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Klu Klux Klan Essay

1239 words - 5 pages

The Ku Klux Klan was a brutal, suppressive cult organization which fought to deny the basic civil rights and human liberties granted to citizens of the U.S. by the Bill of Rights to African-Americans, immigrants, Roman-Catholics, Jews, socialists, communists, and anyone else who went against its beliefs or interfered in its work.
The Klan was first established in Pulaski, Tennessee in May 1866 by Nathan Forrest, just two years after the end of the Civil War. Some white southerners, however, were still fighting the war and felt they would be until their death. Forrest was the Klan’s first “Imperial Wizard”, and the Klan quickly spread to other southern states. At the time there were ...view middle of the document...

” To accomplish this goal the Klan used horrific tactics to intimidate blacks and anyone else who got in their way of a white-government. The Klan would murder whole families in the middle of the night, burn down homes, hold public lynchings and beatings, and conduct other tortures to keep their power. “A lad whipped with branches until his back was ribboned flesh: a Negress beaten and left helpless to contract pneumonia from exposure and dies; a white girl, divorcee beaten into unconsciousness in her home; a naturalized foreigner flogged until his back was pulp because he married an American woman; a Negro lashed until he sold his land to a white man for a fraction of its value.”2 These inhuman acts should not have been tolerated and should have been put to an end as soon as reported, but they were not. This was a result of the Klan accomplishing its objective of white supremacy in the south. By 1870, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia, where Klan support and membership were highest, were governed by completely white governments. With its objective achieved and the passing of the Ku Klux Act in 1871, the Klan virtually disappeared, but only temporarily.
With the outbreak of World War I and the constant fear of a communist revolution, the Klan was reestablished and brought back into power in 1915, this time targeting more than African Americans. The Klan now fought against African-Americans, foreigners, Jews, socialists, Roman Catholics, and communists, with its main opponent being the NAACP. “All hyphenated groups - whether they be Negro-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Catholic-Americans, Italian-Americans or whatever must become American-Americans, or leave the country! The Ku Klux Klan is an American-American organization. As the Army of the Klan we Klavaliers are dedicated to saving America for Americans!”3
Under the leadership of Hiram Evans in 1922, the Klan quickly regained power and the organization spread quickly. Klan officials controlled state governments in not only the south, but states in other areas of the country such as Maine, Oregon, Oklahoma, and Indiana, and membership soon reached over 4,000,000. The Klan continued to work towards ridding the country of the unworthy with its lynchings, beating, rapeings, and other forms of intimidation. Klan members were rarely arrested for the crimes they committed, and even when arrested, they were very rarely convicted by the local Southern courts that tried them. “Literally half the town belonged to the Klan when I was a boy. At its peak, which was from 1923 through 1925, the Nathan Hale Den had about five thousand members, out of...

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