per capita in the state of Indiana. With around 150 people, San Pierre had 0.0111 KKK groups per person, earning it the nickname “the little Klan town.” San Pierre, which implemented a sundown policy as early as 1890, is largely white now (98.7%), with a concerning absence of a Black population. Recent hate crimes, like cross burnings and displays of racial symbols, highlight San Pierre’s racist heritage and its ongoing influence on the town.

Ongoing Repercussions and Challenges

Sundown towns like San Pierre left an indelible mark on Indiana’s social, economic, and political landscape. These societies contribute to modern racial segregation and inequality by restricting opportunities and instilling fear and animosity.

The legacy of sundown towns has an impact on political beliefs, helping to favor conservative and bigoted candidates and policies. Sundown towns, in addition to harming persons of color, have a detrimental influence on white citizens’ well-being and possibilities. These neighborhoods have lower levels of education, wealth, and health, emphasizing the socioeconomic consequences of racism and segregation.

Combatting Sundown Towns and Racism

Addressing sundown towns and racism involves both group and individual efforts:

  • Education: Learn about the history of sundown towns and racism by using materials such as James Loewen’s book or website, which contains a thorough list of sundown towns in Indiana and other states.
  • Advocacy: Speak out against racism, report hate crimes, support anti-racist groups, join protests, and hold government leaders accountable.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Meet individuals from all backgrounds, challenge prejudices, and learn from other viewpoints. Celebrate and welcome variety in every element of life.
  • Self-Reflection: Examine your prejudices, face stereotypes, and rectify racist remarks or jokes in your social networks.
  • Encourage diversity by supporting companies, the arts, and charities that encourage multiculturalism.

In challenging sundown towns and prejudice, we may build a more just, inclusive, and successful society for all.


Indiana’s difficult past includes racism, sundown towns, and KKK involvement. San Pierre in Starke County, known as “the little Klan town,” commemorates the state’s Klan past. Sundown towns contribute to racial segregation, which influences political and socioeconomic considerations. Combating racism necessitates education, activism, diversity, introspection, and inclusion. By tackling these difficulties, Indiana may work toward a more equitable and inclusive society.

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