Racism and the Ku Klux Klan Essay

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Racism and the Ku Klux Klan

Since the early development of society in the United States, racism has always been a divisive issue faced by communities on a political level. Our country was built from the immigration of people from an international array of backgrounds. However, multitudes of white supremacists blame their personal as well as economic misfortunes on an abundance of ethnic groups. African-Americans, Jews and Catholics are only some of the of groups tormented by these white supremacists. As the amount of ethnic diversity gradually increased in the political systems of Louisiana and the United States, organizations rapidly formed to challenge the new ethnic variation in government. The Ku Klux
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They also threatened all
African Americans who violated the old ideas of black inferiority.
Sworn to secrecy, its members wore white robes and masks and adopted the burning cross as their symbol. The Klan members seemed to be most active during election campaigns, when they would either scare people into voting for their candidate or get rid their opponents entirely.
They were noticed for their horrible acts of violence that they called nighttime rides. These attacks included murder, rape, beatings, and warnings and were designed to overcome Republican majorities in the south. Due to the fear of a race war, state officials were unable to suppress the violence. Law enforcement officials were Klan members themselves and even when the law officers were legitimate, Klan members also sat on juries where criminally accused members were often acquitted.(Harrel,47-52) The Klan was popularized through literature and film in the early nineteenth century. Its influence spread with help from Thomas
B. Dixon's The Clansman (1905) and D.W. Griffith's movie The Birth of a Nation (1915). (Harrel, 85) Harrel felt that this eventually "led to the establishment of a new Ku Klux Klan, which spread throughout the nation and preached anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish, anti-black, antisocialist, and anti-labor-union Americanism" (87). Harrel stated that the Klan's

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