Level 16 - Colossus
The Ku Klux Klan
A Deep Scar upon our History
In the southern states of the USA, the era known as the "Reconstruction" period created a tension , a fear and total hate for the black race among many white people. This event was the result of the primitive version of constitutional equality of the African-American race at the end of the Civil War. It was in this state of confusion and transition that the terrorist organization, the Ku Klux Klan was born.
Before the end of the civil war, May 26th 1865, black men, women and children were used as slaves, and considered objects of exchange and of monetary value to the white people. But between the Yankee's triumph of the civil war and 1877, 700 000 black voters were registered, which was approximate to the new white voters registered in that same period of time. Once White America became aware that blacks could not only vote, but vote effectively, many began to dread the unthinkable; that the black man was becoming equal to the white man. Many went beyond fear, resorting to violence and fascism to cope with their problems. Christmas Eve of 1865 in Pulaski, Tennessee, six men young men began the earliest version of the Ku Klux Klan. Some of them had simpler professions such as blacksmithing and farming, however some of them were Confederate army officers. The group needed a name, which was then based on the Greek word "kuklos" meaning circle. The circle was chosen for it symbolizes unity, perfection and the progress of humans. Being an organization, they added "clan"; with a "K" for show. To avoid being recognized and to induce fear, they wore sheets as cloaks and made hats out of white sheets as well.
Clearly, from the beginning of its creation, the Klan was not an organization centered on defending justice, but rather a radical terrorist group based upon warped beliefs, ideas, and concepts. The Klan started as a local racial terrorist group that would play evil pranks, leaving many black families with burnt houses and the black community with churches torched to the ground. The Klansmen soon realized the impact of their actions on their enemy, the blacks and that what started as an "after work pass time" could be much greater and more powerful. The Klan then elected General Nathan Bedford Forrest, a confederate officer, as their leader. As time passed, the Ku Klux Klan turned into something much more ominous. As the Klan became more aggressive, so did its actions. Additionally to using extreme vandalism as their weapon as they did earlier, the KKK resorted to bloodshed to increase the intensity of their expression; and their message was heard. Black Americans in the southern states were the usual victims of the 43 shootings, five stabbings, fifty-five beatings and the eight whippings recorded to have occurred in Georgia alone. In addition, an estimated 2000 people were killed before the elections in Louisiana as the Klan razed newly-built schoolhouses and killed teachers of former slaves and poor whites. Terrified, many blacks in South Carolina slept in the woods for safety. Soon the Klan, by means of extreme violence and terror had crushed democracy in the South, "leaving former plantation owners and southern aristocrats back into power." (The Aggressive Klan, p. 2)
Besides being and organization bent on instilling fear and terror upon those whom it targeted, the Klan clearly goes against the basic American values of which they so proudly claim to uphold and defend. Since the earliest settlers arrived upon this continent our country truly has been created as a mixing pot of all cultures, races and nationalities. This blending of peoples has resulted in a unique American culture, with each race contributing in their own way. Also, our country has, especially in past times, opened wide its doors to immigrants. Americans morals are clearly inclusive. One look at our countries reveals thousands of different religions, languages and cultures. These American morals are reflected and certainly contributed to the ideas and concepts expressed in the basis of our Country’s government - the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Although they claim to uphold and defend American morals and pride the Klan plainly seeks to destroy these morals by attempting to block immigrants, exclude all peoples, except whites from such areas as government and citizenship, and to ban all religions and cultures except their own. However, the Klan does not stop with the idea or notion of the destruction of the described American morals. It unabashedly attempts to attack and destroy the very content of the Constitution.
Throughout the history of our Country, the Constitution has provided a clear and concise basis for the actions of our Government. It, along with its amendments, provides and guarantees equality, justice, and liberty for all. The Klan, although claiming to be highly pro-American, declaring slogans such as “America first”, clearly, does not act in this manner. Many of its beliefs attack the core of the Constitution and of our government. Keeping “the best army in the world” home to fight the entry of illegal and non-white immigrants in our country is one of the many anti-immirgrant beliefs which the Klan possesses. Another belief which is truly unconstitutional, going against the concept of equality, and the pursuit of happiness for all, is the idea to “quarantine all AIDS carriers.” (The Ku Klux Klan, p. 34). Another outrageous concept of the Klan's is to “make the purchase of American industry and property by foreigners illegal.” (The Ku Klux Klan, p. 30) This would destroy the very society they love so much if their wish came true. Such a drastic action in international exchange would not only crash the American stock market, but affect the entire world because of its current financial status. This is yet another example of the Klan being blinded by its own American pride, and how it put into action would destroy not only our country and constitution but its beliefs, morals, and citizens.
The Ku Klux Klan may have some arguably decent intentions, but its disrespect for those who are not like it must stop. The Klan must learn that having pride in the white race is not a crime, but that having white pride while insulting and discriminating other races is a crime. The Klan must also realize that "American" is not a race, it is a mixed society. Regardless, they will continue their journey of hate into the next millennium attempting to destroy other peoples and cultures in an attempt to reach their own selfish goals. This racist organization shall feed on the racism, terror, prejudice and discrimination that may change shape and size, but that will remain with humanity forever.