Twitter has a unique way of pulling facts from someone’s past. Without cause or disruption, an individual can become the target of: “Is this you?”
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Ellie Kemper was the recent person who found themselves broadcast on the virtual Summer Jam screen. Recently, she was placed in the hot seat when news surfaced of her being crowned in St. Louis’s Veiled Prophet Ball, a debutante ball with apparent ties to the Ku Klux Klan. This isn’t actually new news, as there are online records that have been available for a while on Kemper’s participation in this when she was a teenager. Still, the this was fresh news to many.
In 1999, Kemper was crowned at the Veiled Prophet Ball. Although it’s not clear how intertwined the KKK and the Veiled Prophet Ball is today, it doesn’t change that the ball was adjacent to the KKK in St. Louis since its inception in 1878.
It started with this tweet alerting most of us to the existence of Klan Balls. https://t.co/VnKCMR8Aju
— Chômeuse (@HereIsMySpout) May 31, 2021
As reported by The Daily Dot, the Veiled Prophet Ball “the organization was created by a Confederate veteran, during a period when mystical secret societies were very much in vogue. And the original 1878 ‘veiled prophet’ was an armed man wearing a white robe and hood, a similar outfit to the one the Klan adopted from the anti-Black propaganda movie Birth of a Nation in 1915.”
The publication also noted that the Veiled Prophet Ball “was targeted by Black Lives Matter protesters as a symbol of racist power structures in St. Louis society.” The Atlantic states that “the original Veiled Prophet Ball was a ritualized private event later nicknamed the VP Ball, attached to the city’s Mardi Gras-style VP Parade on the Fourth of July.” The ball involves a Veiled Prophet being chosen by “a secret board of local elites.”
Response to the news has been mixed, with many immediately condemning this and others stating that she was too young to know the meaning.
it really is something that Ellie Kemper was the star of a tv show about a woman who leaves a racist cult and tries to rebrand herself while pretending it never happened. no reason why I’m bringing this up of course.
— Jon Negroni (@JonNegroni) May 31, 2021
Can’t believe y’all didn’t know Ellie Kemper was part of a weird KKK cult focused on segregation and pedophilia.
A lot of ppl have known this for years. It was on her Wikipedia lol
Look it up, it’s A LOT crazier than even Twitter is making it out to be. pic.twitter.com/LJLQNzhNru
— texan oilmen on the grassy knoll (@laborstruggle) May 31, 2021
Ellie Kemper can say what she wants but you’re not about to convince black people any group of white people founded in 18whenever isn’t the Klan pooh sorry
— The Original Lisa Vandercunt (@robinwannabefly) June 1, 2021
People are really trying to make the case that this “tradition” Ellie Kemper participated in wasn’t created by the klan or at least klan adjacent?
Bruh that’s a whole klan fit. pic.twitter.com/MizOi8zOk2
— Kennedy Moore (@KennedyXpress) May 31, 2021
People are falsely saying Ellie Kemper was in a KKK beauty pageant. The org reinforces the racist power structures that birthed it but also it’s not the KKK and was accepting Black members by the 70’s. Shit’s complicated, American institutions are racist. https://t.co/9q77MvJfQX
— ???? (@samthielman) June 1, 2021
At the time of publishing, Kemper had yet to make a public statement on the resurfacing.