Would anyone like to live in a country dominated by powerful racist groups desiring to control policymakers and law enforcement? Unfortunately, this is what used to occur in the early twentieth century and what some organizations are attempting to restore nowadays. Among them, the group that deserves specific attention is the Ku Klux Klan, which is notorious for its century-long history of racism and violence. Trying to make use of the currently unstable economic and political situation, jeopardizes the very foundations of the American community. Therefore, Ku Klux Klan should be declared a terrorist organization and banned for the benefit of the community as a whole.
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First, the entire history of the Ku Klux Klan constitutes grounds for its banning. As Quarles notes, this group is “the oldest single-purpose terrorist organization in the world maintaining the same title and focus” (qtd. in Schmitz 202). From the very beginning, this group, along with other racist groups, used to inflict fear and feeling of hopelessness on millions of people. The membership of the group in the ages of its highest popularity reached 4 to 5 million (Balleck 180). One of the notorious acts committed by the white supremacist movement was the infamous Tulsa massacre when hundreds of innocent people were killed and many more left homeless. Moreover, the violence of the Ku Klux Klan continued for many decades and constituted its permanent characteristic. For example, the bombing of a Baptist Church in 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama, resulted in killing four young black girls and injuring others (Balleck 181). So, even the Ku Klux Klan’s history filled with terror and violence leaves the group no place in our modern society.
In addition to the organization’s history, its modern views and values prove the need for its banning. The crucial issue for Klan ideology is the race issue and the prevalence of white people over others. By promoting this idea, the group rejects the importance of cultural pluralism as a basis of American society and attempts to persuade white people to protect themselves against the threat posed by other races. Another critical issue for the Klan is the religious one, in which the group actively promotes Christianity. The Klan’s desire to inflict the mentality of antagonism and rejection of other beliefs significantly contributes to the numerous hate crimes committed around the state. Finally, the ideas of masculinity and traditional family strongly supported by the Klan members lead to complete denial of any rights belonging to sexual minority groups. Therefore, all these values combined result in dividing the American people, fueling conflicts between various groups, and destroying the society from the inside.
Finally, the hazards posed by Ku Klux Klan are additionally aggravated by its increasing attempts to gain popularity. In September 2016, residents of a peaceful community of Wilkes-Barre Township found fliers motivating them to join the Klan. These fliers contained the group’s website and a 24-hour phone number (O’Boyle). This was just a small example of the large-scale work conducted by the group to increase its popularity. Updating its ideology and quickly adjusting to the pressing social issues such as immigration and Islamic terrorism, the group seeks to gain members among the youth. In this regard, it is worth mentioning that the number of hate crimes in the United States has recently dramatically increased, reaching its 16-year high in 2018 (Hassan). This proves that only decisive measures can revert the trend and prevent the situation from further worsening.
So, the review of the traditions, history, and current activities of the Ku Klux Klan clearly shows the group’s racist and terrorist character. Letting the group continue its activities designed to attract new members and delaying the definitive counter-measures will likely put American society in additional jeopardy. This country has already seen numerous cases of violence and racial terror, which should never be repeated. Therefore, considering the unstable global environment and the unprecedented changes the world faces nowadays, everyone should think of banning Ku Klux Klan as a declaration of American unity and willingness to fight against racism.
Balleck, Barry J. Modern American Extremism and Domestic Terrorism: An Encyclopedia of Extremists and Extremist Groups. ABC-CLIO, 2018.
Hassan, Adeel. “Hate-Crime Violence Hits 16-Year High, F.B.I. Reports.” The New York Times, 2019, Web.
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O’Boyle, Bill. “Police Concerned by Ku Klux Klan fliers in Wilkes-Barre Township.” Times Leader, 2016, Web.
Schmitz, Rachel M. “Intersections of hate: Exploring the Transecting Dimensions of Race, Religion, Gender, and Family in Ku Klux Klan Web Sites.” Sociological Focus, vol. 49, no. 3, 2016, pp. 200–214.