Hate Crimes of the Ku Klux Klan
February 9, 2014
Hate Crimes of the Ku Klux Klan
This is a history of hate in America- not the natural discord that characterizes a democracy, but the wild, irrational, killing hate that led men and women throughout our history. Extreme violence against others simply because of their race, nationality, religion or lifestyle (The Southern Poverty, 2011). The Ku Klux Klan is a white supremacist group, founded in 1866 created after the south lost the Civil War. The Ku Klux Klan was started by Confederate soldiers who did not believe that the newly freed blacks should have the same rights as whites. As a first membership ...view middle of the document...
They wore flowing white sheets and their faces covered with white masks, posing as spirits of the Confederate soldiers who had died in the war, coming back from the dead. These intentions soon turned into a sport of terrorizing the blacks. A highly decorated veteran general of the Civil War and former slave owner, General Nathan Bedford Forrest, was named the First Grand General of the Ku Klux Klan in April 1867. He and other members of the Ku Klux Klan came together in Pulaski, Tennessee with the goal of keeping the white rule in the south (Gray & Coates, 2009). In 1866 and parts of 1867, the group tore across the South spreading their own beliefs by using violent tactics against blacks, whites who supported the blacks, and the southern republicans. Southern republicans were the party that freed the slaves and the group felt they should be held responsible for not upholding the white race. This secret society tore across the south for three to four years causing many deaths and fears to be built. As rapidly as the Klan spread, they faded into history. After World War I the Klan came to life again, but still for only a few years. The Klan was still bringing terrorism and much blood shed too many parts of the nation. Growing to be a major source for the second time, the Klan again faded into the background, but not fully disappearing.
The Revivals of the Ku Klux Klan
There was a rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan with the release of the film The Birth of a Nation, which glorified the original organization (Gray & Coates, 2009). This film falsified the period following the Civil War by showing blacks as dominating the whites and sexually forcing themselves on white women. The Ku Klux Klan was portrayed as the saviors of the South. Not only was this portrayal of history untrue, it was the complete opposite of what actually happened. There was also the case of Leo Frank, that later was also a reason for the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan. Leo Frank was a Jewish man in Atlanta, Georgia, who was accused of raping and murdering a young white female. He was sentenced to life in prison, shortly after he arrived he was kidnapped from jail and hung (Gray & Coates, 2009). This story was sensationalized so much by the press that much of the nation became outraged. With this support, a new Klan emerged (Gray & Coates, 2009). This is also when the Klan really widened their spread of terror on other religions, immigrants, and races. November 1922, W. Evans was chosen as the new Imperial Wizard. While Evans was Imperial Wizard, the Ku Klux Klan grew to more than four million members by 1925. The next twenty years the Klan was involved in political and violent acts of intimidation against those they deemed a danger to either the Constitution or to the White Christian Ideals (Gray & Coates, 2009). Due to persecution efforts, sex scandals and a large amount of unpaid taxes, the first revival of the Klan disappeared by 1944 (Gray & Coates, 2009).