Weaknesses of the KKK
No State Patronage and Membership to Whites Only
Ku Klux Klan, the extreme right movement of the whites that emerged after the Civil War in 1865 and propounded white superiority and a hatred for blacks, has been there in the country for the last century and a half in various forms. The Klan that was initially formed by 6 confederate veterans to come up from the boredom of town life soon took on overtones of hatred for blacks, preaching white superiority. Members wore white robes and masks with long and pointed hats. They carried out marches at nights with burning torches in hands and shouting slogans against black community. KKK history tells us that there have been three distinct phases of the movement with the first phase starting right after the civil war while the 2nd starting in 1915. There have been many weaknesses in the movement that will be discussed in the article.
First and foremost, the Klan rose to prominence, riding on a wave of popularity that was based on racism and hatred against blacks. This was a concept that was appealing to a small percent of people that were whites but could not sustain it in the long run as this policy of hatred did not find support from the masses. Further, the use of force to oust blacks from the midst of the society did not attract a large section of the population. Secondly the policy of reconstruction adopted by government in the southern states suggested nothing to prove that the government indulged in any kind of appeasement of the blacks.
During the second phase of the Klan in the period 1915-1922, the target of the Klan members shifted from blacks alone to Jews and communists and during this phase, the membership of the Klan reached millions. This was also because of the support to the movement of the whites inside the administration. However, even this stage of the movement could not sustain it for long as the policies of the Klan could not become popular sentiments of the population.
Perhaps, if one were to compare and analyze KKK with similar movements elsewhere in the world, it becomes apparent that lack of state patronage and absence of popular support have been major weaknesses of the movement. The fact that KKK only accepted whites as members led to the downfall of the Klan as in a pluralistic society with so many ethnicities, it was difficult to continue the movement. Also the presence of a bold and aggressive judiciary meant that violations of law by KKK members were dealt with severely creating deterrents for the Klan and the movement subsided every time it tried to raise its head as a mark of white superiority.
It is easy to be misled by what is present in KKK website and only those who have been witness to the events taking place in the society during the 2nd phase of the movement in 1920’s know for real what KKK stood for and did as against what it preached through its members and leaflets.
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