K.K.K. Essay

2434 words - 10 pages

The rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan started a new wave of white supremacy in the United States. Under a different leader as well as a distinctly fresh creed, the second Klan began its reign after World War I. This Klan, unlike the Klan during the years of Reconstruction preyed upon more individuals and also struck a cord within the realm of politics. Also, the second Klan made its way into the North and was even quite popular in Michigan, particularly in Detroit, Lansing and Kalamazoo. Director D. W. Griffith helped to ignite the start of the Ku Klux Klan with his 1915 film, The Birth of a Nation. Inspired by Thomas Dixon's novel, the Clansmen, it portrayed the KKK as the savior of the South after the years of the Civil War. Running two hours and 45 minutes, this film was first shown to President Woodrow Wilson who stated, "It is like writing history with lightning." With the President's support The Birth of a Nation opened to audiences around the country in March of 1915 and ran for 47 straight weeks including 280 sold out shows in New York. D.W. Griffith's film spawned a new generation of the KKK. William Simmons was the first to seize upon the white supremacist feeling that swept the nation. On Thanksgiving night in 1915, Simmons and some of his friends climbed Stone Mountain in Atlanta, Georgia. There, they stood before, "…a burning wooden cross and before a hastily constructed rock altar upon which lay an American flag, an opened Bible, an unsheathed sword and a canteen of water." From that moment on, the Ku Klux Klan began its reign of terror in the United States for a second time. Simmons laid out his plans and policies for the KKK in his booklet, the Klansman's Manual. Within it are the organizational techniques of the KKK as well as aims, goals that every member should know. Simmons explains the six features of the Klan: patriotic, military, benevolent, ritualistic, social and fraternal. From these six ideas sprung the purposes of the organization that includes: mobilization, cultural patriotism, fraternal order, beneficent, protective, racial white supremacy, instructive, commemorative and cooperation with the law. The whole basis and goal of the KKK can be seen in their creed. It reads: "I believe in god and in the tenets of the Christian religion and that a godless nation can not long prosper.I believe that a church that is not grounded on the principles Of morality and justice is a mockery to God and to man.I believe in the eternal separation of Church and State.I hold not allegiance to any foreign government, emperor, king or any Other foreign, political or religious power.I hold my allegiance to the Stars and Stripes next to my Allegiance to God alone.I believe in just laws and liberty.I believe in the upholding of the Constitution of these United States.I believe that our Free Public School is the cornerstone of good Government and that those who are seeking to destroy it are enemies Of our Republic and are...

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