Kkk The big responsibility of cleansing the United States of people that are different, different being anyone who is not a white Aryan Christian, has been placed upon the Ku Klux Klan. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) takes it upon themselves to take part in ethnic cleansing. The KKK will not speak out and come to agreements on peaceful terms. Instead, they feel they must wreak havoc, and carnage to those who they feel need it. The Ku Klux Klan began almost accidentally during the reconstruction period after the Civil War in the South.
The southern people had suffered greatly from the effects of the war. Many of which had lost their homes, plantations, loved ones, and whatever possessions they might have had. These people needed to escape from the troubles of everyday life and take matters into their own hands and fix the problems. They needed to teach lessons to the Republicans and people from the north trying to take over their way of life (commonly called carpet baggers). They needed to teach the Negroes who their master was and who their master would always be, by using whatever means necessary to make sure their point of view was completely understood.
In 1865, six men from a small town in Tennessee decided to make a club to help release the stresses of the times. The men were really poor and could not afford to make gowns or great costumes for the group, so they decided to use linens. They wore the linens over their backs and put pillowcases on their heads . They also draped the linens over their horses. The Ku Klux Klan was ready to ride for the first time. In the beginning, the men wanted to do nothing more than play pranks on people to put fear into those who fear needed to be brought to, specifically the infesting African American population, and carpetbaggers. They felt as though the South had turned into a place that was no longer theirs.
The slaves were now free (many of these men were slave owners) and carpetbaggers were coming from the North to take advantage of the southern people . They saw the opportunity to set the South back to what it had been. The Klan soon began to interrupt political rallies of the carpetbaggers by the dozens. Showing off the power of the KKK. People often fled the rallies out of fear.
As their influence progressed they realized the things they could do and the possibilities of the Klan. They would steal victims possessions, beat them and usually would kill them. These murders that took place were known as lynchings. They would drag the person to the center of the town and hang them in front of everyone. This method was very effective, people feared it would happen to themselves if they had anything to do with the carpetbaggers or blacks. At the beginning the cause was necessary because of the strict, and unfair policies of the republicans.
Things had became uneven in southern society yet again, uneven in favor of the African American, and as time progressed so did the brutality of the KKK. The murder, the killing, the lynching, the dragging across state lines were all common practices among the KKK during the late 1850s and throughout the 1860s. The KKK started in Tenessee and this was where the Klan expanded the most out of all the other souther states, and it is was also the most violent chapter of the KKK. In 1868 was really when havoc began to occur in the most brutal ways. Their sudden descent into terrorism is a product of the group getting away from the control of the leadership. Much of the brutal activities of the Klan were done without the knowledge of the leaders.
The Klansmen must have enjoyed their brutalities to go above and beyond the duty that was asked of them. Their were several occasions were leaders would step in and try to restore order amongst their fellow Klansmen. In June of 1868 the Grand Giant of Maury County, Tennessee secretly reorganized his Klan to root out the disorderly members. On top, of the rooting out he issued a public decree admitting the wrongs the Klan had committed and apologized for their actions. He also included the fact that he had successfully rooted out all radical members and had their disguises disposed of (Trelease 32). As time progressed the speaking out of the Klan leadership did not help to keep order amongst the Klansmen.
Power is something that a man craves. He must have it, and once he has it if it was to be taken away he would need to find a way to regain this power once again. The Klan acts upon instinct once they find a victim to release their natural instinct upon. That is how the horrors that were committed could be committed. Your average every day citizen has so much anger, so much hatred just building up throughout his life that all this built up anger is just waiting to come out.
Once it is released it does not come out in a trickle of hatred it comes like a tidal wave of pandoras box leaving a man. In Pulaski County, Tennessee the Klan got out of hand as well. The Klan leadership wrote another official Klan decree, telling of the disguised Klansmen committing hateful acts, and it reassured that they would be brought to justice. The decree also spoke of not having intentions on wanting to harm the poor Africans (Trelease 33). The decree was taken into account by the out of control members, but not for long because things just reoccurred yet again. Control cannot be had under the chaos the Klan creates.
If a Grand Giant orders his followers to attack and then to stop attacking his followers wont stop there they will continue to do what they have done because they had that power over another mans life and that becomes a craving. A craving, especially with the ability to fulfill the craving will of course be fulfilled. The KKK took part in various outlets of scaring the Negroes of Tennessee during 1868. These black men and women suffered for almost every crime imaginary or real. They were punished for things such as rape to defending themselves, to the miniscule crime of voting Republican. Even if a Negro was to defend himself more and more KKK members would come to avenge their fellow Klansmen.
The ratio of Negro to Klansmen was never equal they always outweighed their enemy and always defeated them eventually. In these times Maury County was the strongest, and model Klan. They have small groups that would travel during the dark into several different neighborhoods. Then they would yell for their prey and drag them out to administer proper punishment for the imaginary crimes put against them. They would usually beat the victim several times with sticks. One such even in Columbia, Tenessee during July took a Negro boy and garroted him to death, and then tied a stone around his neck and dumped the body into the Duck River (Trelease 28).
The Klan did all this on the basis that they were restoring order and keeping the peace. They would attach false claims to these victims and lynch them. The Klan would warn a victim by beating him practically to death, and then if he did not change he would suffer worse. This occurred to one such Negro named Henry Fitzpatrick, the Klan gave him two hundred lashes, and then came back the next night and hanged him. The reason for their action was that he had set barns on fire, yet there was no proof of the allegations.
In one county the Klan seized at least 400 men in just the month of February alone. The power of the Klan was great, great enough to scare an entire black population of Tennessee, and beyond. A great number of the Negroes left their counties to find a safer county, which in Tennessee was Nashville in most cases. Nashville stood up to the Klan and they were ready to put them in their place. A whole police force was mobilized to get rid of threats on various occasion.
There was a rare occurrence of KKK outbreaks in Nashville, the victims of the Klan were safe here at least safer than they were previously. The Klan managed on average at least one lynching every now and then in Nashville. A black man is never safe as long as the Klan is around. Bibliography Black, Don. http://www.stormfront.org/texts.html. Davis, G. Lenwood.
The Ku Klux Klan: a Bibliography. West Port, Connecticut. Green Wood Press, 1984. Grann, David. Firestarters: My Journey to Jasper Texas. The New Republic, July 20, 1998 v219 n3-4 p16. http://www.kkk.com/.
Johnson, D. Doria. The Lynching of Anthony Crawford, http://ccharity.com/contributors/anthonycrawford.h tm. Ezekiel, S. Raphael.
The Racist Mind: Portraits of American Neo-Nazis and Klansmen. New York, New York, Viking Co. History Essays.