Politics, United States

The Ku Klux Klan Terrorists

Terrorism. This is a word that has the ability to strike fear, cause destruction, and rip lives apart. Terrorism is defined as the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. When most people hear this word they think of a group like ISIS. But what you may not think of is a group such as the Ku Klux Klan. The KKK is a classic example of terrorism affecting us from our past all the way up to present day. They are a secret union of white supremacists that use violence to force their political views and are, by definition, a terrorist group. So why then is the KKK not brought to mind when we think of terrorism? Many people are ill informed on the issue and think the Ku Klux Klan only existed in our past. However, the reality is that this group is still very much alive and is actually increasing in growth to this day. There is much to be said on the history of the KKK, how they are similar and different to other terrorist organizations, and how their practices of chaos have changed over time.

The Ku Klux Klan was established in Pulaski, Tennessee, in May, 1866. A year later a general organization of local Klans was created in Nashville in April, 1867. The first ever leader (otherwise known as “grand wizard”) Nathan Bedford Forrest was chosen. “In the summer of 1867, local branches of the Klan met in a general organizing convention and established what they called an Invisible Empire of the South” (History.com). The klan was large with its numbers hitting over 4 million American members in the 1920s.  However, in the beginning, the group was started to fight against reconstruction and to bring back white supremacy in the south.  The organization however, was supposed to be kept mainly secret with members wearing white robes and tall pointy white masks. Deeds of violence and other business matters were generally carried out by the klan at night in order to not reveal themselves or raise suspicions. The KKK was particularly successful in their endeavors in South Carolina where one incident at the Union county jail ended in the lynchings of eight black prisoners carried out by the a group of five hundred members. Finally by 1871, legal actions were attempting to be made against violence of the clan through the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871. The act stated that certain crimes committed by members were considered to be federal offenses and legal actions were to be taken against them. After this hiccup in the klan, another revival of the klan was born in 1915 with a few new views and ideals. Although, many people don’t know that this new group was anti Catholic, Jewish, foreigner, black, and organized labour.

20th March 1922: Members of the white supremacist movement, the Ku Klux Klan standing by an aeroplane, out of which they dropped publicity leaflets over Washington DC. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

The KKK’s practices of terrorism have many similarities and differences from the devious acts of chaos created by terrorists groups today. There is the group Boko Haram. They are a jihadist group from Northeastern Nigeria. They made themselves known when they raided Chibok, a Nigerian Border town. “Around 300 Nigerian schoolgirls were taken captive by Boko Haram militants and threatened with forced marriage and forced conversion” (DePetris). This is different from the KKK in the way that if the klan took people captive, they would have eventually been lynched or burned to death. There would have been no forced conversions. There is another group that goes by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force. They are a very covert and secretive external operations wing of the Revolutionary Guard. They “support terrorist groups in the region that will enhance Iran’s regional posture and keep its enemies off balance” (Depetris). The Corps-Quds Force is similar to the KKK in how they support and get together with other group to do acts of horror together. Only thing is that the KKK’s different group are really just different branches of the same cause. The difference in these groups is that the Ku Klux Klan is no secret. They had there rituals at night but many people were apart of it, plus some are documented. One last terrorist group that will be compared/contrasted is the the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. More widely know as ISIS. This organization is strong enough to create several divisions of national army, and rich enough to fund their own operations. They have liberated a portion of the Middle East that is relative to the size of Belgium. They easily “captured of Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul” (DePetris). The difference between ISIS and the KKK is that ISIS is big time. They have the full attention of the U.S. military and pretty much everyone else on planet earth. Plus the are doing their acts of terrorism across countries, not just some small town. The similarity between these two is that they kill many people and the have document it. They let people know about their acts. ISIS video tapes the horrific acts and the KKK leave people hung and burnt crosses out for people to see. All of these terrorist groups do terrible things that are similar and different to each other.

In the beginning of the Ku Klux Klan, their efforts were solely focused on fighting the reconstruction and and have all rights to black people taken away. In turn, having white supremacy reign. At the start, before the hooded costumes were conceived, they were getting into quarrels with blacks. In 1866 “a full-fledged riot in Memphis, Tennessee…46 people were dead, 70 more were wounded” (pbs.org). They weren’t organizing massive murders at this point. They were just unbelievable racist. In 1868, the klan finally turned into how they are most commonly identified. Hooded loonatics. As time passed, their antics became more brutal. “In Kansas, over 2,000 murders were committed in connection with the election” (pbs.org). Today, the number of active KKK members has dropped significantly but they are still here. There is an example of this not too long ago. It is still a sore subject but there was a protest in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 11, 2017. At one point in the protest, and alleged white supremacist drove his car into the crowd of people. This act is associated with the KKK and it’s horrible. The KKK is very much still a terrorist group to this day.

There was much to be said on the history of the KKK, how they are similar and different to other terrorist organizations, and how their practices of chaos have changed over time. This group is still active and they are a nuisance to society. It would be dream to have to have pain or terrorism in this world, but there always will be. As the good people of this earth, we just have to be able to fight against the injustice and keep them in their heels.

Article by Kashtin Holly and Jackson Slaughter

Work Cited

Staff, History.com. “KU KLUX KLAN.” History.com, A+E Networks, 2009,

    www.history.com/topics/ku-klux-klan. Accessed 19 Oct. 2017.

 

DePetris, Daniel R. “The 5 Deadliest Terrorist Groups on the Planet.”

    http://nationalinterest.org, 16 Nov. 2014, nationalinterest.org/

    feature/washington-watching-the-5-deadliest-terrorist-groups-the-11687.

    Accessed 19 Oct. 2017.

 

DePetris, Daniel R. “The 5 Deadliest Terrorist Groups on the Planet.”

    http://nationalinterest.org, 16 Nov. 2014, nationalinterest.org/

    feature/washington-watching-the-5-deadliest-terrorist-groups-the-11687.

    Accessed 19 Oct. 2017.

 

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