The Ku Klux Klan

The Ku Klux Klan, better known as the KKK, was started
in Tennessee in 1866. The people who believed in "White
Pride" came together against the advancement of African
Americans, Jews, and other minorities. The KKK
members were very violent and used harsh actions to get
their point across, but their actions were supported by their
strong belief in their religion and the culture in which they
were brought up in. The Klan did as it believed, they did
what they thought was right and for their time period they
were just acting in the way their culture brought them up to
act. The name Ku Klux Klan comes from the Greek word
kuklos, meaning circle. The oldest symbol of unity is a
circle. The Klan represents itself as the "oldest American
White civil rights group." The KKK\'s history has been split
into five eras. Former Confederate General Nathan
Bedford Forrest founded the First Era in 1866. The Klan
was formed during the Reconstruction Era of United States
history. Klan members went on "night rides." On "night
rides" the KKK members dressed in white robes and went
to houses belonging to empowered blacks and instituted
fright into their hearts. They would threaten these blacks
with what would happen if they voted or took positions of
power. They often whipped, mutilated or even killed any
black that didn\'t comply with the KKK\'s ideas. The
Second Era of the KKK reigned from 1915-1925. This
Second Era of Klansmen came together against the blacks
that were trying to take a spot in the community with the
NAACP. The Klan provided middle-class whites with
stability. This era of the Klan came together against African
Americans, Catholics, Jews, Asians, immigrants, anyone
who had pre-and extra-marital escapades, and many other
minorities. This Klan era was the First Era to use
automobiles as part of the lynching. The Third Era was
started in May of 1954 when the Supreme Court ruled that
segregating of public schools by race was unconstitutional.
This generation of Klansmen at one point numbered
40,000. In 1857 as a result of the Montgomery Bus
boycott, a group of Klan members torched four African
American Churches. At one point a count was taken and
there had been over one hundred and fifty acts of racial and
anti-Semitic acts of violence in the south. The Third Era
mainly used their own forms of bombs to destroy residents
and churches of their enemies. The Fourth Era overlapped
with the ends of the Third Era; David Duke was one of the
main leaders. Duke used a sort of Nazi flavor to revamp
the KKK, and his best addition to the Klan was his
manipulation of the media. Dukes main attacks were at
affirmative action, he attracted new youthful members,
recruiting from high schools and colleges. The most well
known act of terrorism occurred in Greensboro in 1979,
where the Communist Workers Party rallied against the
Klan, their motto was "Death to the Klan". KKK members
and Nazis came together and attacked the marchers and
wounded five protestors and killed another nine. Presently
the Fifth Era of the KKK is in action, they haven\'t been as
violent as the past four eras, but there are several groups
that are growing in numbers. The Ku Klux Klan\'s actions
were very radical. There is one idea that hasn\'t changed in
the past one hundred and fifty years, and that is that the
killing of an innocent person is wrong. The KKK killed any
black that had too much power or a lot of influence. Prior
to the Klan\'s existence a similar party killed one hundred
and sixteen black people and their bodies were thrown in
the Tallahatchie River. In one Louisiana parish in 1868,
over a two-day period Klansmen killed or wounded two
hundred victims. A large pile of twenty-five dead bodies
was found half buried in the woods. During 1870 in South
Carolina the Klan killed six black people, and whipped
another three hundred until they could barely walk. Mass
killings like these happened regularly all over the South.
The members of the Klan took their culture and religion
and combined it to create justification for any evil actions
they took. Finally, the passing of the harsh Force Act of
1870 and 1871 allowed Federal troops to destroy the
organization. By this time though the damage had already
been done. Members of the Ku Klux Klan are very
dedicated to their religion and cause. To get into the KKK
a person must take an oath that says, "By my own free will
and instance I (NAME) swear, by the mighty God, that I
never to anyone will tell by a hint, sign, action or word