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The Ku Klux Klan - Essay Example

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The Ku Klux Klan, abbreviated KKK, is an extremist organization, which has existed in the US for a long time i.e. since 1865 to present. The name was coined from a Greek word, Kuklos, which translated means circle, and therefore, KKK means a circle of brothers (Chalmers 20)…
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The Ku Klux Klan
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Download file to see previous pages Much of their activities included horse riding during the night while wearing costumes such as masks. As these innocent night expeditions continued, the society, especially former slaves, begun exhibiting fear since they did not know the real intentions of the group, which they thought was out to cause trouble for them (Parsons 814). Young people enjoy being in control and this has been noted as one of the major motivation factors behind gang formation and membership. It is therefore not a wonder to find that after realizing the effects they were having on the surrounding community, the group begun recruiting more people and expanding their territories to the neighboring towns thereby leading to the emergence of numerous factions, which did not have an agenda or any formal leadership to promote a unified course. The lack of leadership and direction especially after the expansion of the group necessitated the group members to come up with a strategy to exercise control over the operations of the group so as to facilitate harmony, which was necessary in strengthening the organization. As a result, a meeting was called in 1867, in which General Nathan Bedford Forrest was appointed as the commander (Parsons 817). Bedford was a former confederate soldier, who had a lot of experience owing to his involvement in the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865. Although he never had formal military training, Bedford had natural talent in war planning and this impressed his superiors as well as his colleagues, and soon he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was given the role of training and recruiting new soldiers into the army. This means that with him on the helm, KKK was bound to reach great heights to become one of the most influential in the American society. Other members were elected as leaders of smaller groups in order to establish a chain of command similar to that of the army and which was to facilitate discipline and unity among the different factions (Artoletti 22). The American Civil War ended in 1865 and paved way for the reconstruction era. Among the policies, which were to be adopted in order to facilitate reconstruction of the country was to promote the rights of black people and former slaves by allowing them to vote and vie for various political offices (McVeigh 16). They were also to be allowed to compete with the white Americans in the job market. In general, all Americans were to be accorded equal rights and privileges irrespective of their color, ethnicity or religion. However, majority of the whites did not take this positively as they felt that this would have created a lot of competition for resources and job opportunities, which were scarce especially within localities where the Ku Klux Klan operated. KKK members were not happy with this and as a result, members started becoming suspicious towards the non-whites, whom they perceived as inferior. Indeed, KKK started approaching the blacks trying to convince them to give up their quest for political offices because they were better off living as second class citizens and that they stood to benefit more if they agreed to remain as slaves, which did not bear any fruits (McVeigh 21). Instead, the blacks continued to demand their rights through activism. A widespread hatred towards the blacks and former slaves especially in the south boosted the membership of KKK as it provided an informal avenue for the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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