WHY They light The Cross
The Ku-Klux klan’s goals
Resistance against the KKK
At This English Project, we were asked to write about something that can
be linked with a culture in any English speaking country. I heard a lot of
great ideas and examples of issues to write about, and I had some problems
coming up with an original, yet good assignment.
But after a while, I found out what to write about. One of the darker
chapters in American history; The Racist Organization “The Knights Of The
Ku-Klux Klan”. This underground organization has, for more than 100 years,
spread fear amongst the black and other non-white and non-Christian
communities, and has ,with no doubt, set its mark on the culture and way of
life for so many minorities across the states. But I wanted to go deeper than
just common facts, and this is my approach:
When was the Ku-Klux Klan established, and by
Why was it established?
Typical symbols, and common marks…
What are the KKK’s political and moralistic
What is the KKK’s position today?
So, enjoy your reading as we look back in time to
find out what made an evil organization like The Ku-Klux Klan get supporters
and grow big, and what the answers to my research questions are…
aftermath of the American civil war, in the 1860’s , many Southern state
farmers, former soldiers of the Confederate Army, and other people, had a
problem dealing with the fact that the black man now was free from slavery and
had always been normal and socially accepted amongst Southern inhabitants, and
slave trading was as usual as buying a horse or even a bag of sugar. Now
everything was forced to be turned up-side-down.
new rules and change in the Southern way of life, many men and women joined
forces to prevent Negroes from getting equal political and civil rights as the
white man. At the time the Federal Government sent troops to the South to make
sure people followed the new order, and freed their slaves, the Southern men
and women started building up what they called an Invisible Empire.
The first confirmed
Klan was organized in the small town Pulaski, Tennessee in 1866. It was under
the lead of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first leader of the KKK.
Below: Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest
have many facts about Nathan Bedford Forrest, except that he was born July 13th,
1821, and dead on October 29th, 1872. History tells us that he was a
Calvary leader for the South in the war, and according to sources, he hated
cultures but the white-American culture, and couldn’t stand the fact that he
lost the war. Today, the Ku-Klux Klan hails him as an apostle of the Invisible
Empire and racist beliefs.
Invisible Empire spread racist propaganda in the local press, on rallies and on
posters on every corner in every small town in the area. Soon, units of the KKK
was established almost everywhere in the state of Tennessee. And it only grew bigger,
as the Grand Wizard tempted white citizens with ideas of a better world. A
short while, the organization started using violence and even lynching as means
to scare the black man, although that went against its ideology. They meant
that violence was the method of approach for the uncivilized. But the Invisible
Empire was soon combined with murder and so on, and they were feared all across
the Southern states. The violence also resulted in members from upper classes
bailing out from the “club”. They didn’t want to be connected with murder an
adopted the habit of nightly parades, and they often picked out colored
families they terrorized all night, with torture and sometimes murder. In the
1870’s, the Klan grew big all over the South, and had several hundreds of
same times, other similar groups grew big all across the South. Organizations
like The Baldknobbers , the Palefaces and The Liberty League, terrorized
Negroes and non-Christians the same way
as the KKK, but Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forest’s leadership of the
Invisible Empire was so good that the other groups joined the Klan. This made
the KKK grow even bigger, and soon, racist Southerners brought fear to many
The Name …
In 1867, the organization adopted the name
the kyklos klan. kyklos is the latin word for circle, and the klan used it as a
metaphor for brotherhood. Soon, their name evolved into the Ku-Klux Klan.
was still a underground organization, bound to secrecy, and dressing up in
ghost-like disguises when they served the Klan. The purpose of the disguises
had two functions:
To scare the black man.
So the members could keep their anonymity.
When they went on crusades to scare
of blacks, they sometimes even dressed white robes on their horses. This gave
the KKK a sort of “holy saint” kind of look. But they murdered and damaged, and
even though they were hundreds of thousands for a period, the majority on most
places were disgusted by their views and procedures.
lot of things have changed. They are no longer allowed to wear the masks and
robes. Therefor, they have designed a police-like uniform which they wear on
protests, tallies and demonstrations. The robes are for ceremonial use only.
But still, some members are afraid of letting their identities be disclosed.
Therefor, you might still see the traditional ghostlike robes.
The new KKK uniform
In 1871, after only a few years of
murdering and lynching, the U.S. government declared the KKK an illegal
organization. This didn’t result in a peaceful time for the blacks, but with
new organization and gangs, the same racists continued their seek for a white
empire. Organizations as “The Knights Of The White Camelia” brought continued
the same way the KKK did. But without the robes, and not so organized. Grand
Wizard Forrest’s dream of a nationwide organization went up in smoke. Today,
KKK members and sympathizers call the KKK history from May 16th,
1866 to 1871 as the first era. They nowadays hail Forrest as a prophet and holy
In 1915, under the lead of Col. William Simmons and 14 associates in
Atlanta, Georgia, the Klan was reestablished.
In the 20’s and 30’s, the KKK was bigger than ever, and their white robes
was all over the Southern States.
But then, as it is today, the Ku-Klux Klan didn’t just attack blacks.
From then on, all but white-Christians
were considered as people destroying the U.S.A., and they attacked Catholics,
Jews, and sympathizers of “Internationalism” and “Darwinism”. As you can see,
the Klan now had clear political views on how society should be, as well as a
fascist policy. Minorities of all kinds faced once again the Knights Of The
Ku-Klux Klan. This period is called the second era.
Since then, the Klan has always played a role as probably the biggest
racial group in the U.S. The Klan are now in what they call the 5th
era. Now, they cooperate with Nazi-organizations all over the Western world.
But they are very few. In the forthcoming change of the millennium, the KKK
will enter a 6th era.
Below: KKK picture from the early 1920’s
Ku-Klux Klan is divided in many groups. But they all use the same symbols. All
klan groups usually wear the “blood drop” symbol. It was popularized in the
late 1920’s, and it represents the blood of Jesus Christ, which was shed for
the white Aryan race.
symbol that the klan uses is the “crosswheel”. This is the symbol the Knights use. The knights are a special
group in the Ku-Klux Klan, and the symbols was first used in the 1960’s. The
symbol is derived from the meaning of the klan name. In the crosswheel, we can
see the Christian cross, the wheel of creativity, the circle of unity, motion,
and also the ancient Aryan symbol for sun or light.
Two versions of the “Crosswheel”, with the “blood drop” in the middle.
But there are also other symbols and procedures the klan uses that are well known all across
the world. Let’s take their flag and the burning cross. Do we know why these
are things they do and use, and is the burning cross a blasphemous action?
flag the KKK use, is the old Southern state flag from the Civil War. But the
colors the flag contains represents more than the normal Norwegian, or even
color symbolizes the purity of American womanhood and the sanctity of American
color is a patch symbolizing Americas
unclouded, beautiful sky.
stars represents the brotherhood of the Southern states, and how they stand in
an inseparable union.
Above: A mix of the U.S. flag and the
Southern flag. Below: A traditional klansman
in a blue robe. This man is one of the leaders, a wizard.
Why They Light The Cross…
us this that the KKK is an anti-Christ organization since they light the cross.
But in fact, we are very wrong. The Ku-Klux Klan claim that they light the
cross in honor of Jesus Christ, not in hatred. They want to signify to the
world that Jesus is the light of the world, and therefor they burn, or light as
they want it said, the cross. But off course, the message are strictly for the
white population. They claim that the colored in no way represents the ideal man God want us to be.
The Ku-Klux Klan’s Goals…
many other organizations, the Ku-Klux Klan has a concrete plan of what their
terrorizing and protesting is a message of. They have a political program, and
though they aren’t a political program, but only considered issue oriented,
they have clear views on how the KKK want things to be. This is a basic
political program of the KKK, and the demands on the plan appear on almost
every KKK program.
America’s White Christian heritage.
for all welfare recipients. (The KKK claims that if they have money for drugs,
you wouldn’t have to spend your tax-dollars on them)
purchase of American industry and property illegal.
Do away with
free trade that harms the American worker and employ a policy of protectionism.
Workfare, not welfare. We should all work for our
Troops on our
Southern border should stop the entry of illegal aliens.
discrimination by doing away with Affirmative Action.
laws attempting to enforce gun control as unconstitutional.
As you can see, they are very
nationalistic and extremely racial. These views and demands are to most people
considered insane. I’m no exception, luckily…
Resistance against the KKK…
would be wrong claiming that the Ku-Klux Klan never meet resistance. Almost
every person on the planet find racism and the Klan tragic and evil. Black
organizations as NAACP(founded 1909) and the Black Panthers have often been in
conflicts with the Klan, and this has
caused murder on both sides. Today, it’s impossible for the Klan to hold
rallies without having thrown eggs and worse on them. The Klan is getting
smaller every day, and the only American state the Klan still goes strong, is
60’s, the Klan has been a minor threat to the black and minority community.
This is mainly because the police and sheriff’s no longer cooperate with the
Klan. Years ago, Klan members could have all charges erased, mostly because the
police was KKK sympathizers. Since Martin Luther King jr.’s fight for equality
in the 60’s, the black man is treated the same way as the others. The Klan has
nothing to say. They’re main goal, to keep the colored people down and in white
hands, was lost 30 years ago. Now, the KKK is mainly a Nazi group. Let’s hope
the future will bring the KKK even further down than today. We have no room for
their narrow thoughts.
Below: A falling star: Nathan Bedford Forrest
This project has been very
interesting to work with. During the last weeks, I’ve found out how cruel the
KKK’s past really is. I’ve heard stories, and seen pictures of the white robed
people, but I never really knew what it’s all about.
know a whole lot more. I found tons of information, but most of it was written
by the Ku-Klux Klan itself. The things they write are off course pro-KKK, so it was kind of hard to separate
fact from fiction. But combining KKK info with hard facts from books and encyclopedias
resulted in, for me, a project I can be proud of. Even though I deeply hate the
actions and views racists have, it has been interesting writing about a racial
organization like the KKK. It’s an organizations with history and traditions,
at least if you consider murdering and hate traditions.
impossible to say, but as long as racism exists, there will be a Klan. The
number of members are reducing, luckily, but they might have a new wave of
popularity in the future. But then, they would definitely use other approaches
to the people than they started out with. They have already lost that war. The
questions I wanted to find answers to, turned out well answered, and I also
found out tons of other information. Can’t say that didn’t work out well. So
therefor, my project is done.
Ku-Klux Klan – En bog om
Rasisme Kim Møller Hansen