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1920 KKK Essay, Research Paper

The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan

The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan came into existence at the end of the War Between the States, during the period ?Black Reconstruction.? Nathan Bedford Forest is the man who led the first Klan in 1867. During this period, most white people had lost their right to vote and illiterate blacks, with no history of civilized government, became the mass of the voting population. This resulted in vast crime, violence, and corruption against white southerners. At the worst point of this time, the Klan took charge and helped to restore the government of the South, and as Woodrow Wilson said, ?it saved the civilization on this continent.? Since that time, the Klan has suffered immense hatred from anti-White, pro-minority forces in the mass media. Hundreds of books, movies, and television programs are created every year attacking the Klan. There have been some people who try to take a stand for the Klan but, instead, have made fools of themselves by wearing multicolored robes onto places like the Jerry Springer Show. The Knights are very fortunate to have such a good spokesperson, the National Director, Thomas Robb.

The goal of the Klan is to gain political power in the United States. They want all Whites to help support them because they feel this is the last hope for America. To gain political power they must first have a Klan member become the leader of the White racialist movement. They will try to do this by showing their strong leadership skills through the media and through determined effort by all Klan members to strive and perform the best they can. Second, they have to become a representative and inspiration behind the White Community. They will try to do this by large public rallies, television, radio, literature drives, and teaching at schools. Third, they must convince the white population to have enough faith in them to bring them to political power. The Knights can to this by creating strong local units and bold public relation campaigns focusing on the White Christian people, telling them that the KKK is the last hope for America to have an all white government. Lastly, they will extensively work with communities by giving out literature, sponsoring ads on TV and radio, working on petition drives, conducting goodwill projects, and by recruiting as many people as possible.

The Klan has a simple party structure. In having a simple structure, they are able to proceed with their objectives more easily and efficiently, with the most expertise. The Knights are broken up into different sections for the number of people there are. A specific Klan has anywhere from 4-15 Klansmen and Klanswomen who all work together to achieve their objectives. After a certain period of time, the Klan must report in to their Klan headquarters. However, in an area where there is not an organized Klan, a member can work directly with their headquarters. There are different positions that are held at the headquarters. The Leader of the organization is called the National Director. Then there is a board of directors, which governs the Knights. The National Director serves as chief executive and the President of the board. Then there is the Grand Council, which is an advisory board to the national director, also known as his cabinet. The Klansmen and the Klanswomen are people who have applied and been accepted into the Klan. There are different ranks for Klansmen or Klanswomen once they are accepted into the Klan. A Page is a beginner. This means that they have just started in the Klan and haven?t had the chance to advance yet. A Squire is the second rank of the Klan. The only way for Klan member to advance is through studies and activities. Then there is the Knight. This is the uppermost rank of the organization and requires much study and activity to get this position. There is then a Unit Recruiter. This is a man or a woman who has reached a Squire and has applied and been accepted for a recruiter. They need to have a high school diploma or a G.E.D. All of these people are brought together in a Unit. These are the 4-15 members that try to achieve certain objectives. There are officers in each Klan that run a Unit. They are as follows.

 The Unit Coordinator ? This is the recruiter that organizes the Klan. This person must be a Knight and has to select the following people for the unit officers.

 Assistant Unit Coordinator ? This person is second in command and must hold the rank of Squire.

 Secretary ? This person helps organize unit associations.

 Treasurer ? This person keeps an accurate account of the Klan?s finances and must turn in a report to the headquarters at any given time.

 Ombudsman ? This person provides simple counsel for other unit members.

 Expediter ? This is a personal assistant to the Unit coordinator who keeps the flags and banners. This person also displays them at meetings and gatherings.

All of these people work under the authority of the National Director Thomas Robb and his staff at the national headquarters.

Many people believe that what the Klan does is wrong, such as the Lighting of the Cross and the robes they wear. When the Klan?s Light the Cross, they aren’t destroying the Cross but simply Lighting it, to symbolize the Light of Christ, chasing away darkness and ignorance. The media has purposely used the word ?burn? when they speak of the Klan because of the negative image that is then set on the Klan and into the minds of many people. Other religions and countries have used this symbol for years as a representation of freedom from sin and tyranny. The original meaning of the robe and hood is from ancient European rituals meaning fraternal brotherhood and secrecy in doing good works. During the time of ?Black Reconstruction?, they did wear the robe and it hid their identities, but that wasn?t the meaning of the robe and hood, only to practice an old tradition.


www.encyclopedia.com; Ku Klux Klan, 1998.

www.kukluxklan.org; The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, 1995.

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