|Beginning in the mid-1970’s, Ku Klux Klan groups Essay
||began to apply a more respectable image. Some||accepted women as members and set up youth groups. ||The KKK especially appealed to whites who resented ||both special programs designed to help blacks and ||job competition from blacks and recent immigrants. ||Approximately 15 separate organizations existed,||including the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the||United Klans of America, and the National Klan.||By 1980, Klan membership rose to about 10,000||members, with still some extremists who often used ||violence against those who they opposed. In 1979, ||in Greensboro, North Carolina, Klan members killed ||five anti-Klan demonstrators. In Mobile, Alabama, ||there was an incident where Klan members murdered a||black youth in 1981. Because of this violent ||activity, interest in the Ku Klux Klan has||declined. This, coupled with some prosecutions for ||illegal activities, reduced KKK membership in the ||South to about 6,000 by the late 1980’s.||The Ku Klux Klan often refers to itself as the||Fifth Era of the Klan and uses the title the ||Invisible Empire. The Klan is no longer known just ||as the Ku Klux Klan, but rather uses the title||Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.||This is an excerpt from an essay written by a||member of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan stating ||some of the views of the Klan of today:|Late 1800’s The Ku Klux Klan was formed as a social club by a group ofConfederate Army veterans in Pulaski, Tennessee around 1865. A ConfederateGeneral, Nathan Bedford Forrest, was the Klan’s first leader, whose titlewas the Grand Wizard. The group adopted the name Ku Klux Klan from theGreek word kuklos, meaning circle, and the English word clan.
White superiority was the philosophy of the Klan, and they would often useviolence and terrorization of blacks as a means of exercising thisphilosophized superiority. The Klan detested the idea of blacks gaining anyrights following the Civil War into the Reconstruction, and terrorizedblacks to prevent them from voting in elections or practicing any otherright. Blacks and white sympathizers were often threatened, beaten, or evenmurdered by Klan members in the South; the Klan used the now familiar whiterobes and hoods to mask their identity. The Ku Klux Klan became known asthe Invisible Empire as it grew and spread rapidly.
In 1871, the Force Bill was passed by Congress. This act gave the Presidentthe authority to use federal troops against the Ku Klux Klan if he deemedthe action necessary. Soon after this bill was passed, the Klan all butdisappeared.
Early 1900’s William J. Simmons, a former Methodist preacher, organized anew Klan in Stone Mountain, Georgia in 1915 as a patriotic, Protestantfraternal society. This new Klan directed its activity against, not justblacks, but any group it considered un-American, including any immigrants,Jews, and Roman Catholics. The Ku Klux Klan grew rapidly from here and hadmore than 2 million members throughout the country by the mid-1920’s.
Although the Klan still reverted at times to violence of previous years,burning crosses, torturing and murdering those who they opposed, most ofthe Klan acted through peaceful means. The KKK instead became a morepowerful political force as it elected many public officials throughout thenation. However, eventually the organization became weakened bydisagreements among the leadership and because of public criticism of Klanviolence. By 1944 the Ku Klux Klan had faded out again.
Mid-1900’s The Klan was revived again in 1946 by an Atlanta physician,Samuel Green. However, shortly after Green’s death in 1949, the Klan splitinto many smaller groups. During the 1960’s, the Civil Rights movementbegan and a new wave of violence by the Ku Klux Klan was brought about. InMississippi, three civil rights leaders were killed; in Birmingham, Alabamaa church was bombed, killing four black girls. President Lyndon B. Johnsonused the Federal Bureau of Investigation to probe the Ku Klux Klan and sentsome Klan members to prison. Following this, Klan member ship fell to about5,000 by the early 1970’s.
|”Racist” and “racism” are provocative words in American society. ||To some, these words have reached the level of curse words in||their offensiveness. Yet, “racist” and “racism” are descriptive ||words of a reality that cannot be denied. African Americans,||Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans||(people-of-color) live daily with the effects of both||institutional and individual racism.||Race issues are so fundamental in American society that they seem||almost an integral component. Some Americans believe that race is||the primary determinant of human abilities and capacities. Some ||Americans behave as if racial differences produce inherent ||superiority in European Americans (whites). In fact, such ||individuals respond to people-of-color and whites differently||merely because of race (or ethnicity). As a consequence, people ||of color are injured by judgments or actions that are directly or||indirectly racist.||Much of the attention of the last 20 years has focused on ||individual racist behavior. However, just as individuals can act ||in racist ways, so can institutions.||Institutions can behave in ways that are overtly racist (i.e.,||specifically excluding people-of-color from services) or||inherently racist (i.e., adopting policies that while not ||specifically directed at excluding people-of-color, nevertheless ||result in their exclusion). ||Therefore, institutions can respond to people-of-color and whites||differently. Institutional behavior can injure people-of-color; ||and, when it does, it is nonetheless racist in outcome if not in ||intent.|||