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The Klu Klux Klan, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1174

Essay

The Klu Klux Klan was started in the in 1866 by former Confederate veterans as a social club in Pulaski, Tennessee. The first two words in the organization’s name were derived from the Greek word “Kyklos” which means a circle. During 1867, summer, the local branches of Klan met at a convention and established the “Invisible Empire of the South.” the confederate leader, in this case, was General Nathan Bedford Forrest and was also referred to as the club’s grand wizard. The group engaged in some atrocities, most of which were aimed at black people (Hammond, 2015). This paper will analyze the Klan group in regards to their purpose, cultural values, whether or not they represented the American community, and if technology affected their interactions in one way or the other.

The organization of the Klu Klux Klan came as a coincidence with the commencement the second phase of the post civil war, which was brought about by the radical members of the Republican Party Congress. The lower rank officers were given names such as the grand dragon, grand Cclops, and the grand titan. Their dress code was robes and sheets that were meant to prevent their identification by the federal troops (Alexander, 2015). The main intention of the group was to frighten the blacks. The group later turned into a terrorist organization and operated under the command of the Democratic party and the white supremacy. Between the years 1869 and 1871, the group had the main goal of destroying the congressional reconstruction by killing the blacks and a few white people who were seen to have interest education of black children as well as the Republican politics. The Klan burnt down churches, schools, and homes and drove people away, causing great pain and agony. Since the local law enforcement authority could not and were not willing to stop the Klan, the Congress enacted the force bill (1871) which gave the federal government power to prosecute members of the group (Hammond, 2015). The dedicated prosecutors through their activities managed to convict the members of the group resulting in the break up of the Klan.

The cultural values of the Klu Klux Klan were mainly based on racial backgrounds, and they were against the Protestant whom they felt were demeaning their cultural values. The group vehemently opposed the award of civil rights to the African Americans. Relatively, they engaged in various acts of terror through bombing, arson, rape, and lynching of African Americans. The group is also anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic and are against the immigration of these other communities, as they consider “racially impure” (Fryer & Levitt, 2012).

The group has some cultures and subcultures, most of which define their roles. Within their cultures, they consider the blacks as slaves. The group dubbed “white supremacy” mainly entails in activities that were against the blacks. Their culture equally has racial discrimination where they the non-whites are considered “racially impure.” This implies that they believed that the white race was more superior and pure as compared to the other races. The group cultures did not allow for any form of religious activities. They opposed the Catholics and Protestants and stuck to their cultural heritage. The group comprising of whites mainly included individuals that were protestants.

The group does not seem to represent the American society as a whole. This is observed through the activities that it participated. America comprises of people from the various racial origin, and each of the citizens possesses equal rights as per the federal laws that govern the various states. The group on the other hand mainly represented the pure whites who were Protestant (Alexander, 2015). This reveals the sidelining effect that they brought about within the social paradigm. America is the land of the free and the brave, hence a group that denies people their civil rights are not acting in the interest of the country. The lynching of people, raping, burning of churches, and driving people from their homes does not reflect true citizenship among the members of this group. The main intention was to eliminate the blacks and let America be a country of only the whites.

To a large extent, technology has changed the manner in which the group operated. During the 1920s, the group was regarded as illegal and members that were related to it owned poor public reputation. Despite most people professing their membership to this group they did not want to make it apparent. Changes in the culture and social set up did not allow the safe existence of the group as well as its values. Within the early 1990s, civilization was fast taking over and the world quickly transforming. Civilization came in with various aspects and elements. One instance was the case of Hugo L. Black, who was a US supreme court judge, a US senator, and  a competent trial attorney. Black was a member of the Klux Klux Klan, and these facts emerged after his appointment as a Supreme Court of Justice. There was a great public uproar upon the discovery of his membership of the group. This disclosure was capable of dooming his appointment had it come at an earlier date.

Nonetheless, he went on the radio and confessed that he used to be a member but resigned. He also presented updated later of resignation as a proof that he had resigned from the group. The acts of this nature reveal how much the group was detected within the social setting. The technological advancements that came up in the early 90s, therefore, reduced racial discrimination and placed an avenue where the whites and the blacks could interact freely. The improved system of religious worships, communication, education, and the political systems put in place during the 19th century created an environment where the activities of the Klan could not sustain.

In conclusion, it is worth noting that the Klu Klux Klan’s main intention was to oppose the award of civil rights to African Americans. The study has equally revealed that the group culture was inclined towards that of pure whites, and mainly consisted of Protestants, and regarded people from the other cultures as impure. Their activities did not reflect the true spirit of Americans since they hunted members of the other race and killed them (Hammond, 2015). Civilization and technology seem to have had a significant impact on the group. As technology advanced and people began to live together, they formed groups and gradually racial segregation slowly began to feed out. Such activities and technological advancements led to the exposure of members of this group, hence leading to its weakening. Even though the group still exists in certain regions, it is not as strong as it used to be during the 1800s.

References

Alexander, C. C. (2015). The Ku Klux Klan in the Southwest. University Press of Kentucky.

Fryer, R. G., & Levitt, S. D. (2012). Hatred and Profits: Under the Hood of the Ku Klux Klan*. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, qjs028.

Hammond, J. C. (2015). Ku Klux Klan. American Countercultures: An Encyclopedia of Nonconformists, Alternative Lifestyles, and Radical Ideas in US History, 418.

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