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Essay/Term paper: Rise and fall of the kkk

Essay, term paper, research paper:  History

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The Rise and Fall of the Ku Klux Klan

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" - Thomas Jefferson (Cultural Racism 1)

This excerpt from the Declaration of independence specifically stated that all men are created equal, but that is contradiction to the governments decisions.

The Ku Klux Klan founded in 1865 by William Nathan Bedford a former confederate general, began a campaign of terror against free blacks and their white supporters. The KKK had a wide array of uneducated people because their main incentive was to recruit young, homeless, and mindless children to follow in their footsteps and become a member of the KKK. In many instances Klan members were

taught the KKK did not believe that blacks were capable of the necessary decision making in life, they thought that Blacks were sub-human(Student Handbook 316).

The KKK had many wrong beliefs, like that Blacks were not capable of decision making, recruiting young children who did not know better to become members of the KKK, that they were above the law in many instances. On the other hand very few Klan members were educated to know what they were in the Klan for, like David Duke.

I believe in white supremacy until blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgement to irresponsible people.

John Wayne

Interview in Playboy Magazine, May 1971 (Cuturla Racism 2)

White supremacy served as the basis for the organization of the Ku Klux Klan, despite slaves and white abolitionists. The KKK blames the abundance of ethnic

groups for their misfortunes. The Supreme Court ruled many times that no slave had any rights as a free man. Either their plantation owners or high-ranking officials determined the exploitation and way of life. Whenever a slave escaped it was the right of the owner to reclaim its property (Hamm 27).

The whites in the KKK then wanted to become the ultimate race and would do almost anything to do that, an example would be that their main incentive was to go out and recruit young, homeless, and mindless children from the streets to follow in their footsteps. The Klan was extremely hungry for prosperity. The best way to promote the growth of an organization like this is they would have to search for members (Wade 257).

The Klan does not just recruit kids but they also kidnap kids to make "Honorary Members" of the Klan.

Many of the Klan members we know today are men that have a low education if any. The reason is that the Klan obtained the children when they were little, and they did not go to school because they did not know better. There are many crimes

that are committed by the Klan in which they are caught, which means that they are not educated enough to make decisions (Richards 82).

Black people continued to struggle for their rights as citizens of the United States of America. The KKK began a campaign of terror against free Blacks and their white supporters, over a long period of time the KKK finally defeated the Blacks rights. All this time the government was behind the KKK, what they were doing and the way they were doing it (Richards 82).

In the making of the Fifteenth Amendment many whites were outraged. They thought that too much responsibility was being placed on the Blacks to make correct decisions. Some of the Klan members thought that they were above the law and that they could get away with anything. The KKK thought that the Nigro did not know Created by how to use his powers as a citizen. Many of the Northern Whites traveled southward to steer the Blacks toward the Whites way of thinking. The KKK was outraged by the legalization of voting for Blacks so they often stood outside voting booths and threatened Blacks if they entered they would be beaten (D"Angelo 31). In the 1920s when the Draft for World War 1 was going on the KKK thought that it was

up to them to hunt down all the draft dodgers and break up strikes. But the government did not back them up in the 1920s so what they were doing was not quite legal, the government was not going to step in though because they were on the Klan"s side to begin with. The Klan begins to start to do things illegally, like burning crosses, beatings, and lynchings. Even though those things happened before the Government made laws making those things illegal. Black people continued to struggle for their rights as citizens of the United States of America. The KKK began a campaign of terror against free Blacks and their white supporters, over a long period of time the KKK finally defeated the Blacks rights. All this time the government was behind the KKK, what they were doing and the way they were doing it (Student Handbook 490).

The idea of having public officials in office is an unnatural feeling, and it is still happening today. You don"t hear of many racist people in office but as a politician David Duke is in office despite his racial views. "As a member of the KKK at Louisiana State University, where he received his BA in history in 1974, he became

an enthusiastic admirer of Adolph Hitler, and by 1975, he had risen to Grand Wizard of the Louisiana Ku Klux Klan (Student Handbook 490)."

The United States is known as the melting pot. Since its beginnings as small settlements, this country has always been known as a haven to those who love to cherish it. When people think of America they think of the land of opportunity and that is why so many people are immigrating or emigrating to or in this Country. The Ku Klux Klan is everything the American Dream is not. They are a sign of bigotry and hatred. They have tried for over a hundred years to shatter the dreams of so many people. Many people think that since the civil rights movement the KKK is no longer a danger but in fact it is still a great danger. There are still people like David Duke in office and there is no way to persuade someone to change their views, so we have to live with the bigotry and hatred for a very long time. The Klan of 1865 differs from the Klan of 1999 and it will always be changing. The Klan will never revolve around the main theme of 1865 again but they will always have the same people involved


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