This is a sad story because Watson started out as a biracial populist but he found it politically expedient to later on reverse his views, join the KKK and become a racist and anti-semite preying on the divide and conquer strategy that poor and poorly educated whites are still susceptible to.
United We Stand? Tom Watson on Interracial Southern Populism
Just as the question of race divided the Southern Populist movement, so has it divided historians. Some scholars point to the uniquely interracial qualities of the Populist movement, while others emphasize the ways that racial divisions limited the success of southern agrarian radicals. Part of the difficulty in resolving the dispute is the complexity and ambiguity of race relations in Southern Populism. In his famous essay on “The Negro Question in the South,” published in 1892, Tom Watson, a Southern Populist who was elected to the U.S. Congress from Georgia in 1890, made one of the strongest cases for an alliance of black and white farmers. Yet Watson was calling for a strategic political alliance, not a fully integrated society, and his commitment to interracialism did not survive the defeat of the Populist movement. After the turn of the century, Watson led efforts to disfranchise African Americans, publishing demagogic attacks on them as well as on Catholics and Jews.