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The Ku Klux Klan

2021-01-07 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

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The Ku Klux Klan

下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文 --The Ku Klux Klan,文章描述三k党,俗称KKK,是第一个提出白人至上和歧视有色人种的非政府组织。KKK已经成为美国种族主义的象征(南方,5)。根据课堂上对宗教的定义:“宗教是一种既定的信仰体系,为一群人提供存在主义的指导”,KKK也是一种宗教。如今,KKK仍然是一个活跃的组织,有72个分支和超过2000名成员。虽然3k党不太可能很快发展成一个世界宗教,但它也不会消亡。

Ku Klux Klan, commonly known as KKK, is the first non-governmental organization that proposed white supremacy and discrimination against the colored races. KKK has become a symbol of American racism (Southern, 5). According to the definition of religion in class: “religion is an established system of beliefs that provides existential guidance to a group of people”, KKK is also a religion. Nowadays KKK is still an active organization with 72 subdivisions and over 2000 members. Although it is not likely for KKK to develop into a world religion soon, it will not wither away, either.

The origin of KKK traces back to the end of civil war in 1866. Not settled for the defeat, many confederate veterans formed KKK after the war (Allen, 182). In its early stages of development, the goal of KKK was to restore the powers of the democratic party in the southern states, and an opposition against any policies pushed by the union armies that improved the living conditions of slaves. Many of the activities of KKK were violent in nature. The extremism nature of KKK made it not only a religion, but a cult. The lives of black people in the southern states under KKK was even worse than slavery, since it spread horror among them. Since 1866, KKK started to raid prayer meetings of black people, barging into their homes at night and taking their guns. In 1871, KKK was finally dismissed by the US government, but many cases of violence against racial minorities persisted (Southern, 11).

Reconstruction of the organization happened in 1915, Atlanta. The new KKK was a profit-making organization which inherited the old advocacy for white supremacy over black, Latin, Asian and other races. Although the organization was extremely pro-racism and encourage violent behaviors of its members, it operated publicly in America. It has a peak of four million members in the 1920s. Many members of it were politicians working in government institutions, which further expanded the influence of the religion. Further development was hindered by the Great Depression (Southern, 22). As many of its members got enlisted and killed during WWII, the power of KKK was again weakened. after WWII, the multiple organizations that call themselves KKK were regarded as an opposition to the civil rights movement in the 1960s. in 1963, two KKK members set off a bomb in a Church, where a civil rights event was organized. The explosion caused the deaths of four young females, and a nationwide outrage against KKK (Southern, 24). People appealed to legal solutions to end KKK. By the 1980s, most of the KKK organizations in the US had to be dismissed or taken under cover.

The beliefs of KKK are the basis and motivation for their rituals and strategies. As many of the old families in the south had a long history of owning slaves, the emancipated ones looked no different to them. Treating the black race as inferior has been one of the fundamental beliefs of KKK. The changes in the social status of black people, especially since the civil rights movements, were a threat to the traditional values of KKK members. After the re-organization of the religion in the 1920s, the primary focus of KKK shifted to peace keeping and defense against the black (Rhomberg, 42). The reason it got expanded was the general fear among the white people, that the newly independent black was a threat to their safety. Forces of the government, as KKK believed, were not adequate to keep the black people settled without harming the interests of the white. Therefore, violence was encouraged as a form of intimidation and terror. A nostalgic sense is increasingly observed in KKK members, as they are more and more discontent about the reality. This explains why they are anti-change and always trying to restore the traditional way of life. Entering the 21st century, the religion has been broken into different fractions. Purist Klan remains traditional and even violent sometimes, while Moderate Klan is only actively engaged in the political field. With the division, the beliefs of different factions of KKK have been largely dispersed in recent years.

For an outsider, the most distinguished feature of early KKK is probably the rituals and practices of its members. To join the Klan, a new member must take an oath that states their commitment and beliefs. Frequent meetings were organized by senior members, where people in large, white cloaks and pointy-headed hoods discussed what activities they were going to have (Parsons, 819). KKK has also developed their own set of terminologies during the rituals, which makes them mysterious to the outsiders. Another ritual regularly practiced by KKK members was cross burning. For them, burning crosses contained a symbolic meaning, as it was Jesus lighting up their paths for them. It was commonly used as a form of intimidation for black people in history (Parsons, 822). The fire also served to excite the members and motivate them to be dedicated to the clan. The strategy of KKK was more violent as people trace back to history. in the 19th century, KKK members committed numerous crimes of terrorism against black people, hanging, torturing and killing them. In the 20th century, their common strategy was the spread of fear and racial stereotyping, creating an untrustworthy image of black people in public.

Technology and social media have become major tools of propaganda for KKK. In the website of the current KKK, an application form can be filled for people to join the religion. However, there are many restrictions for the application: one must be a “native-born White American and a believer of the Lord God, the Creator of all” before joining. Other restrictions have legalized the religion, with terms such as being law-abiding and a believer in non-violence, except for self-defense (KKK). Since the creation of the it, KKK has always been bound with religious beliefs. The close link with Protestant religion, KKK members believed that they were an army chosen by God to defeat the enemies. As mentioned above, the burning of crosses also contains Protestant beliefs. However, the difference of KKK from other religions is its expulsion of any other religion. As discussed in Nostra Aetate, Catholicism is closely related with Islamism and Judaism, thus requiring its followers to maintain a friendly attitude towards believers of other religions. Although the differences are addressed, it focused more on the commonality of different believers as human beings and the created. In comparison, KKK members view new religion movements as threats to their traditional values (Richard, 288). They also believe that immigrants in America are also ruining the country’s old customs and values. Such feelings of animosity have driven KKK to the extremism end.

It is obvious that many of the fundamental beliefs of KKK are racism and unethical. Distinguishing human beings against their race or even beliefs is essentially a violation of human rights. Due to the limitedness of KKK beliefs by religion, it may not become a major world religion in the next century. However, the idea of racism is more long lived as KKK has stretched its influences further to Canada, and as far as Australia in recent years (Bates). As the candidate supported by KKK, Donald Trump, won the latest president election, it is likely that KKK will evolve in a new form and develop into mainstream once more, at least in the western world.

 

Reference

Allen, Ward. "A Note on the Origin of the Ku Klux Klan." Tennessee Historical Quarterly, vol. 23, no. 2, 1964, pp. 182-182.

Bates, James E. "The Modern-Day Ku Klux Klan; Text and Photographs." The Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 57, no. 37, 2011.

Parsons, Elaine F. "Midnight Rangers: Costume and Performance in the Reconstruction-Era Ku Klux Klan." The Journal of American History, vol. 92, no. 3, 2005, pp. 811-836.

KKK. (2017). “Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan: Join the KKK Online.” Retrieved from: http://www.traditionalistamericanknights.com/ Application.php

Rhomberg, Chris. "White Nativism and Urban Politics: The 1920s Ku Klux Klan in Oakland, California." Journal of American Ethnic History, vol. 17, no. 2, 1998, pp. 39-55.

Richard, Mark P. ""This is Not a Catholic Nation": The Ku Klux Klan Confronts Franco-Americans in Maine." The New England Quarterly, vol. 82, no. 2, 2009, pp. 285-303.

Southern Poverty Law Center. “Ku Klux Klan: A History of Racism and Violence” Sixth Edition, 2011. Retrieved from: https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/Ku-Klux-Klan-A-History-of-Racism.pdf

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