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AP — Born in the ashes of the smoldering South after the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan died and was reborn before losing the fight against civil rights in the s. Membership dwindled, a unified group fractured, and one-time members went to prison for a string of murderous attacks against blacks. Many assumed the group was dead, a white-robed ghost of hate and violence. Yet today, the KKK is still alive and dreams of restoring itself to what it once was: an invisible white supremacist empire spreading its tentacles throughout society.
As it marks years of existence, the Klan is trying to reshape itself for a new era. Klan members still gather by the dozens under starry Southern skies to set fire to crosses in the dead of night, and KKK leaflets have shown up in suburban neighborhoods from Ku klux klan dating website Deep South to the Northeast in recent months. Perhaps most unwelcome to opponents, some independent Klan organizations say they are merging with larger groups to build strength.
Stopping or limiting immigration — a desire of the Klan dating back to the s — is more of a cause than ever. While the Klan has terrorized minorities during much of the last century, its leaders now present a public front that is more virulent than violent. Leaders from several different Klan groups all said they have rules against violence aside from self-defense, and even opponents agree the Ku klux klan dating website has toned itself down after a string of members went to prison years after the fact for deadly arson attacks, beatings, bombings and shootings.
Some leaders will not speak openly with the media but others do, articulating ambitious plans that include quietly building political strength. Some groups hold annual conventions, just like civic clubs. Members gather in meeting rooms to discuss strategies that include electing Klan members to local political offices and recruiting new blood through the internet.
The ADL puts total Klan membership nationwide at around 3, It estimates the Klan has about chapters nationally with no more than 6, members total, which would be a mere shadow of its estimated 2 million to 5 million members in the s. Formed just months after the end of the Civil War by six former Confederate officers in Pulaski, Tennessee, the Klan originally seemed more like a college fraternity with ceremonial robes and odd titles for its officers.
But soon, freed blacks were being terrorized, and the Klan was blamed.
Hundreds of people were assaulted or killed within the span of a few years as whites tried to regain control of the defeated Confederacy. Congress effectively outlawed the Klan inleading to martial law in some places and thousands of arrests, and the group died. The Klan seemed relegated to history until World War I, when it was resurrected.
Millions ed, including community leaders like bankers and lawyers. Klan members were convicted of using murder as a weapon against equality in states including Mississippi and Alabama, where one Klansman remains imprisoned for planting the bomb that killed four black girls in a Birmingham church in He has boyhood memories of flaming crosses and of Sam Bowers, a Klan boss who served six years in prison for his role directing the murders of three civil rights workers inand who later was convicted of killing a civil rights leader in Rather than a white robe, Waller, 47, wears a snow-white suit and orange tie when in public on Klan business and insists on donning sunglasses in photos to protect his identity.
The current hot-button issue for Klan members — fighting immigration and closing U. It now presents itself as more of a political or Christian entity. The name resonates with people, whether it is good or whether it is bad. Despite trying to rebrand itself in many ways, years later, the Klan has not stepped away from burning crosses, though it rarely does Ku klux klan dating website in public. Ku klux klan dating website April, Klan members and other white supremacists held two rallies on the same warm Saturday in Georgia.
As the sun set, about 60 robed Klan members and others holding flaming torches gathered in a huge circle in a field in northwest Georgia to set a cross and Nazi swastika afire. Born in the ashes of the smoldering South after the Civil War, the KKK died and was reborn before losing the fight against civil rights in the s. Connect with the definitive source for global and local news.
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