Friday, March 20, 2009
What is the Ku-Klux-Klan?
Ku-Klux-Klan was an underground organization started in the South after the American Civil War to keep down the negro population and resist the expected exploitation by the North.
It sprang from a Tennessee social club, which based its name on the Greek kyklos, a circle. The young members used to ride about on horses at night, dressed in flowing white gown, to frighten the newly-freed slaves and to amuse themselves.
Fanatics turned this amusement into the invisible Empire of the South, a secret society of terror, indulging in murder and kid-napping. Laws were passed to suppress it, and Klansmen were imprisoned, to be greeted as heroes on their release.
The KKK was revived in 1915 as a general ragbag for all manner of intolerance, but it faded with the Depression of the 1930s, though it is still active today.