In 1865, the KKK, Ku Klux Klan was founded in Pulaski, Tennessee by a group of Confederate veterans as a secret society. But it didn’t stay secret for long, as it grew into a “paramilitary force” that rallied against what they considered the federal government’s progressive new laws. They were especially against any laws that elevated the rights of people of color.
Most Americans assumed the KKK was a thing of the past, but the election seems to have given the Klan a resurgence, and members went public in support of President-elect Donald Trump, says the Inquisitr. Now, rumors have surfaced that Donald Trump’s father, Fred Trump, perhaps had some ties to the organization. Fred Trump was arrested as a Klan rally broke up in the 1920s for “refusing to disperse.” Donald Trump has denied the story and says he has no affiliation with the KKK or any other hate group.
History.com says that the actual name, Ku Klux Klan derives from two different cultures, the Greek word kyklos, meaning circle, and the Gaelic word clan, which is a group, who are usually related, and thought to be chosen in the case of the KKK for alliteration. The group’s foundation was the promotion of white superiority. Former Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest was the Ku Klux Klan’s first grand wizard, who fell out of favor when he tried to disband the group after it became less philosophical and more violent.
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The Atlantic said that the first big KKK Ku Klux Klan rally was in 1925 when 50k members marched on Washington in support of their “white Christian morality.” They marched down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House, complete with robes and hoods. All members had their robes adorned with a “circular red patch containing a cross with a drop of blood at its center.”
As time went on, the KKK added Jews, Catholics, and other non-Aryans to their list of people there were opposed to. They strived to become a civics group that would include the whole family, with parades, picnics, and get-togethers. They created baseball teams, beautiful baby contests, and musical troupes. They branched out to women’s auxiliaries, and groups for children, with names like Junior Ku Klux Klan, the Tri-K Klub, and the Ku Klux Kiddies.
But in the last three decades, the KKK seemed to have died down and were thought to be a relic of the past. But with the recent election, and comments from President-elect Trump talking about deporting people, building a wall, and the frightening inner cities, people with Klan sympathies have banned together.
With the appointment of Stephen Bannon, who is alleged to have anti-semitic sympathies, white nationalist, and other KKK-type groups are on the rise. WRAL said a caravan of vehicles, organized by the Klan, gathered to celebrate the Trump win Saturday in Roxboro, North Carolina. Roxboro Police Chief David Hess said he was grateful that the group got in and out of town safely.
“We learned late this afternoon the group [KKK] wanted to come to Roxboro. I want to thank our law enforcement partners who helped us close intersections so the group could enter and leave the city as fast as possible.”
The KKK posted the event on social media and did not seek a permit. The Roxboro police were made aware reportedly on Facebook. The North Carolina Democratic Party released a statement after the celebratory parade in Trump’s honor.
“The North Carolina Democratic Party finds it horrifying that the KKK is embarking on a march in North Carolina. This comes after months of toxic and divisive rhetoric that belittled many in our state. We must all stand together in rejecting these hateful actions, which includes listening to and valuing those in our communities who feel targeted.”
There were no incidents or counter-protests, perhaps owing to the low-key announcement. President-elect Trump has recently made statements to distance himself from these groups.
What do you think of the resurgence of the KKK and similar groups?
[Featured Image by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images]