The Ku Klux Klan |
A Domestic Extremist Group|
The Ku Klux Klan was a white underground terrorist group. They would not accept black people as equals. Members of the Ku Klux Klan dressed in white robes to stress their belief that whites were superior to blacks. As a result many black people did not register to vote and kept away from white areas. They created a wave of terror which included threats of violence, bullying, lynching, setting fire to buildings and murder, among blacks and those who tried to help them. Blacks who tried to vote or gain an education were subjected to name calling, bullying and beatings from white people who supported the aims of the Ku Klux Klan.
The history of the Ku Klux Klan in the United States is not a continuous one; there were three distinct periods of Klan activity. The first Klan was organized in Tennessee in 1867, and quickly evolved into a terrorist organization of hooded nightriders who fought Reconstruction in the South. The most recent Klan emerged in the 1960’s as a way to oppose racial integration and the Civil Rights movement. Today it has been pretty well bankrupted by civil lawsuits, but some of its members march on even using the web to express their beliefs. The Klan of the 1920s had the same name, the same hooded costumes, and the same burning crosses as the others, but it wasn’t just an anti-black organization; most of its negative energies were aimed at recent immigrants, Roman Catholics, and Jews. An organization of white Protestants who supported prohibition and “100% Americanism,” the Klan in the 1920’s often attracted the leading citizens of a community.
In ways, by serving as a business and social organization steeped in ritual, the renewed Klan resembled the secret-society lodges that were a fixture of American life then.
The Klan was also a political machine that got its own candidates in charge of several states, including Colorado. Klansmen would pack...