The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) Essay
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The Ku Klux Klan (KKK)
The Ku Klux Klan is one of America’s oldest and most feared groups. Motivated by the dream of a world with only one race, the KKK uses violence and moves above the law to support their cause. They have been in the shadows for over 130 years and continue to succeed in America’s society today. The Ku Klux Klan began almost by accident during the rebuilding process after the civil war in the Southern United States. The southern people had suffered allot from the effects of the great war. Many of them lost their homes and plantations, many also lost friends and loved ones to the war.
In 1865, six men from a small town in Tennessee accidentally began what has grown to be the largest and most feared…show more content…
The Klan quickly grew. A leader was soon needed to control the large group. Their first choice was Southern General Robert E. Lee. Although he supported the group and its cause, he was very ill and could not handle the task. Their next choice was a man named Nathan Bedford Forrest. He was quickly accepted as the "Grand Wizard". He had absolute power over the Klan members. The men were eager to do what he said, they trusted him. Many of the men were in need of a sense of belonging and the KKK gave them this. The Klan was very secretive, all of the members were safe from people knowing their real identities. Because of this secrecy, they gained the alternate name of, "The Invisible Empire".
The Klan really began to take control in the year of 1868. They promised to rid the south of anyone who didn’t support them. They stole the peoples goods, beat them and even killed them. These murders were known as "lynching". They would drag the person to the center of the town and hang them in front of everyone. This was very effective, people feared it would happen to themselves if they had anything to do with the blacks.
After the U.S. government removed troops from the South in the late 1800’s, the Klan achieved its goal. Many of the groups moved on and Forrest left the Klan. Once the 1900’s came around, it started again. This time the goal was much larger, they wanted to rid America of all non white, Christian Americans. The
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The Ku Klux Klan, better known as the KKK, was started
in Tennessee in 1866. The people who believed in "White
Pride" came together against the advancement of African
Americans, Jews, and other minorities. The KKK
members were very violent and used harsh actions to get
their point across, but their actions were supported by their
strong belief in their religion and the culture in which they
were brought up in. The Klan did as it believed, they did
what they thought was right and for their time period they
were just acting in the way their culture brought them up to
act. The name Ku Klux Klan comes from the Greek word
kuklos, meaning circle. The oldest symbol of unity is a
circle. The Klan represents itself as the "oldest American
White civil rights group." The KKK's history has been split
into five eras. Former Confederate General Nathan
Bedford Forrest founded the First Era in 1866. The Klan
was formed during the Reconstruction Era of United States
history. Klan members went on "night rides." On "night
rides" the KKK members dressed in white robes and went
to houses belonging to empowered blacks and instituted
fright into their hearts. They would threaten these blacks
with what would happen if they voted or took positions of
power. They often whipped, mutilated or even killed any
black that didn't comply with the KKK's ideas. The
Second Era of the KKK reigned from 1915-1925. This
Second Era of Klansmen came together against the blacks
that were trying to take a spot in the community with the
NAACP. The Klan provided middle-class whites with
stability. This era of the Klan came together against African
Americans, Catholics, Jews, Asians, immigrants, anyone
who had pre-and extra-marital escapades, and many other
minorities. This Klan era was the First Era to use
automobiles as part of the lynching. The Third Era was
started in May of 1954 when the Supreme Court ruled that
segregating of public schools by race was unconstitutional.
This generation of Klansmen at one point numbered
40,000. In 1857 as a result of the Montgomery Bus
boycott, a group of Klan members torched four African
American Churches. At one point a count was taken and
there had been over one hundred and fifty acts of racial and
anti-Semitic acts of violence in the south. The Third Era
mainly used their own forms of bombs to destroy residents
and churches of their enemies. The Fourth Era overlapped
with the ends of the Third Era; David Duke was one of the
main leaders. Duke used a sort of Nazi flavor to revamp
the KKK, and his best addition to the Klan was his
manipulation of the media. Dukes main attacks were at
affirmative action, he attracted new youthful members,
recruiting from high schools and colleges. The most well
known act of terrorism occurred in Greensboro in 1979,
where the Communist Workers Party rallied against the
Klan, their motto was "Death to the Klan". KKK members
and Nazis came together and attacked the marchers and
wounded five protestors and killed another nine. Presently
the Fifth Era of the KKK is in action, they haven't been as
violent as the past four eras, but there are several groups
that are growing in numbers. The Ku Klux Klan's actions
were very radical. There is one idea that hasn't changed in
the past one hundred and fifty years, and that is that the
killing of an innocent person is wrong. The KKK killed any
black that had too much power or a lot of influence. Prior
to the Klan's existence a similar party killed one hundred
and sixteen black people and their bodies were thrown in
the Tallahatchie River. In one Louisiana parish in 1868,
over a two-day period Klansmen killed or wounded two
hundred victims. A large pile of twenty-five dead bodies
was found half buried in the woods. During 1870 in South
Carolina the Klan killed six black people, and whipped
another three hundred until they could barely walk. Mass
killings like these happened regularly all over the South.
The members of the Klan took their culture and religion
and combined it to create justification for any evil actions
they took. Finally, the passing of the harsh Force Act of
1870 and 1871 allowed Federal troops to destroy the
organization. By this time though the damage had already
been done. Members of the Ku Klux Klan are very
dedicated to their religion and cause. To get into the KKK
a person must take an oath that says, "By my own free will
and instance I (NAME) swear, by the mighty God, that I
never to anyone will tell by a hint, sign, action or word
about the secrets, signs, handshakes, keywords or
ceremonies that belongs to the Order ***, neither that I am
a member of this Order, or that I know somebody that is a
member. Also I will submit to the regulations for the Order
*** and it's commands." This oath showed that by being a
Klan member you must be totally loyal to the cause, as if it
were your religion. The Klan had sacrificial rituals in which
they would wrap crosses with white bandages and then
torch it before they started each meeting. Out of respect for
their "religion" the Klansmen raided and torched the houses
of black men, and they killed and mutilated blacks. The
Puritan's religion was a well-known religion of the fifteen
and sixteenth century. One ritual of the Puritans was they
killed any suspected witches. What makes Puritans religion
any different from the beliefs of the KKK? There isn't
much, they both prosecute and kill people who don't
comply with their way of life. To them, what they were
doing was right. They felt their cause was very important,
and it was to their ways of life. To the members of the Ku
Klux Klan the new laws about no slavery went against their
way of life. The South believed that blacks were inferior
because they were brought up to think that. To this very
day, some people believe that minorities are unequal to
whites. A more common problem today is that people
believe that blacks and other minorities are receiving more
chances than whites are. They disagree strongly with
affirmative action and special treatment for minorities.
Today's KKK's purpose is to stop minorities from rising.
These minorities are getting more chances than whites do.
Since so many people believe this so strongly, just as they
did in 1866 when it all began, the KKK still exists. It's
members still strive to keep the white race on the top of the
hierarchy. People say that racism would decrease if the
American government didn't put as much emphasize on
skin color and ethnicity. In today's world if blacks weren't
given any advantages and made to work as hard as a white
would to make themselves prosperous then the Fifth Era of
the KKK would diminish because they would have nothing
to fight against. Through five eras of the KKK American
racism has come a long way, from slavery to
anti-affirmative action, the KKK has stood its ground and
did what they were brought up to do. Though sometimes
their acting may have been a bit extreme these whites were
brought up to fight for "white pride" and as any member of
a faith they fought for what they thought was right.
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