The Ku Klux Klan, better known as the KKK, was startedin Tennessee in 1866. The people who believed in “WhitePride” came together against the advancement of AfricanAmericans, Jews, and other minorities.
The KKKmembers were very violent and used harsh actions to gettheir point across, but their actions were supported by theirstrong belief in their religion and the culture in which theywere brought up in. The Klan did as it believed, they didwhat they thought was right and for their time period theywere just acting in the way their culture brought them up toact. The name Ku Klux Klan comes from the Greek wordkuklos, meaning circle.
The oldest symbol of unity is acircle. The Klan represents itself as the “oldest AmericanWhite civil rights group.” The KKK’s history has been splitinto five eras. Former Confederate General NathanBedford Forrest founded the First Era in 1866. The Klanwas formed during the Reconstruction Era of United Stateshistory. Klan members went on “night rides.
” On “nightrides” the KKK members dressed in white robes and wentto houses belonging to empowered blacks and institutedfright into their hearts. They would threaten these blackswith what would happen if they voted or took positions ofpower. They often whipped, mutilated or even killed anyblack that didn’t comply with the KKK’s ideas.
TheSecond Era of the KKK reigned from 1915-1925. ThisSecond Era of Klansmen came together against the blacksthat were trying to take a spot in the community with theNAACP. The Klan provided middle-class whites withstability. This era of the Klan came together against AfricanAmericans, Catholics, Jews, Asians, immigrants, anyonewho had pre-and extra-marital escapades, and many otherminorities. This Klan era was the First Era to useautomobiles as part of the lynching. The Third Era wasstarted in May of 1954 when the Supreme Court ruled thatsegregating of public schools by race was unconstitutional.
This generation of Klansmen at one point numbered40,000. In 1857 as a result of the Montgomery Busboycott, a group of Klan members torched four AfricanAmerican Churches. At one point a count was taken andthere had been over one hundred and fifty acts of racial andanti-Semitic acts of violence in the south. The Third Eramainly used their own forms of bombs to destroy residentsand churches of their enemies. The Fourth Era overlappedwith the ends of the Third Era; David Duke was one of themain leaders. Duke used a sort of Nazi flavor to revampthe KKK, and his best addition to the Klan was hismanipulation of the media. Dukes main attacks were ataffirmative action, he attracted new youthful members,recruiting from high schools and colleges. The most wellknown act of terrorism occurred in Greensboro in 1979,where the Communist Workers Party rallied against theKlan, their motto was “Death to the Klan”.
KKK membersand Nazis came together and attacked the marchers andwounded five protestors and killed another nine. Presentlythe Fifth Era of the KKK is in action, they haven’t been asviolent as the past four eras, but there are several groupsthat are growing in numbers. The Ku Klux Klan’s actionswere very radical. There is one idea that hasn’t changed inthe past one hundred and fifty years, and that is that thekilling of an innocent person is wrong. The KKK killed anyblack that had too much power or a lot of influence.
Priorto the Klan’s existence a similar party killed one hundredand sixteen black people and their bodies were thrown inthe Tallahatchie River. In one Louisiana parish in 1868,over a two-day period Klansmen killed or wounded twohundred victims. A large pile of twenty-five dead bodieswas found half buried in the woods. During 1870 in SouthCarolina the Klan killed six black people, and whippedanother three hundred until they could barely walk. Masskillings like these happened regularly all over the South.The members of the Klan took their culture and religionand combined it to create justification for any evil actionsthey took.
Finally, the passing of the harsh Force Act of1870 and 1871 allowed Federal troops to destroy theorganization. By this time though the damage had alreadybeen done. Members of the Ku Klux Klan are verydedicated to their religion and cause. To get into the KKKa person must take an oath that says, “By my own free willand instance I (NAME) swear, by the mighty God, that Inever to anyone will