Ku Klux Klan

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The Ku Klux Klan (sometimes the KKK or the Klan) is a name that has been used by various organizations mainly in the United States. Different Ku Klux Klan organizations have supported different positions, sometimes contradictory.

The Ku Klux Klan existed during the Reconstruction era and opposed perceived anti-White reconstruction policies and the restoration of White supremacy. The first organization using the name was initially organized as a social club by Confederate veterans, apparently deriving the name from the Greek word "kyklos" ("circle", in the sense of organization), with “Klan” was added for the alliteration (repetition of identical initial consonant sound) effect. It developed into a political and larger organization (sometimes known as the "Invisible Empire of the South") with a descending hierarchy including grand dragons, grand titans, and grand cyclopses. Dressed in white robes and sheets designed to frighten superstitious Blacks and to prevent identification, Klansmen sometimes used violence against Black freedmen and their White supporters in nighttime raids. The Confederate cavalry general Nathan Bedford Forrest is believed to have been the first grand wizard, but ordered it disbanded in 1869, largely as a result of the violence. Some local organizations remained active for a time, causing various counter-measures, but the Reconstruction era ended due to non-violent judicial and political actions.[1]

Around 1915, in association with the film The Birth of a Nation, a "second klan" organization emerged, differing in various way from the earlier organizations, such as stated to be more pro-Protestant, anti-mass immigration, anti-Communist, and pro-Prohibition. It peaked in the 1920s and disbanded in 1944.

In some Southern states during the 1960s, in association with the Civil Rights Movement, new organizations started using the name. There are various allegations of associations with violence by some such organizations and/or associated individuals, but as COINTELPRO other methods was used suppress such organizations, exactly what occurred may unclear.

More recent organizations such as the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan associated with David Duke have rejected violence and White supremacism.

Generally, as is the case for lynchings, politically correct sources may various dubious claims regarding the extent of violence associated with some Ku Klux Klan organizations and/or associated individuals and furthermore try to allege guilt by association with non-violent White nationalism.

See also