Ku Klux Klan and Lynching

Above is a KKK member
The Ku Klux Klan, referred often to as the KKK or The Klan, is a white supremacist movement and organization with the goal of racial segregation. It is seen as America's first true terrorist group, having a dedication to reach its goals through acts of extreme violence and torture. They generally wear masks, cardboard hats, and white sheets.

The Ku Klux Klan first appeared after the civil war and, although the group has had several rise and fall cycles, has maintained its goal of hate and violence. They unsympathetically tortured and killed thousands of black Americans, whites who were sympathetic towards them, as well as immigrants of all countries, Jews, Roman Catholics, socialists, communists, and basically any one who was defined as a foreigner.

  • Confederate Civil War veterans: Captain John C. Lester, Major James R. Crowe, John D. Kennedy, Calvin Jones, Richard R. Reed, Frank O. McCord
  • Nathan Forrest (Grand Wizard)
  • Hiram W. Evans (1922 Imperial Wizard)
  • White Supremacists

Above is a klan rally in action
impact on civil rights movement:
In the 1950's the Klan re-emerged during the Civil Rights Movement. In the deep south, Klansmen put a huge amount of pressure on blacks not to vote. The Klan was violently against the Republican (Radical) party and any blacks, as well as whites, who wished to vote for it were subject to extremely violent torturing such as breaking into their houses, dragging them from their homes, and in many cases lynching and murdering, many of which were never prosecuted.

Because membership of the Klan was so secretive, high ranking people were often secretly involved. The KKK often took advantage of this, teaming up with southern police departments and governments to help make their goals of segregation happen. For example in Birmingham, Alabama, the resisted the social changes by bombing houses of civil rights activists, so much that the town took on a new nickname: "Bombingham". Because of their alliances, they often were given time to attack before the police would break it up.

infamous attacks:
  • 1951: Christmas Eve attack of activists Harry and Harriette Moore
  • 1957: Murder of Willie Edwards, who was forced into suicide by jumping off a bridge
  • 1963: Assassination of NAACP organizer Medgar Evers
  • 1963: Bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church In Birmingham Alabama. Killed four African American girls
  • 1964: civil rights workers Cheny, Goodman, and Schwerner were murdered.

Lynching is a form of punishment commonly defined as "Any act of violence inflicted by a mob upon the body of another person which results in the death of the person." Typically, lynching is done by hanging, and done without any process of law. During post civil war up to the civil rights movement, lynching became a popular way for whites to "release" their anger towards free blacks and those in support of them. From 1882-1968, there 4,743 lynchings in the United States (that were reported, many more likely occurred without being documented). However 3,446 of the killings were of blacks accounting for about 72.7% of the lynches. Most lynchings took place in the south due to the widespread racism. Mississippi had the highest rate of 581, Georgia was next with 531 and Texas was third with 493.