The KKK And The Evolution Of Social Reform

Ku Klux Klan – History

*Birth of the Klan*

Originally six college students founded the Ku Klux Klan in December of 1865 in Pulaski Tennessee. All were Confederate officers, they were a  social club or fraternity and spent a lot of time horsing around, even wearing masks and riding around town after dark. They learned this was causing fear, particularly among former slaves in the area and took advantage of it. Soon more people wanted to join and new chapters began to rise up, so they had to form rules and a structured belief and began to take oaths.
The organization was divided into a number of realms, dominions, provinces and dens, which were in turn led by Grand Dragons, Titans, Giants and Cyclopes.


Nathan Bedford Forrest

In it’s inception they were violent killing any who supported blacks in any way , they killed former slaves and intimidated northerners and made them think twice about continuing their efforts and support.

In 1969 things got so out of control that members were quickly dropping out, not wanting to be criminals, thus the KKK was disbanded and in some cases put into a safe harbor.

The First significant Klan Revival was In 1915, William J. Simmons reorganized the Ku Klux Klan after seeing the movie “Birth Of A Nation,”  (the movie’s hatred towards blacks is extraordinary and highly controversial even at the time; President Woodrow Wilson even captured the sensation of the film’s release.

The Klan appealed to the middle class and claiming to be a “purely benevolent” club, the Klan drew members immediately.  The group capitalized by promising to defend the country against “alien enemies, slackers, idlers, strike leaders and immoral women,” as well as African Americans, Catholics and Jews.

By 1921, the Klan numbered almost 100,000 members . In 1924, 40,000 uniformed Klansmen took to the streets of Washington, D.C., at the Democratic National Convention. The group was so influential that many politicians felt compelled to court it or even to join, including Harry Truman.

As the Klan grew, so did the number and intensity of violent acts committed by its members. The group’s image suffered; the hypocrisy of a self-proclaimed “law and order” By the Great Depression in 1929, the Klan had fragmented into dozens of independent realms and membership plummeted.

In the 1970s, many K;an leaders attempted to “mainstream” their image by talking of pride in their “heritage” rather than hatred of other races or religions and participating in good-citizenship initiatives, like “adopt a highway” cleanup programs. Many Klan groups also adopted Christian Identity beliefs. They feared the “New World Order,” believed Jews and liberals were trying to outlaw their religious practices, and considered gays and other “deviants” to be forcing their lifestyles into the mainstream.

In the early 80’s another layer of social evolution was created when a klans member walked into an all white country western bar and saw a black musician playing the piano on stage, completely amazed at the skill this man had he walked up to him and struck a friendly conversation. Interview with Daryl Davis.  

Today the KKK has evolved into a mens club not unlike the Freemasons in which often they share the same lodges. They are generally Christian with Christian values, no longer parading streets seeking to strike fear into the minds of those who oppose them. They have their “core” beliefs still but they are also learning to accept others and even friend them.

The KKK is hardly alone in their social evolution, remember there are at least 34 scriptures in the Bible stating race mixing is wrong, and in fact every religion on earth has gone through the same stages. The Catholic church at one time was so adamant that the earth was flat and the universe revolved around the earth, that they imprisoned Galileo for life, simply for believing it was actually round. Years later realizing they were wrong, embraced this fact. The church also at  one time forbade the belief in aliens, only now recently coming out in support of alien life.

As a Mormon, I grew up believing that if I procreate with a black woman I would die instantly as that is what the prophet and elders had taught me. And I Quote ( “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so. The nations of the earth have transgressed every law that God has given, they have changed the ordinances and broken every covenant made with the fathers, and they are like a hungry man that dreameth that he eateth, and he awaketh and behold he is empty.”- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 10, p. 110 Today )

Obviously this belief was not true and today Mormons are allowed to mix any races they want. And no different then the Catholic church, Mormons had their fair share of silly beliefs no longer embraced by anyone, but these social changes take time. Humans have evolved to fear the unknown. When we segregate how can we know one another? The only way to stop fear, and to stop fear based fighting is to commune together as equals, and to know we are all equal.

In conclusion I will say that our beliefs are simply a reflection of our social programming,  and our programming acts as a safety blanket for us. When we let go of our traditions and let go of our fears then we have opened the window to infinite truths and no more will we fear that which we dont know, and evolution will have taken a giant leap forward. So I say embrace all nations and creeds, make them see you, make them hear you, and give them a reason to love you.

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