Domestic Terrorism: The Ku Klux Klan

Domestic Terrorism: The Ku Klux Klan Essay Sample

Jul 10, 2020 at History Essays

The Ku Klux Klan

Domestic terrorism refers to the unlawful use of force on humans to intimidate the government, such as the use of mass destruction, mass killing, and kidnapping of citizens, by another group of people in the country. The group usually consists of individuals who protest against the government. The United States has experienced various attacks from domestic terrorists. Terrorism is an activity that is embraced by a group of people who are influenced by different things. These can be political and social prejudice and people choosing to gain the rights they believe they have been deprived of. The other motivation is the belief that the use of violence and force will help in implementing the desired change. The KKK by definition and actions are essentially not different from any other terrorist group such as AL-QUEDA, IRA, ISIS, or any other extremists.

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Terrorism can also be categorized by religious and political dimensions, like the KKK. On the other hand, state terrorism happens when countries use force and violence to solve a certain grudge. Many states have used this tool for many years now (Smith, 2010). Since the invention of the dynamite, ideological radicals irresponsibly used the terrible display of explosives to draw national attention to political problems, to protest policies, and to instill fear on the minor communities. Although the methods of such attacks have changed considerably, there were a few more harsh images of this country’s social and political mayhem than those left in the expectation of an exploded bomb. Terrorism in America is a result of the issues and conflicts that exist within the country. On the other hand, the government and other influential parties have made progress in controlling the terrorist attacks in the country.

The KKK alludes to the Ku Klux Klan that has been formed over the long period from three distinct movements and perpetrates different criminal acts to foreigners in the USA fighting for the human rights. The KKK is a white supremacist movement that holds the conviction that just white, heterosexual Christians merit social equality. They believed that the black community should not hold any positions in the government since only the white should rule. The movement was also against certain religious groups such as the Jews, Catholics, and the Orthodox stating that they fought for the rights of the Protestants and basing their acts on religious grounds.

Today, the Klan still exists and focuses their hatred on immigrants for taking up their space in their own country. With time, the Klan has been suppressed by the government but still preaches its worldview to the members of its movement using rallies and social media using the first amendment to the freedom of expression. The KKK movement was involved in numerous criminal activities, but they adopted robes and masks to hide their identities. Mostly, they carry out their attacks at night. They are frequently associated with the ghost of Confederate soldiers as they claim. By doing so, they scare black people. For instance, when they threatened southern Republicans and later killed the black leaders, they took heads of families, church leaders, and community groups since they had numerous roles in the societies. In other instances, the KKK suppressed the back voting where they killed, wounded, and injured many prior to the presidential electionі. Afterward, many members hid behind the robes and masks to avoid prosecution for violence.

History of the KKK

The Ku Klux Klan was first formed after the civil war by six knowledgeable veterans during the reform of the South. The primary KKK was established in 1865 as a magnanimous association to help widows and vagrants. It started to use violence in 1870 and was disassembled in 1871 by the government. The first KKK had mixed outcomes in achieving its objectives. It weakened the political establishments of the blacks using assassinations and violence threats. Eventually, the movement unleashed federals laws and caused a sharp backlash. The first movement was made up of a vigilante group that fought for the restoration of white supremacy (Jones, 1969). This Klan used power weakening as a strategy to outdo the black community. The Klan, however, failed to fulfill their objectives due to the lack of the proper organization, since the members of the group did not agree (Jones, 1969).

A second group by a similar name was created in 1915. It adopted the new business recruiting system that involved paying an initial fee and commission for organizers, or a customer fee. The movement grew rapidly at a time of prosperity around the whole nation. The movement demanded the purification of politics in America as well as prohibition enforcement and strict morals. The movement threatened the Catholic churches, using nativism and anti-Catholicism (Jones, 1969). In addition, the second KKK was an organization with a formal fraternity that built a structure in the state and nationally. The second Klan recruited members by enticing people with the money thus it established rapid growth within a short time. This Klan preached that only white Americans should rule, hence demanding for the removal of any African Americans in power. They also violated both private and public property. The third Klan included nearby gatherings that contradicted the social liberties development and unification. The third society surfaced in the time of World War II. This terrorist group is a movement that has evolved with time and has revolutionized the three movements.

The Klan was seen more as brotherhood than a terrorist group and included members that were influential in the state and national organizations, thus could offer support and protection to the Klan to carry out their activities. Today, meetings and rallies are still held by the members of the Klan. The members use demonstrations and social media to express their views, although it continues to hold its beliefs firm. Moreover, the right of speech cannot prevent the movement from expressing their thoughts as long as it does not undermine or intimidate anyone (Jones, 1969). The clan used force and violence by burning houses, killing and leaving bodies of black civilians lying on the roadside to restore the dominance of the white. The Klan members used masks to hide their identity while conducting heinous acts during the night. These attacks were mostly organized in towns where people knew each other and so they could recognize the aggressors (Jones, 1969). They utilized a mixture of strategies to pester and threaten black people and thoughtful white society, including putting blazing crosses on the lawns of people, torching, horseback riding in gatherings close to the groups they wanted to terrify, beating, assault and lynching (hanging). The KKK is recognized by its unordinary ensemble of long robes and tall, pointy white caps. These were embraced by the first KKK and intended to speak to Klansmen as apparitions of irate Confederates. These ensembles are still worn today and serve as a scaring image that reviews the savage history of the association (Jones, 1969).

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Terrorist Recruiting

Most terrorist groups recruit members with particular demographic and mental personalities. The young people are usually the most vulnerable in this case, and the males more often join the movement than females do, although women that fall victim are usually educated (Smith, 1994). Recruitment is successful in middle-income society, unlike common misconceptions that terrorists come from the low-income community (Smith, 1994). The motivation to join terrorism is based on two concepts. The first concept includes people that are extremely racist and are against capitalism. The second concept consists of believers in the superiority of their own race, and others, who feel the need to put their beliefs into action. Most of such people are influenced by the groups that practice terrorism. In this case, the Ku Klux Klan recruited people who believed that only the white could be in government, therefore, joined the movement to remove the black community from power.

In the early 1920s, the Indiana Ku Klux Klan had managed to recruit many members including those serving in the government as governors and city council members. The Indiana government seemed to embrace the Klan since even the newspapers did not put enough attention to the actions of the movement as expected. Some editors, however, opposed the action, and the proof for it was an individual writer, Dale, and his team, who engaged in a soft war with the group through articles in the newspaper that opposed the Klan’s actions (Smith, 2010). Dale’s fight for action against the Klan was witnessed worldwide when he sued the Delaware County circuit court judge of being a member of the Klan and favoring other members by judging in their favor. To many people’s astonishments, the court rejected Dale’s defense stating that publishing information that does not support government officials was a contempt towards the court. Anyone, together with the family, who tried to go against the Klan, would experience violence and harassment from the members and deep insight that the Klan had a lot of support in the government thus no actions were taken to stop the movement (Smith, 2010). The Klan, whose early members were of professional and middle-class status, managed to take control of the leadership in Muncie despite the claims that its members were mostly of the low social status.

KKK as a Terrorist Group

The Ku Klux Klan is believed to be an organization that was the first terrorist group in America. It dates back to the 19th century when slave patrols used to guard slaves in order to prevent them from escaping and when racism was commonly practiced (Guy, 2011). The president then was also against democracy and supported white supremacy, enhancing terrorist actions in the country. Violence against the black people led to the massive deaths of the race and destruction of property that instilled fear and reduced the freedom of expression in the oppressed community. The KKK group carried out most of its criminal activities in support of some states to accomplish their objectives of white supremacy. This was achieved with the help of the ghost masks, since it became hard to prosecute them for their involvement in crimes, including killing, terrorizing, and causing injuries to many innocent people.

Various attacks have taken place to show that the Ku Klux Klan is rather a terrorist group than a movement aimed to help the white race citizens. Notable attacks by the Klan include a 1964 attack when three civil rights workers were ambushed and shot dead in Mississippi with the help of the local police. This shows that the government also supported the Klan in committing heinous attacks against the black community (Guy, 2011). Another attack happened in 1963 bombing a church in Alabama where four girls were killed in the explosion that made the president sign the Civil Rights Act. In addition, in 1963 there was an assassination of the NAACP organizer by the Klan to eliminate black leadership. All these attacks have taken place, but no perpetrator has been prosecuted or jailed for the committed actions. This shows that there is a structure already in place to protect the KKK group from prosecution for their criminal activities.

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Right-Wing Terrorism

Right-wing terrorism is violent actions motivated by beliefs that claim to benefit citizens by fighting for their rights (Marks, 1996). Most of these beliefs tend to be against the government’s actions e.g. according to communism. Several of the activities embraced by terrorists include xenophobia, racism, and opposition to immigration. This type of terrorism was, however, not under the right governance, thus they shortly unformed (Marks,1996). The motivation for conducting right-wing terrorism arises when respondents reveal that there are too many immigrants in their country and that it becomes a problem. The KKK movement used the right-wing type of terrorism to remove the black people from their community, therefore, enforcing racism and maintaining their places in the city. Recently, these terrorist attacks such as xenophobia have taken place in some countries, since the citizens felt that their places in society had been taken from them.

Comparison of KKK to Islam

The comparison linking the Ku Klux Klan to Islam has been done in the past and a conclusion made that the two actually are in accord since they are driven by the same motivation that is hatred for a particular minority group they attack using violence. This explains why the KKK has been compared with Al-Qaida, ISIS, and other terrorist attacks. The Klan just like Muslims was an extreme demonstration of racial discrimination in the South, but not exclusively. The KKK just like the Muslims and many terrorist groups are of the Islamic religion and act against Christianity, thus connecting all these terrorist groups (Scott, 1995). The KKK actions unlike the Muslim’s are not based on religion but are trying to gain power in the weak point areas of the countries they put under siege. This way they seize the land and try to control the economy of these countries in order to gain power and supremacy, the same strategy that was used by the KKK. In such a way, these terrorist groups use religion as a way of justifying their actions and hatred towards their enemies.

The downfall of the KKK was because the government helped people to repress the group until they lost their power. The same strategy that was used to dismantle the Klan should be used to suppress other current terrorist groups (Scott, 1995). Most of the terrorists carrying out attacks in different places claim that either they are fighting a holy war that is known as jihad, or they are killing innocent people seeking revenge. Therefore, it can be concluded that since Islam also engages in a holy war they are similar to the KKK in most of their activities. Jihad supports killing the non-Muslims since they consider them as unholy. Muslims use the Koran as a holy book, which also supports the killing of non-Muslims.

KKK as a Religious Movement

The creator of the Klan was an ex-minister whose inspiration was based on gaining power. He later recruited members into the Klan and firmly preached to support Protestants and fight against other religious groups. Most people joined the Klan because they embraced the inspiration of protecting the nation, white supremacy, and Protestant message (Baker, 2011). During that time, most of the immigrants were Jews, Catholics, and the Greek Orthodox. Due to their religious beliefs, the recruitment of ministers and women increased, which helped achieve the Klan’s objectivity to most citizens in the country. However, the belief in religion by the Klan was false, since its primary objective was not to inspire members to follow religious beliefs, but instead to motivate them to fight against race, gender and relocation of immigrants (Baker, 2011). The Klan gained popularity within white, Protestant, native-born citizens leading to their growth. The consequences of their actions included the torture of the Negro, Catholic, Jewish citizens who were mostly the immigrants and it led to the vacation of immigrants to neighboring countries to save their lives. In the process, the Klan gained the power they were seeking in America, diminishing the minority groups in the process.

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History Amnesia

The Ku Klux Klan began as a mob that controlled the South and unlike terrorists, the group acted by outnumbering the victims. The movement mostly motivated to win a war, but in the process, peace was lost, and that is when the South had differences with the North due to handing slaves freedom. This led to the initiation of riots that caused the death of a large group of people since the South only wanted white supremacy in their country. The KKK claimed to be restoring peace and order from the disarray the South had caused after their military defeat. On the contrary, their primary aim was to outdo democracy, which the ultimate reconstruction was designed to bring (Rapoport, 2008). Their attitude towards victims was, however, different from other groups, since they intended to terrorize the black people by enhancing fear if they tried to fight for their rights. The terror brought by the movement was linked to elections in order to keep the blacks from joining the government and to make them vacate the area. The movement then was involved in malicious activities to weaken the Republicans through violent actions such as killing the black leaders. Due to the constant attacks, the black community was weakened and the white domination after elections was finalized. The achievement of the KKK, however, did not last for a long time. They made sure that the black community came second and tried to maintain white supremacy (Rapoport, 2008). The government was reluctant to stop the movement citing that new war would emerge. The reason the government gave about hostility emerging was not genuine, they were opposed to destroying the movement because the colonies competed with them economically. The courts found it hard to convict members of the group since they were either sympathetic or were too scared for their lives if they sentenced any member of the KKK movement.

Reason for Grouping KKK as A Terrorist Organization

Today, the Klan is still dynamic because Klan individuals are frequently captured for the non-ideological criminal acts varying from thievery to sex wrongdoings, based on their anti-social natures that are evident today. Illustrations of assaults seen today incorporate the event of 1997 when a gathering of individuals was captured while plotting a terrorist assault in North Texas, which included assaulting a gas handling plant. The individuals were captured because an individual from the Klan informed the police about the plan saying that he saw youngsters playing close-by, who could be affected by the explosion. In 2003, five individuals from the American Invisible Empire of the Ku Klux Klan were indicted in a court in Louisiana on plotting cases and dangers charges for smoldering across at a living arrangement of three African-American men in Longville, Louisiana. The five men blazed the cross trying to scare the exploited people, consequently, making them leave the community.

In March 2006, six individuals from the Nations Knights of the Ku Klux Klan confessed to an assortment of weapons and connivance in an unlawful weapon-exchanging plan in the mid-2000 to arrange an explosion of the Johnston County, North Carolina courthouse (Marks 1996). In August 2005, another individual from the Knights confessed to building funnel bombs intended to explode transports conveying Mexican and Haitian vagrant specialists from Tennessee to Florida. In 2003, Pennsylvanian Klan pioneer David Hull was indicted in an assortment of illicit weapons in association with a suspected plot to utilize hand projectiles to assault fetus removal facilities. Additionally, he supposedly told a source that he had transformed his auto into a suicide bomb on the wheel. In a related report by the previous Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan assaulted an African-American performer, claiming that black individuals did not build a hip jump. It is right to presume that with all the activities that the KKK performed it is a terrorist movement since it focuses on assaulting minorities through the terrible unlawful acts.

Conclusion

The KKK is a terrorist movement that violates the rights of humans by either killing mercilessly or by kidnapping citizens of a specific country. Their intentions are not well known but the way of executing their beliefs is terrifying. Some governments work well with terrorist groups to accomplish their political agenda, thus it is not possible for the government to take part in eliminating or suppressing these groups. On the other hand, the KKK sometimes competes with the government economically, hence, the group eventually has to take their economic share, and thus the government is forced to tolerate their action. The methods that the KKK uses in their attack plans have changed considerably but there has been progressing in controlling the terrorist acts in many countries.

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