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The Ku Klux Klan
The Ku Klux Klan first originated in Pulaski, Tennessee shortly after the Civil War in the 1860's. They were comprised of a small group of confederate soldiers, lead by General Nathan Bedford Forrest. At first, they committed minor jokes and pranks for fun. It developed into a secret society that was in favor of returning to the pre-Civil War ideals of the south, including the enslavement of blacks.
They were enraged when the black voting population assisted in electing republican candidates in the southern states. In 1866, they became organized into these secret societies and began to horrify local black and white republican leaders, and blacks who were active in the community. One common message used to warn people they disagreed with was to set a cross on fire in front of their house.
They continued threatening, beating, mutilating, and lynching blacks and whites who did not approve of their beliefs, until 1871 when Congress gave President Ulysses S. Grant the power to use federal troops to eliminate the KKK in the southern states. By 1872 the Klan as an organization had disappeared, only remnants of them were still around.
The KKK felt that they were superior to all blacks and Christians. The KKK believed that the blacks of America had a plan to take over American society, and prove their dominance to the whites, and the KKK would stop at nothing to destroy that plan. "We're on the move'. That's what the Negroes are hollering. 'We're on the move. We're on the go. We're going to run the white people down. We're going to kick them in the teeth. We going to take our place in society.' I got news for nigger. We're on the move too. I don't believe in segregation. I believe in slavery(Lowe 129)," said Robert Creel, Grand Dragon of the Alabama realm of the United Klans.
Although other members toke a different point of view, "I don't hate niggers, man. I don't - I don't - I don't associate with niggers. But on the other hand, I don't associate with common white trash or Jews or Catholics if I can help it,(Lowe 129)" J. Robert Jones, Grand Dragon of the North Carolina Realm.
Those were the traditional opinions of the Ku Klux Klan, today they have a different philosophy. They are no longer an organization that condones the violent acts that they once were notorious for. They have a list of requirements that all candidates my completely pass to become a member. Among the requirements are, "only pure white Christian people of non-Jewish, non-Negro, non-Asian descent who pledge to dedicate their life to the cause can enter the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan."
They see their organization as a movement to separate different races. People should interact and live with people of their race, and by no means marry anyone else from another race. They have a specific 12 point plan that they see as their goals for the future. They are as follows, stop immigration, drug tests for welfare recipients, quarantine AIDs carriers, all American businesses owned by Americans, do away with free trade, death penalty for drug dealers, workfare not welfare, get rid of affirmative action it's reverse discrimination, no gun control, and bring back the Bible.
Many of the people who join the KKK are preconditioned children of Klansmen and Klanswomen. The children are taught to hate at a young age. "It's an outing for the family. Children start attending these outdoor meetings at an early age. Robes for youngsters are made by mothers and follow the pattern of the adult robes.(Lowe 82)" The children grow up seeing their parents attend these meetings and are taught that they are part of the master race, and anyone who is not white is less of a person.
Others who join are those who are angry with the government for one reason or another. Or, are prejudice people that are lonely and have a need to belong to someplace where they are special, and it makes them feel good to be told that they are part of a master race. Also there is a rise in membership before election time, when most of their political hate messages are sent.
The existence of an organization
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White supremacy in the United States, Anti-Catholicism in the United States, Christian terrorism in the United States, Ku Klux Klan, Persecution of Jews, Reconstruction Era, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Ku Klux Klan members in United States politics, Association of Georgia Klans
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