The Ku Klux Klansmen: An Analysis

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The KKK was able to systematically manipulate people, and because of their methods Klansmen were able to easily instil fear into much of the Southern population. KKK members didn 't always have a choice of whether or not they joined the KKK, and many joined out of fear of being targeted themselves by Klansmen. “Some South Carolina Klansmen would later claim that they were forced to join or joined out of fear. ‘My neighbors told me I had to go in it, or be whipped in it,’ said William Jolly, who was seventeen when he joined. ‘They told me I had better join for fear of being killed,’ said Christenberry Tait, a seventeen-year-old Klansman who participated in four raids.” (page 56) This quote shows how not all Klansmen had a choice with joining,…show more content…
The KKK was based off of racial discrimination, but over time they also adopted anti-semitic qualities along with strong political prejudices as well. According to historylearningsite, “A sinister group was established which was designed to spread fear throughout the Black population that still lived in the southern states. This was the KKK. Only WASP’s could belong to it — White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. It is a common myth that the KKK targeted only the Blacks – also hated were the Jews, Catholics, liberals etc but most hatred was directed against the poor black families in the south who were very vulnerable to attack.” The quote shows how the KKK was born from, but not limited to, racism and discrimination amongst the Southern population and was willing to enforce their beliefs by any means necessary. The KKK terrorized much of the Southern population and had no problem with committing horrific acts on innocent people to prove their dominance as a terrorist group. “At gunpoint, the Klansmen abducted the five prisoners. Just outside Cross Plains, they lynched the four black men from a tall oak tree, saving Luke for last. Before hanging him, they allowed him to write a letter to his wife, who still lived in Canada with their six children.” (page 99). The quote shows how the horrific acts of terrorism committed by the terrorist group known as the KKK was for no good reason and these acts were committed simply to spread terrorism in the South. The KKK’s rain of terror was more influential in the South due to the South being mainly comprised of confederate supporters. By the early 1870s, few federal troops remained in the South, just six thousand soldiers in all, spread among the eleven Klan-infested states, a land area that totaled more than 790,000 square miles. (page 101-102).
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