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Kkk 3

The Ku Klux Klan

A Deep Scar upon our History

In the southern states of the USA, the era known as the "Reconstruction" period created a tension , a fear and total hate for the black race among many white people. This event was the result of the primitive version of constitutional equality of the African-American race at the end of the Civil War. It was in this state of confusion and transition that the terrorist organization, the Ku Klux Klan was born.

Before the end of the civil war, May 26th 1865, black men, women and children were used as slaves, and considered objects of exchange and of monetary value to the white people. But between the Yankee's triumph of the civil war and 1877, 700 000 black voters were registered, which was approximate to the new white voters registered in that same period of time. Once White America became aware that blacks could not only vote, but vote effectively, many began to dread the unthinkable; that the black man was becoming equal to the white man. Many went beyond fear, resorting to violence and fascism to cope with their problems. Christmas Eve of 1865 in Pulaski, Tennessee, six men young men began the earliest version of the Ku Klux Klan. Some of them had simpler professions such as blacksmithing and farming, however some of them were Confederate army officers. The group needed a name, which was then based on the Greek word "kuklos" meaning circle. The circle was chosen for it symbolizes unity, perfection and the progress of humans. Being an organization, they added "clan"; with a "K" for show. To avoid being recognized and to induce fear, they wore sheets as cloaks and made hats out of white sheets as well.

Clearly, from the beginning of its creation, the Klan was not an organization centered on defending justice, but rather a radical terrorist group based upon warped beliefs, ideas, and concepts. The Klan started as a local racial terrorist group that would play evil pranks, leaving many black families with burnt houses and the black community with churches torched to the ground. The Klansmen soon realized the impact of their actions on their enemy, the blacks and that what started as an "after work pass time" could be much greater and more powerful. The Klan then elected General Nathan Bedford Forrest, a confederate officer, as their leader. As time passed, the Ku Klux Klan turned into something much more ominous. As the Klan became more aggressive, so did its actions. Additionally to using extreme vandalism as their weapon as they did earlier, the KKK resorted to bloodshed to increase the intensity of their expression; and their message was heard. Black Americans in the southern states were the usual victims of the 43 shootings, five stabbings, fifty-five beatings and the eight whippings recorded to have occurred in Georgia alone. In addition, an estimated 2000 people were killed before the elections in Louisiana as the Klan razed newly-built schoolhouses and killed teachers of former slaves and poor whites. Terrified, many blacks in South Carolina slept in the woods for safety. Soon the Klan, by means of extreme violence and terror had crushed democracy in the South, "leaving former plantation owners and southern aristocrats back into power." (The Aggressive Klan, p. 2)

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