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    Kristallnacht Essay (3153 words)

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    Ku Klux KlanThe Ku Klux Klan is a secret society based on hatredand violence.

    The Klan claims that it stands for onlylaw-abiding rallies and activities, but the Klan has beenknown for having hypocritical views throughout itsexistence. No matter where the Klan is headed, violence issure to be the destination. The Knights of the Ku Klux Klanclaim that the Bible is on their side. They claim that theBible condones their activity. Nowhere in the Bible iskilling thy neighbor encouraged. They claim they are notout to destroy America, but rather to save it.

    How is itpossible to save America with hate and violence? The Klanexists only to hold onto the beliefs of the Confederacy, buthanging on to the past only adds to the destruction of thefuture. Holding on to the past is bad enough when the pastis full of pleasant memories, but the Klan is hanging on tothe hate and ignorance of the South in the 1800s. The KuKlux Klan has always attempted to reach their goal ofinstilling fear and intimidation in the minds of everyone they cross. The Klan has undergone four stages after itsestablishment and the last stage is still on the rise.

    TheKlan has a distinct origin, a four stage revolution,distinct symbols, recruiting requirements, and strongpolitical beliefs. Formed in the 19th century, the Ku Klux Klan hasattempted to instill fear in the minds and the hearts ofblack citizens in the United States. The Klan was firstorganized on December 24th, 1865 in the Law Office of JudgeThomas M. Jones. There were six people who organized theKlan. They included Calvin E.

    Jones, John B. Kennedy, FrankO. McCord, John C. Lester, Richard R. Reed, and James R. Crow.

    This information is proclaimed on a wall in Pulaski,Tennessee. It was unveiled on May 21, 1917 by the widow ofCaptain Kennedy, who was the last of the six founders topass away. The origin of the Ku Klux Klan was described ina thirty page pamphlet published by Mr. and Mrs. William B.

    Romine of Pulaski. It read: As the Klan stood primarily for purity and preservationof the home and for the protection of the women andchildren, especially the widows and orphans ofConfederate soldiers, white, the emblem of purity waschosen for the robes. And to render them startling andconspicuous, red, emblem of the blood which Klansmenwere ready to shed in defense of the helpless, waschosen for the trimmings. Also, a sentimental thoughtwas present in adopting the color scheme, as white andred were the Confederate colors. Be it said to thecredit of the women of the South who designed and madewith their own hands more than four hundred thousand ofthese Klan robes for both horses and riders, not a wordwas said by these women to anyone about them and notone single secret concerning them was ever revealed.

    -page 8 of Ku Klux Klan, A Century of Infamy byWilliam Pierce RandelThis account was published in 1924. The six founderswere unable to fill a complement of den officers. At firstthere was no Grand Scribe. The original den leader, FrankMcCord was called Grand Cyclops; his chief lieutenant, knownas Grand Magi, was Captain Kennedy. James Crowe was chosenGrand Turk, a kind of marshal or master of ceremonies. Calvin Jones and Captain Lester were Night Hawks, orcouriers, and Richard Reed was the first Lictor or outerguard.

    New titles were created for the next few members tojoin. After these positions were filled, the new memberswere to be called Ghouls. The name of this secret organization was one of thefirst things that was discussed. They wanted a name thatwas original and one that would send a tingle down the spineof their victims.

    The title came from a Greek word kukloswhich means a band or circle. James Crowe suggested thatthe word be split in two and changing the last letter to anx. This gave them the name Ku Klux. Then John Lesterremarked that all six founders were of Scottish descent,therefore he proposed that clan be added to the end, butspelled with a k for consistency yielding the Ku KluxKlan. This name was much better than the proposedClocletz. Clocetz was the name of a phantom Indian chief who the Negroes from Georgia had feared, but they decidedthat it was too unoriginal.

    After the name was established, the Ku Klux Klan neededto have a set structure to maintain order. The structurewas founded by one of the most educated founders, JohnKennedy. Since he had briefly attended Centre College inKentucky, he had observed some details about howfraternities were structured. Since the structure offraternities helped establish other organizations, it seemedthat this was a perfect model to follow in the establishmentof the Ku Klux Klan.

    Now that the name and structure were established, theKlan needed uniforms. The color white was chosen for thereason that the KKK stood for purity. They decided to wearrobes and hoods to intimidate their much hated counterparts,the Blacks. The Ku Klux Klan has gone through an evolution over thecourse of time and it has endured four phases;Reconstruction, the Civil Rights movements, revival afterWorld War II, and present day activity. The first evidenceof the Ku Klux Klan was during Reconstruction.

    The Klanbegan as a prankish organization that targeted Blacks andRepublicans. The first Klan was a secret society established in theSouthern states during the Reconstruction period followingthe Civil War. It was founded at Pulaski, Tennessee in thefall of 1865 as a social club. The sudden attempt atenfranchisement of blacks, by passage of the Reconstructionacts of March 1867, and also of the Fourteenth Amendment tothe Federal Constitution, created serious problems ofpolitical and social readjustments.

    Local politicians andtheir white supporters, known as scalawags, and Northerners,known as carpetbaggers, who went south hoping to profit inone way or another by the manipulation of the black vote,added to the confusion and uncertainty. Many Blacks wereexploited by their new found friends and turned to them forhelp. The Ku Klux Klan was formed to intimidate Blacks. They used bizarre rituals and wore pointed hoods and drapinggowns to help intimidate Blacks. From 1868 to 1871, theKlan reached the height of its power. The movement wasreally a revolution against many of the aspects ofReconstruction, and was also a revolt to overthrow local andstate governments.

    At the first meeting for the KKK in Nashville,Tennessee, General Nathan B. Forrest, a famous Confederatecavalry leader, was chosen as Grand Cyclops, or president. The Klan was separated into local dens and they adopted aset of principles. They are as follows: 1) to protect theweakened and to relieve the injured and oppressed, 2) toprotect and defend the Constitution of the United States andlaws passed in conformity thereto and to protect the statesand the people from invasion of any source, and 3) to aid inthe execution of the laws and to protect the people fromunlawful seizure and trial except by their peers. The Klanspread from Tennessee to the Carolinas and especiallyGeorgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. In Louisiana, whiteradicals formed a group that was different than the KKK onlyin name.

    They referred to themselves as the Knights of theWhite Camellia. Other similar organizations were referredto as the White League and the Invisible Circle. The Klanhad a large group of members, but the members were not asevident as hoped. Local groups were soon were branded asoutlaws; therefore, were condemned.

    In 1871 and 1872, thegovernment introduced the Force Laws to break up theselocal groups and to control local elections. The Ku KluxKlan continued to participate in their activities until theyhad accomplished all of their goals. They vowed to continueprotecting the white people, reducing the black vote,expelling undesirable carpetbaggers and scalawags, andnullifying those laws of Congress that in a sense would putwhite Southerners under control of a party largely supportedby black voters. By 1877, when Rutherford B. Hayes becamepresident and the federal troops had been withdrawn assupport of local governments, the original Klan had beendisbanded. The second, or the modern 20th-century, Klan was formedby William J.

    Simmons on Stone Mountain, near Atlanta, Ga. ,in 1915 as a fraternal organization devoted to theprinciples of white supremacy. It was a new organization,linked only by name and tradition to the original Klan. By1919, Edward Clark Young and Elizabeth Tyler, publicityagent and fund raisers, had joined with Simmons. Klanactivities were now not only directed against blacks, butalso against Roman Catholics, Jews, and the foreign-born. This Klan became dedicated to protecting the purity of thenative-born, white, Anglo-Saxon Americans and claimed ahigher morality and dedication to religious fundamentalism.

    Because the Klan was not sectional in its appeal, itsinfluence spread to other parts of the country outside ofthe South. Mysterious meetings around fiery crosses, withmembers masked, hooded, and robed in sheets, became symbolicof the Klan. The tactics they used were to instill fearupon their counterparts. They used whippings, tarring andfeathering, branding, mutilating, and lynching as tactics topresent intimidation and fear. Following investigations into the Klan finances anddisclosures of money making in 1921, Young and Tylerresigned and Simmons was replaced as head of the Klan byHiram W.

    Evans. The Klan reached the height of its power inthe early 1920s, when it probably had between 4,000,000 and6,000,000 members. As a political force the Klan waseffective and promoted the election of many officials on thelocal level. In 1924, the Klan helped split the Democraticpresidential convention.

    Thereafter their influence beganto wane, and public sentiment of the Klan grew, especiallyafter the conviction for murder of the head of the IndianaKlan. There was a rise of Klan activity during the 1928presidential campaign, when Al Smith ran on the Democraticticket. The ranks of the Klan, however, continued todeteriorate. During the 1930s, the Klan was reduced to aregional, ineffective organization in the South. In thelate 1930s, it had some association with the German-AmericanBund.

    When the U. S. government tried to collect back taxesin 1944, the remnants of the Klan again disbanded. The third stage came after World War II. The Klan wasagain revived in Georgia in 1946 and similar organizationsarose throughout the South as the movement for increasedcivil rights for blacks developed after World War II.

    Klanactivity increased after the 1954 Supreme Courtdesegregation decision and became more intensive followingthe passage and enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964and the decision by the vast majority of Southern politicalleaders to comply with the law. Many bombings and murderswere attributed to the Klan, including the 1965 killing ofMrs. Viola Liuzzo, a civil rights worker, for which threeKlansmen were convicted. President Lyndon B. Johnson calledfor a congressional investigation of the Klan by the HouseCommittee on Un-American Activities.

    In 1966 seven leadingKlansmen were indicted for contempt of Congress for refusingto produce Klan records. In 1973, convictions were handeddown against five men who, as Klansmen, bombed school bussesin Pontiac, Michigan. Klan strength is variously estimatedat 15,000 to 30,000 members active in 15 states. The Ku Klux Klan seemed to have all of the odds againstthem, but they seemed to again reestablish itself in thepresent day. The Klan was again revived for the fourthstage.

    Every time the Klan reappeared, they came with moreanger and weaker beliefs than the last. This is the mainreason the Klan has lost meaning every time it hasreappeared. The new Klan differs from the originaldramatically. All current members are ignorant radicals outto save the world. The present-day Klan has beenconvicted recently of burning Black churches.

    This provesthat the Klan is not just ignorant, but yet hypocrites oftheir beliefs. No where in the Bible does it say burn thyneighbors church down. The Klan is portrayed on televisionby uneducated, drunk, and violent men who portray themselvesas protecting their ancestors. Their ancestors had to forma secret society because they lost the Civil War, but weretoo scared to give up their old lives.

    Again they weregrasping on to the past instead of solving problems bylooking ahead to the future. Instead those great ancestorshave passed on their beliefs to these Neo-Nazis ontelevision. The present-day Klan is the most confused. Allof the other phases of the Klan have been true to theirbeliefs, but this recent Klan has incorporated the beliefsof the Ku Klux Klan with those of Hitlers Nazis. TheKlan/Neo-Nazis stand for mainly the hate and jealousy ofAfrican-Americans.

    Most of the other beliefs havediminished, but the hatred towards Blacks has expanded tofill the empty hole left open by all of the other missingbeliefs. The new Klan is known for their extreme beliefsand actions. They preach with violence. Even though theyare short on members, they use extreme tactics that wouldhave never been considered in the past.

    The present-dayKlan stands for only shallow beliefs including hate,jealousy, and anger that is expressed through violence. The Ku Klux Klan is known for their trademark symbols. Almost all Klan groups use the Blood Drop symbol that wasmade popular in the 1920s. It represents the blood of JesusChrist that was shed for the white Aryan Race.

    Anothersymbol is the crosswheel that was made popular during the1970s, the 4th Era. It is a cross in a circle. In thecrosswheel, it is evident that the Christian cross, thewheel of creativity, the circle of unity, motion, and alsothe ancient Aryan symbol for the sun are all present. Thecross that is set ablaze is another signature symbolacquired by the Ku Klux Klan. The reason that the cross islit has been described.

    From the sacred pages of the Holy Bible comes the sadsweet story of the Holy Cross of Calvary. This HolyCross is our symbol of sacrifice and service, and asign of the Christian religion. It was sanctified andmade Holy almost 2000 years ago by the suffering andblood over 50 million martyrs who died in the most HolyFaith. The Cross stands in every Klan Den as aconstant reminder that Jesus Christ is our Criterion ofcharacter and His teachings our life blood, boughtHoly, sanctified and sublime.

    This old Cross was bathed in the Blood of ourLord Jesus Christ and became transformed into thesymbol of faith, hope, and love. Today it is used torally the forces of Christianity against the everincreasing hordes of an anti-Christ and the enemies ofAmerica and the White Race. We light the Cross with fire to signify to theworld that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. Where the Holy Cross shall shine, there will bedispelled evil, darkness, gloom, and despair.

    TheLight of Truth dispels ignorance and superstition asfire purifies gold and silver, but destroys wood andstubble. So by the fire of the Cross of Calvary, wecleanse and purify our virtues by burning out our viceswith the fire of His Word. Who can look upon this sublime symbol, or sit inits sacred Holy Light without being inspired witha holy desire and determination to be a better person? By this Holy Light of the Cross, we will perservere. – KKK. com quoted by a Klansman on why they lightthe cross.

    Recruiting for the Klan was never thought about when itwas established. One of the first decisions that was to befollowed by the Klan everywhere was new members were not tobe sought out. Joining the Klan was each individualdecision. The den officers do not push people to join theKlan. Although the Klan does not recruit, people interestedin joining have to meet certain qualifications. They are asfollows: No person is allowed in our ranks who can not declarean unqualified allegiance to the Constitution of theUnited States.

    No person is allowed in this Movement who can not pledgethemselves to the protection, preservation, andadvancement of the White Race. No one is allowed in this movement who can not practicereal Brotherhood. Only pure White Christian people of non-Jewish,non-Negro, non-Asian descent who are at least eighteenyears old and who pledge to dedicate their lives to thiscause can enter the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Thoseunder the age of eighteen can join the Klan Youth Corp. with parental consent, and then become a full member ofthe Knights when they turn eighteen.

    The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is strictly a law-abidingorganization. Every member is sworn to uphold the lawand the principles of justice, and he will not conspirewith others to commit any unlawful or violent crimes. The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan cocedes the right ofevery Christian citizen the right to worship God as hesees fit, and will not tolerate denominationaldissentation of any nature. All White Christians mustunite, at this juncture in history.

    The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Movement is not anopen membership organization. Only those who meet 100% ofthe qualifications are allowed to join the Klan. Although the Ku Klux Klan is extremely influential inpolitics, members claim that the KKK is not a politicalaffiliation. They add that if it was a politicalaffiliation, the beliefs that would be introduced are asfollows:Reassert Americans White Christian Heritage. Return prayer to school. Stop all non-white organizations.

    Drug testing on all welfare recipitants. Quarantine all Aids carriers. Make the purchase of US Industry and property illegal toforeigners. Do away with free trade that harms the American workerand employ a policy of protectionism. Workfare not welfare.

    People work for their checks, soshould they. Troops on our South border to stop illegal immigration. Stop reverse discrimination by doing away withAffirmative Action. Declare all laws attempting to enforce gun control asunconstitutional.

    The Klans political beliefs are clearly out to benefitonly the white conformist who rejects what society hasundergone. Society today offers equality for every Americancitizen. The Klan is against this because they do not likethat they will have to work for their jobs just as hard asimmigrants do. Klan members want society to hand them whatever they want even though they are the under qualifiedapplicant. Equality should not bother anyone who is notafraid of working hard for what they want.

    Nothing will behanded out on a silver platter in todays society,regardless of what the Ku Klux Klan has to say. Complaining, criticizing, and envying will not produceanything except for hatred for the working man, or intodays society, the working woman. The Ku Klux Klan has endured and overcame manyobstacles to stay around and distort childrens minds. TheKlan has been around for a long time, and unless they arestopped, will be around for a long time.

    The Ku Klux Klanis a secret organization that helps segregate the UnitedStates by color or beliefs. The Klan helped to preserveracism and because members are ignorant, they will notmingle and learn to understand other cultures. Hating theunknown is just an easy and safe way to live. If the Klanattempted to understand other cultures, maybe they couldbegin to realize that everyone is alike in one way oranother.

    The most effective technique in destroying theKlan is education. Education is the tool for prevention. If children are not educated that the Ku Klux Klan standsfor evil purposes, these children may fall into the Klansevil empire. Educating the youth along with the society isthe only effective way to disband the Ku Klux Klan andsecret groups of this nature.

    The key is to never forgetwhat happened with the Klan so this world will never have toendure the hardships that the Ku Klux Klan has provided. The Ku Klux Klan has undergone a revolution of four stagesafter their origin in Tennessee and can be identified bytheir distinct symbols. The Klan has their own set ofrequirements that are to be followed when recruiting a newmember and have a one sided view on politics that they wantto see occur in the future

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