THE HISTORY OF RACISM

July 7, 2011

RACISM, INFAMY, NOTORIETY, POLITICALLY INCORRECT, SLEAZE, SCANDAL AND THE TABOO AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL, U

THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL IS AN ALADDINS CAVE OF TRUE CRIME MEMORABILIA , MURDERABILIA , CELEBRITY SLEAZE AND SCANDAL , FREAKS OF NATURE , THE BIZARRE AND THE TABOO . IF EASILY OFFENDED , DISTURBED OR OF A SENSITIVE NATURE PLEASE DO AVOID VISITING THIS THOUGHT PROVOKING , POLITICALLY INCORRECT VISITOR ATTRACTION

RACISM …TAKEN FROM WIKIPEDIA WITH THANKS


Racism
 is the belief that there are inherent differences in people’s traits and capacities that are entirely due to their race, however defined, and that, as a consequence, justify the different treatment of those people, both socially and legally. Moreover, racism is the practice of the different treatment of certain a group or groups, which is then justified by recourse to racial stereotyping or pseudo-science.

Those who disagree with the proposition that there are races or that there are such inherent (i.e., non-personal, social, or cultural) differences regard any differences in treatment of people on the basis of those criteria as being racial discrimination. Some of those who argue that there are such inherent differences also argue that one race is inferior to another race.[1][2][3] In the case of institutional racism, certain racial groups may be denied rights or benefits, or receive preferential treatment.

Racial discrimination typically points out taxonomic differences between different groups of people, although anyone may be discriminated against on an ethnic or cultural basis, independent of their somatic differences. According to the United Nations conventions, there is no distinction between the term racial discrimination and ethnicity discrimination.

There is some evidence that the meaning of the term has changed over time, and that earlier definitions of racism involved the simple belief that human populations are divided into separate races.[4] Many biologists, anthropologists, and sociologists reject this taxonomy in favor of more specific and/or empirically verifiable criteria, such as geography, ethnicity, or a history of endogamy.[5]


The word racism as a distinct term did not appear in the English language until the 1930s.[6] While the term “race hatred” had been used by sociologist Frederick Hertz in the late 1920s, “racism” was coined as the title of the early 1930s book by sexologist and homosexual activist Magnus Hirschfeld.[6]

Definitions

Racism involves the belief in racial differences, which acts as a justification for non-equal treatment (which some regard as “discrimination”) of members of that race.[1] The term is commonly used negatively and is usually associated with race-based prejudiceviolencedislikediscrimination, or oppression, the term can also have varying and contested definitions. Racialism is a related term, sometimes intended to avoid these negative meanings. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, racism is a belief or ideology that all members of each racial group possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, in particular to distinguish it as being either superior or inferior to another racial group or racial groups. [7]

The Oxford English Dictionary defines racism as the “belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races” and the expression of such prejudice,[8] while the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines it as a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority or inferiority of a particular racial group, and alternatively that it is also the prejudice based on such a belief.[9] The Macquarie Dictionary defines racism as: “the belief that human races have distinctive characteristics which determine their respective cultures, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule or dominate others.”

Legal

The UN does not define “racism”, however it does define “racial discrimination”: According to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,

the term “racial discrimination” shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.[10]

This definition does not make any difference between discrimination based on ethnicity and race, in part because the distinction between the two remains debatable among anthropologists.[11]Similarly, in British law the phrase racial group means “any group of people who are defined by reference to their race, colour, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origin”.[12]

Sociological

Some sociologists have defined racism as a system of group privilege. In Portraits of White Racism, David Wellman has defined racism as “culturally sanctioned beliefs, which, regardless of intentions involved, defend the advantages whites have because of the subordinated position of racial minorities”.[13] Sociologists Noël A. Cazenave and Darlene Alvarez Maddern define racism as “…a highly organized system of ‘race’-based group privilege that operates at every level of society and is held together by a sophisticated ideology of color/’race’ supremacy. Sellers and Shelton (2003) found that a relationship between racial discrimination and emotional distress was moderated by racial ideology and public regard beliefs. That is, racial centrality appears to promote the degree of discrimination African American young adults perceive whereas racial ideology may buffer the detrimental emotional effects of that discrimination. Racist systems include, but cannot be reduced to, racial bigotry,”.[14]Sociologist and former American Sociological Association president Joe Feagin argues that the United States can be characterized as a “total racist society”[15]

– :“Police harassment and brutality directed at black men, women, and children are as old as American society, dating back to the days of slavery and Jim Crow segregation. Such police actions across the nation today reveal important aspects of . . . the commonplace discriminatory practices of individual whites . . . [and] white dominated institutions that allow or encourage such practices..”[16]

Xenophobia

Main article: Xenophobia

Dictionary definitions of xenophobia include: deep-rooted antipathy towards foreigners (Oxford English Dictionary; OED), unreasonable fear or hatred of the unfamiliar, especially people of other races (Webster’s)[17] The Dictionary of Psychology defines it as “a fear of strangers”.[18]

Supremacism

Main article: Supremacism

The Middle Ages Crusades have been described as an example of white supremacist colonialism.[19] Centuries of European colonialism of the Americas, Africa and Asia was excused by white supremacist attitudes.[20] During the 19th century, the phrase “The White Man’s Burden” was widely used to justify imperialist policy as a noble enterprise.[21][22]

Segregationism

Main article: Racial segregation

Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a bath room, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home.[23] Segregation is generally outlawed, but may exist through social norms, even when there is no strong individual preference for it, as suggested by Thomas Schelling‘s models of segregation and subsequent work.

Types

Racial discrimination

Racial discrimination refers to the separation of people through a process of social division into categories not necessarily related to races for purposes of differential treatment. Racial segregationpolicies may officialize it, but it is also often exerted without being legalized. Researchers, including Dean Karlan and Marianne Bertrand, at the MIT and the University of Chicago found in a 2003 study that there was widespread discrimination in the workplace against job applicants whose names were merely perceived as “sounding black”. These applicants were 50% less likely than candidates perceived as having “white-sounding names” to receive callbacks for interviews. In contrast, institutions and courts have upheld discrimination against whites when it is done to promote a diverse work or educational environment, even when it was shown to be to the detriment of qualified applicants.[24][25] The researchers view these results as strong evidence of unconscious biases rooted in the United States‘ long history of discrimination (i.e. Jim Crow laws, etc.)[26]

Students protesting againstracial quotas in Brazil. The sign reads: “Want a vacancy? Pass the Vestibular!”

Institutional

Further information: Institutional racismState racismAffirmative actionRacial profiling, and Racism by country

Institutional racism (also known as structural racism, state racism or systemic racism) is racial discrimination by governments, corporations, religions, or educational institutions or other large organizations with the power to influence the lives of many individuals. Stokely Carmichael is credited for coining the phrase institutional racism in the late 1960s. He defined the term as “the collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin”.[27]

Maulana Karenga argued that racism constituted the destruction of culture, language, religion and human possibility, and that the effects of racism were “the morally monstrous destruction of human possibility involved redefining African humanity to the world, poisoning past, present and future relations with others who only know us through this stereotyping and thus damaging the truly human relations among peoples.”[28]

Economic

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed(November 2010)

Historical economic or social disparity is alleged to be a form of discrimination caused by past racism and historical reasons, affecting the present generation through deficits in the formal education and kinds of preparation in previous generation, and through primarily unconscious racist attitudes and actions on members of the general population.

A hypothesis embraced by classical economists is that competition in a capitalist economy decreases the impact of discrimination. The thinking behind the hypothesis is that discrimination imposes a cost on the employer, and thus a profit-driven employer will avoid racist hiring policies.

Although a capitalist economy would avoid discrimination in order to avoid extra cost, this can be avoided in other ways. A capitalist company, for example, may use racist hiring policies as it deviates towards the “cultural norm”. For example, in a predominantly white society, hiring a person of colour into a position of management may then cause disputes, and damage communications between other employers. Thus, the company would be economically put in a deficit because of the discrimination of other companies, as they invoke discrimination and isolate that company. Although this may be a radical, over exaggerated point of view, it portrays how pervasive racism is and how company[who?] will some time deviate towards racist hiring policies in order to henceforth be not isolated, thus preventing the company from going into an economic deficit. (Burton 2009:1)

For decades, African American farmers said they were unjustly being denied farm loans or subjected to longer waits for loan approval because of racism,[29] and accused the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) of not responding to their complaints.[30]

During the Spanish colonial period, Spaniards developed a complex caste system based on race, which was used for social control and which also determined a person’s importance in society.[31]While many Latin American countries have long since rendered the system officially illegal through legislation, usually at the time of their independence, prejudice based on degrees of perceived racial distance from European ancestry combined with one’s socioeconomic status remain, an echo of the colonial caste system. Almost uniformly, people who are darker-skinned and of indigenous descent make up the peasantry and working classes, while lighter-skinned, Spanish-descent Latin Americans are in the ruling elite.[32][33]

An anti-discrimination poster in a Hong Kong subway station, 2005

Declarations and international law against racial discrimination

In 1919, a proposal to include a racial equality provision in the Covenant of the League of Nations was supported by a majority, but not adopted in the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. In 1943, Japan and its allies declared work for the abolition of racial discrimination to be their aim at the Greater East Asia Conference.[34] Article 1 of the 1945 UN Charter includes “promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race” as UN purpose.

In 1950, UNESCO suggested in The Race Question —a statement signed by 21 scholars such as Ashley MontaguClaude Lévi-StraussGunnar MyrdalJulian Huxley, etc. — to “drop the term race altogether and instead speak of ethnic groups“. The statement condemned scientific racism theories that had played a role in the Holocaust. It aimed both at debunking scientific racist theories, by popularizing modern knowledge concerning “the race question,” and morally condemned racism as contrary to the philosophy of the Enlightenment and its assumption of equal rights for all. Along with Myrdal’s An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (1944), The Race Question influenced the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court desegregation decision in “Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka“.[35] Also in 1950, the European Convention on Human Rights was adopted, widely used on racial discrimination issues.[36]

The United Nations use the definition of racial discrimination laid out in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, adopted in 1966:

…any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.(Part 1 of Article 1 of the U.N. International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination)[37]

In 2001, the European Union explicitly banned racism along with many other forms of social discrimination in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the legal effect of which, if any, would necessarily be limited to Institutions of the European Union: “Article 21 of the charter prohibits discrimination on any ground such as race, color, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, disability, age or sexual orientation and also discrimination on the grounds of nationality.”[38]

Ideology

A racist political campaign poster from the 1866 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election

A sign on a racially segregated beach inSouth Africa during the South Africa under apartheid

As an ideology, racism existed during the 19th century as “scientific racism“, which attempted to provide a racial classification of humanity.[39] Although such racist ideologies have been widely discredited after World War II and the Holocaust, racism and racial discrimination have remained widespread around the world. Some examples of this in present day are statistics including, but not limited to, the racial breakdown of the prison population versus the national population, physical abilities and mental ability statistics, and other data gathered by scientific groups. While these statistics may be accurate, and can show trends, it’s inappropriate in most countries to assume that because a particular race has a high crime or low literacy rate, that the entire race of people are inherent criminals, or inherently unintelligent.

It was already noted by DuBois that, in making the difference between races, it is not race that we think about, but culture: “…a common history, common laws and religion, similar habits of thought and a conscious striving together for certain ideals of life”.[40] Late 19th century nationalists were the first to embrace contemporary discourses on “race”, ethnicity and “survival of the fittest” to shape new nationalist doctrines. Ultimately, race came to represent not only the most important traits of the human body, but was also regarded as decisively shaping the character and personality of the nation.[41]

According to this view, culture is the physical manifestation created by ethnic groupings, as such fully determined by racial characteristics. Culture and race became considered intertwined and dependent upon each other, sometimes even to the extent of including nationality or language to the set of definition. Pureness of race tended to be related to rather superficial characteristics that were easily addressed and advertised, such as blondness. Racial qualities tended to be related to nationality and language rather than the actual geographic distribution of racial characteristics. In the case of Nordicism, the denomination “Germanic” became virtually equivalent to superiority of race.

Bolstered by some nationalist and ethnocentric values and achievements of choice, this concept of racial superiority evolved to distinguish from other cultures, that were considered inferior or impure. This emphasis on culture corresponds to the modern mainstream definition of racism: “Racism does not originate from the existence of ‘races’. It creates them through a process of social division into categories: anybody can be racialised, independently of their somatic, cultural, religious differences.”[42]

This definition explicitly ignores the biological concept of race, still subject to scientific debate. In the words of David C. Rowe “A racial concept, although sometimes in the guise of another name, will remain in use in biology and in other fields because scientists, as well as lay persons, are fascinated by human diversity, some of which is captured by race.”[43]

Until recently, this racist abuse of physical anthropology has been politically exploited. Apart from being unscientific, racial prejudice became subject to international legislation. For instance, the Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on November 20, 1963, address racial prejudice explicitly next to discrimination for reasons of race, colour or ethnic origin (Article I).[44]

Racism has been a motivating factor in social discriminationracial segregationhate speech and violence (such as pogromsgenocides and ethnic cleansings). Despite the persistence of racial stereotypes, humor and epithets in much everyday language, racial discrimination is illegal in many countries.

Ironically, anti-racism has also become a political instrument of abuse. Some politicians have practised race baiting in an attempt to win votes. In a reversal of values, anti-racism is being propagated by despots in the service of obscurantism and the suppression of women. Philosopher Pascal Bruckner claimed that“Anti-racism in the UN has become the ideology of totalitarian regimes who use it in their own interests.”[45]

Ethnic nationalism

Further information: Ethnic nationalism  and Romantic nationalism

After the Napoleonic Wars, Europe was confronted with the new “nationalities question,” leading to reconfigurations of the European map, on which the frontiers between the states had been delimited during the 1648 Peace of WestphaliaNationalism had made its first appearance with the invention of thelevée en masse by the French revolutionaries, thus inventing mass conscription in order to be able to defend the newly founded Republic against the Ancien Régime order represented by the European monarchies. This led to the French Revolutionary Wars (1792–1802) and then to the Napoleonic conquests, and to the subsequent European-wide debates on the concepts and realities of nations, and in particular of nation-states. The Westphalia Treaty had divided Europe into various empires and kingdoms (Ottoman EmpireHoly Roman EmpireSwedish EmpireKingdom of France, etc.), and for centuries wars were waged between princes (Kabinettskriege in German).

Modern nation-states appeared in the wake of the French Revolution, with the formation of patriotic sentiments for the first time in Spain during the Peninsula War (1808–1813 – known in Spain as the Independence War). Despite the restoration of the previous order with the 1815 Congress of Vienna, the “nationalities question” became the main problem of Europe during the Industrial Era, leading in particular to the 1848 Revolutions, the Italian unification completed during the 1871 Franco-Prussian War, which itself culminated in the proclamation of the German Empire in the Hall of Mirrors in thePalace of Versailles, thus achieving the German unification.

Armenian civilians are marched by armed Turkish soldiers. Ottoman Empire, April 1915.

Meanwhile, the Ottoman Empire, the “sick man of Europe“, was confronted with endless nationalist movements, which, along with the dissolving of theAustrian-Hungarian Empire, would lead to the creation after World War I of the various nation-states of the Balkans, with “national minorities” in their borders.[46] Ethnic nationalism, which advocated the belief in a hereditary membership of the nation, made its appearance in the historical context surrounding the creation of the modern nation-states.

One of its main influences was the Romantic nationalist movement at the turn of the 19th century, represented by figures such as Johann Herder (1744–1803), Johan Fichte (1762–1814) in the Addresses to the German Nation (1808), Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831), or also, in France, Jules Michelet (1798–1874). It was opposed to liberal nationalism, represented by authors such as Ernest Renan (1823–1892), who conceived of the nation as a community, which, instead of being based on the Volk ethnic group and on a specific, common language, was founded on the subjective will to live together (“the nation is a dailyplebiscite“, 1882) or also John Stuart Mill (1806–1873).[47]

Ethnic nationalism blended with scientific racist discourses, as well as with “continental imperialist” (Hannah Arendt, 1951[48]) discourses, for example in the pan-Germanism discourses, which postulated the racial superiority of the German Volk. The Pan-German League (Alldeutscher Verband), created in 1891, promoted German imperialism, “racial hygiene” and was opposed to intermarriage with Jews. Another popular current, the Völkisch movement, was also an important proponent of the German ethnic nationalist discourse, which combined with modern antisemitism. Members of the Völkisch movement, in particular the Thule Society, would participate in the founding of the German Workers’ Party (DAP) in Munich in 1918, the predecessor of the NSDAP Nazi party. Pan-Germanism and played a decisive role in the interwar period of the 1920s–1930s.[48]

These currents began to associate the idea of the nation with the biological concept of a “master race” (often the “Aryan race” or “Nordic race“) issued from the scientific racist discourse. They conflated nationalities with ethnic groups, called “races”, in a radical distinction from previous racial discourses that posited the existence of a “race struggle” inside the nation and the state itself. Furthermore, they believed that political boundaries should mirror these alleged racial and ethnic groups, thus justifying ethnic cleansing in order to achieve “racial purity” and also to achieve ethnic homogeneity in the nation-state.

Such racist discourses, combined with nationalism, were not, however, limited to pan-Germanism. In France, the transition from Republican, liberal nationalism, to ethnic nationalism, which made nationalism a characteristic of far-right movements in France, took place during the Dreyfus Affair at the end of the 19th century. During several years, a nation-wide crisis affected French society, concerning the alleged treason of Alfred Dreyfus, a French Jewish military officer. The country polarized itself into two opposite camps, one represented by Émile Zola, who wrote J’accuse in defense of Alfred Dreyfus, and the other represented by the nationalist poet Maurice Barrès (1862–1923), one of the founders of the ethnic nationalist discourse in France.[49] At the same time, Charles Maurras(1868–1952), founder of the monarchist Action française movement, theorized the “anti-France,” composed of the “four confederate states of Protestants, Jews, Freemasons and foreigners” (his actual word for the latter being the pejorative métèques)). Indeed, to him the first three were all “internal foreigners,” who threatened the ethnic unity of the French people.

Ethnic conflicts

Further information: Ethnicity

Debates over the origins of racism often suffer from a lack of clarity over the term. Many use the term “racism” to refer to more general phenomena, such as xenophobia and ethnocentrism, although scholars attempt to clearly distinguish those phenomena from racism as an ideology or from scientific racism, which has little to do with ordinary xenophobia. Others conflate recent forms of racism with earlier forms of ethnic and national conflict. In most cases, ethno-national conflict seems to owe itself to conflict over land and strategic resources. In some cases ethnicity and nationalism were harnessed to rally combatants in wars between great religious empires (for example, the Muslim Turks and the Catholic Austro-Hungarians).

Notions of race and racism often have played central roles in such ethnic conflicts. Throughout history, when an adversary is identified as “other” based on notions of race or ethnicity (in particular when “other” is construed to mean “inferior”), the means employed by the self-presumed “superior” party to appropriate territory, human chattel, or material wealth often have been more ruthless, more brutal, and less constrained by moral or ethical considerations. According to historian Daniel Richter, Pontiac’s Rebellion saw the emergence on both sides of the conflict of “the novel idea that all Native people were ‘Indians,’ that all Euro-Americans were ‘Whites,’ and that all on one side must unite to destroy the other.” (Richter, Facing East from Indian Country, p. 208) Basil Davidson insists in his documentary, Africa: Different but Equal, that racism, in fact, only just recently surfaced—as late as the 19th century, due to the need for a justification for slavery in the Americas.

The idea of slavery as an “equal-opportunity employer” was denounced with the introduction of Christian theory in the West. Maintaining that Africans were “subhuman” was the only loophole in the then accepted law that “men are created equal” that would allow for the sustenance of the Triangular Trade. New peoples in the Americas, possible slaves, were encountered, fought, and ultimately subdued, but, then, due to European diseases, their populations drastically decreased. Through both influences, theories about “race” developed, and these helped many to justify the differences in position and treatment of people whom they categorized as belonging to different races (see Eric Wolf’s Europe and the People without History).

Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda argued that, during the Valladolid controversy in the middle of the 16th century, the Native Americans were natural slaves because they had no souls. In Asia, the Chinese andJapanese Empires were both strong colonial powers, with the Chinese making colonies and vassal states of much of East Asia throughout history, and the Japanese doing the same in the 19th–20th centuries. In both cases, the Asian imperial powers believed they were ethnically and racially preferenced too.

Academic variants

Drawings from Josiah C. Nottand George Gliddon‘s Indigenous races of the earth (1857), which suggested black people ranked between white people andchimpanzees in terms of intelligence.

Owen ‘Alik Shahadah comments on this racism by stating: “Historically Africans are made to sway like leaves on the wind, impervious and indifferent to any form of civilization, a people absent from scientific discovery, philosophy or the higher arts. We are left to believe that almost nothing can come out of Africa, other than raw material.”[50]

Scottish philosopher and economist David Hume said, “I am apt to suspect the Negroes to be naturally inferior to the Whites. There scarcely ever was a civilised nation of that complexion, nor even any individual, eminent either in action or in speculation. No ingenious manufacture among them, no arts, no sciences.”[51]German philosopher Immanuel Kant stated: “The yellow Indians do have a meagre talent. The Negroes are far below them, and at the lowest point are a part of the American people.”[52]

In the 19th century, the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel declared that “Africa is no historical part of the world.” Hegel further claimed that blacks had no “sense of personality; their spirit sleeps, remains sunk in itself, makes no advance, and thus parallels the compact, undifferentiated mass of the African continent” (On Blackness Without Blacks: Essays on the Image of the Black in Germany, Boston: C.W. Hall, 1982, p. 94).

Fewer than 30 years before Nazi Germany instigated World War II, the German Otto Weininger, claimed: “A genius has perhaps scarcely ever appeared amongst the negroes, and the standard of their morality is almost universally so low that it is beginning to be acknowledged in America that their emancipation was an act of imprudence” (Sex and Character, New York: G.P. Putnam, 1906, p. 302).

The German conservative Oswald Spengler remarked on what he perceived as the culturally degrading influence of Africans in modern Western culture: in The Hour of Decision Spengler denounced “the ‘happy ending’ of an empty existence, the boredom of which has brought to jazz music and Negro dancing to perform the Death March for a great Culture” (The Hour of Decision, pp. 227–228). During the Nazi era, German scientists rearranged academia to support claims of a grand “Aryan” agent behind the splendors of all human civilizations, including India and Ancient Egypt.[52]

People Show (Völkerschau) inStuttgart (Germany) in 1928.

Scientific variants

Main article: Scientific racism
Further information: Unilineal evolution

The modern biological definition of race developed in the 19th century with scientific racist theories. The term scientific racism refers to the use of science to justify and support racist beliefs, which goes back to the early 18th century, though it gained most of its influence in the mid-19th century, during the New Imperialism period. Also known as academic racism, such theories first needed to overcome the Church‘s resistance to positivist accounts of history and its support of monogenism, the concept that all human beings were originated from the same ancestors, in accordance with creationist accounts of history.

These racist theories put forth on scientific hypothesis were combined with unilineal theories of social progress, which postulated the superiority of the European civilization over the rest of the world. Furthermore, they frequently made use of the idea of “survival of the fittest“, a term coined by Herbert Spencer in 1864, associated with ideas of competition, which were named social Darwinism in the 1940s. Charles Darwin himself opposed the idea of rigid racial differences in The Descent of Man (1871) in which he argued that humans were all of one species, sharing common descent. He recognised racial differences as varieties of humanity, and emphasised the close similarities between people of all races in mental faculties, tastes, dispositions and habits, while still contrasting the culture of the “lowest savages” with European civilization.[53][54]

At the end of the 19th century, proponents of scientific racism intertwined themselves with eugenics discourses of “degeneration of the race” and “blood heredity.” Henceforth, scientific racist discourses could be defined as the combination of polygenism, unilinealism, social Darwinism and eugenism. They found their scientific legitimacy on physical anthropology,anthropometrycraniometryphrenologyphysiognomy, and others now discredited disciplines in order to formulate racist prejudices.

Before being disqualified in the 20th century by the American school of cultural anthropology (Franz Boas, etc.), the British school of social anthropology (Bronisław MalinowskiAlfred Radcliffe-Brown, etc.), the French school of ethnology (Claude Lévi-Strauss, etc.), as well as the discovery of the neo-Darwinian synthesis, such sciences, in particular anthropometry, were used to deduce behaviours and psychological characteristics from outward, physical appearances.

The neo-Darwinian synthesis, first developed in the 1930s, eventually led to a gene-centered view of evolution in the 1960s. According to the Human Genome Project, the most complete mapping of human DNA to date indicates that there is no clear genetic basis to racial groups. While some genes are more common in certain populations, there are no genes that exist in all members of one population and no members of any other.[7]

Heredity and eugenics

Further information: Eugenics

The first theory of eugenics was developed in 1869 by Francis Galton (1822–1911), who used the then popular concept of degeneration. He applied statistics to study human differences and the alleged “inheritance of intelligence“, foreshadowing future uses of “intelligence testing” by the anthropometry school. Such theories were vividly described by the writer Émile Zola (1840–1902), who started publishing in 1871 a twenty-novel cycle, Les Rougon-Macquart, where he linked heredity to behavior. Thus, Zola described the high-born Rougons as those involved in politics (Son Excellence Eugène Rougon) and medicine (Le Docteur Pascal) and the low-born Macquarts as those fatally falling into alcoholism (L’Assommoir), prostitution (Nana), and homicide (La Bête humaine).

During the rise of Nazism in Germany, some scientists in Western nations worked to debunk the regime’s racial theories. A few argued against racist ideologies and discrimination, even if they believed in the alleged existence of biological races. However, in the fields of anthropology and biology, these were minority positions until the mid-20th century.[55] According to the 1950 UNESCO statement,The Race Question, an international project to debunk racist theories had been attempted in the mid-1930s. However, this project had been abandoned. Thus, in 1950, UNESCO declared that it had resumed:

up again, after a lapse of fifteen years, a project that the International Institute for Intellectual Co-operation has wished to carry through but that it had to abandon in deference to theappeasement policy of the pre-war period. The race question had become one of the pivots of Nazi ideology and policy. Masaryk and Beneš took the initiative of calling for a conference to re-establish in the minds and consciences of men everywhere the truth about race… Nazi propaganda was able to continue its baleful work unopposed by the authority of an international organisation.

The Third Reich’s racial policies, its eugenics programs and the extermination of Jews in the Holocaust, as well as Romani people in the Porrajmos (the Romani Holocaust) and others minorities led to a change in opinions about scientific research into race after the war. Changes within scientific disciplines, such as the rise of the Boasian school of anthropology in the United States contributed to this shift. These theories were strongly denounced in the 1950 UNESCO statement, signed by internationally renowned scholars, and titled The Race Question.

Polygenism and racial typologies

Further information: Polygenism  and Typology (anthropology)

Works such as Arthur de Gobineau‘s An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853–1855) may be considered as one of the first theorizations of this new racism, founded on an essentialist notion of race, which opposed the former racial discourse, of Boulainvilliers for example, which saw in races a fundamentally historical reality, which changed over time. Gobineau, thus, attempted to frame racism within the terms of biological differences among humans, giving it the legitimacy of biology. He was one of the first theorists to postulate polygenism, stating that there were, at the origins of the world, various discrete “races.”

Gobineau’s theories would be expanded, in France, by Georges Vacher de Lapouge (1854–1936)’s typology of races, who published in 1899 The Aryan and his Social Role, in which he claimed that the white, “Aryan race”, “dolichocephalic“, was opposed to the “brachycephalic” race, of whom the “Jew” was the archetype. Vacher de Lapouge thus created a hierarchical classification of races, in which he identified the “Homo europaeus (Teutonic, Protestant, etc.), the “Homo alpinus” (AuvergnatTurkish, etc.), and finally the “Homo mediterraneus” (NeapolitanAndalus, etc.) He assimilated races andsocial classes, considering that the French upper class was a representation of the Homo europaeus, while the lower class represented the Homo alpinus. Applying Galton’s eugenics to his theory of races, Vacher de Lapouge’s “selectionism” aimed first at achieving the annihilation of trade unionists, considered to be a “degenerate”; second, creating types of man each destined to one end, in order to prevent any contestation of labour conditions. His “anthroposociology” thus aimed at blocking social conflict by establishing a fixed, hierarchical social order[56]

The same year, William Z. Ripley used identical racial classification in The Races of Europe (1899), which would have a great influence in the United States. Other scientific authors include H.S. Chamberlain at the end of the 19th century (a British citizen who naturalized himself as German because of his admiration for the “Aryan race”) or Madison Grant, a eugenicist and author of The Passing of the Great Race (1916).

Human zoos

Human zoos (called “People Shows”), were an important means of bolstering popular racism by connecting it to scientific racism: they were both objects of public curiosity and of anthropology andanthropometry.[57][58] Joice Heth, an African American slave, was displayed by P.T. Barnum in 1836, a few years after the exhibition of Saartjie Baartman, the “Hottentot Venus”, in England. Such exhibitions became common in the New Imperialism period, and remained so until World War IICarl Hagenbeck, inventor of the modern zoos, exhibited animals beside humans who were considered “savages”.[59][60]

Congolese pygmy Ota Benga was displayed in 1906 by eugenicist Madison Grant, head of the Bronx Zoo, as an attempt to illustrate the “missing link” between humans and orangutans: thus, racism was tied to Darwinism, creating a social Darwinist ideology that tried to ground itself in Darwin‘s scientific discoveries. The 1931 Paris Colonial Exhibition displayed Kanaks from New Caledonia.[61] A “Congolese village” was on display as late as 1958 at the Brussels’ World Fair.

Evolutionary theories about the origins of racism

See also: Ethnocentrism

Biologists John Tooby and Leda Cosmides were puzzled by the fact that race is one of the three characteristics most often used in brief descriptions of individuals (the others are age and sex). They reasoned that natural selection would not have favoured the evolution of an instinct for using race as a classification, because for most of human history, humans almost never encountered members of other races. Tooby and Cosmides hypothesized that modern people use race as a proxy (rough-and-ready indicator) for coalition membership, since a better-than-random guess about “which side” another person is on will be helpful if one does not actually know in advance.

Their colleague Robert Kurzban designed an experiment whose results appeared to support this hypothesis. Using the Memory confusion protocol, they presented subjects with pictures of individuals and sentences, allegedly spoken by these individuals, which presented two sides of a debate. The errors that the subjects made in recalling who said what indicated that they sometimes misattributed a statement to a speaker of the same race as the “correct” speaker, although they also sometimes misattributed a statement to a speaker “on the same side” as the “correct” speaker. In a second run of the experiment, the team also distinguished the “sides” in the debate by clothing of similar colors; and in this case the effect of racial similarity in causing mistakes almost vanished, being replaced by the color of their clothing. In other words, the first group of subjects, with no clues from clothing, used race as a visual guide to guessing who was on which side of the debate; the second group of subjects used the clothing color as their main visual clue, and the effect of race became very small. [62]

Some research suggests that ethnocentric thinking may have actually contributed to the development of cooperation. Political scientists Ross Hammond and Robert Axelrod created a computer simulation wherein virtual individuals were randomly assigned one of a variety of skin colors, and then one of a variety of trading strategies: be color-blind, favor those of your own color, or favor those of other colors. They found that the ethnocentric individuals clustered together, then grew until all the non-ethnocentric individuals were wiped out.[63]

In The Selfish Gene, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins writes that “Blood-feuds and inter-clan warfare are easily interpretable in terms of Hamilton‘s genetic theory.” Dawkins writes that racial prejudice, while not evolutionarily adaptive, “could be interpreted as an irrational generalization of a kin-selected tendency to identify with individuals physically resembling oneself, and to be nasty to individuals different in appearance”.[64] Simulation-based experiments in evolutionary game theory have attempted to provide an explanation for the selection of ethnocentric-strategy phenotypes.[65]

As state-sponsored activity

Main articles: Nazism and raceRacial policy of Nazi GermanyGeneralplan OstEugenics in Showa JapanApartheid in South AfricaRacial segregation in the United StatesKetuanan Melayu,Anti-Chinese legislation in Indonesia, and Anti-Japanese sentiment in Korea

U.S government poster from World War IIfeaturing a Japanese soldier depicted as a rat.

State racism – that is, institutions and practices of a nation-state that are grounded in racist ideology – has played a major role in all instances of settler colonialism, from the United States to Australia to Israel. It also played a prominent role in the Nazi Germany regime and fascist regimes in Europe, and in the first part of Japan’s Shōwa period. These governments advocated and implemented policies that were racist, xenophobic and, in case of Nazism, genocidal.[66][67][68] The politics of Zimbabwe promote discrimination against whites, in an effort of ethnically cleansing the country.[69]

State racism contributed as well to the formation of the Dominican Republic‘s identity [70] and violent actions encouraged by Dominican governmentalxenophobia against Haitians and “Haitian looking” people. Currently the Dominican Republic employs a de facto system of separatism for children and grandchildren of Haitians and black Dominicans, denying them birth certificates, education and access to health care.[71]

In history

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In Antiquity

Edith Sanders cited the Babylonian Talmud, which divides mankind between the three sons of Noah, stating that “the descendants of Ham are cursed by being black, and [it] depicts Ham as a sinful man and his progeny as degenerates.”[72] Bernard Lewis has cited the Greek philosopher Aristotle who, in his discussion of slavery, stated that while Greeks are free by nature, ‘barbarians‘ (non-Greeks) are slaves by nature, in that it is in their nature to be more willing to submit to despotic government.[73] Though Aristotle does not specify any particular races, he argues that people from outside Greece are more prone to the burden of slavery than those from Ancient Greece.[74]

Middle Ages and Renaissance

Further information: Limpieza de sangre

In the Middle East and North Africa region, racist opinions were expressed within the works of some of its historians and geographers[75] including Al-MuqaddasiAl-JahizAl-MasudiAbu Rayhan BiruniNasir al-Din al-Tusi, and Ibn Qutaybah.[76] In the 14th century CE, the Tunisian Ibn Khaldun wrote:

– :“beyond [known peoples of black West Africa] to the south there is no civilization in the proper sense. There are only humans who are closer to dumb animals than to rational beings. They live in thickets and caves, and eat herbs and unprepared grain. They frequently eat each other. They cannot be considered human beings.” “Therefore, the Negro nations are, as a rule, submissive to slavery, because (Negroes) have little that is (essentially) human and possess attributes that are quite similar to those of dumb animals, as we have stated.”[75][76][77]

Though the Qur’an expresses no racial prejudice, such prejudices later developed among Arabs for a variety of reasons:[73][78] their extensive conquests and slave trade; the influence of Aristotelianideas regarding slavery, which some Muslim philosophers directed towards Zanj (East African) and Turkic peoples;[73] and the influence of Judeo-Christian ideas regarding divisions among humankind.[79] In response to such views, the Afro-Arab author Al-Jahiz, himself of East African descent, wrote a book entitled Superiority Of The Blacks To The Whites,[80] and explained why the Zanj were black in terms of environmental determinism in the “On the Zanj” chapter of The Essays.[81] By the 14th century, a significant number of slaves came from sub-Saharan Africa, leading to the likes of Egyptian historian Al-Abshibi (1388–1446) writing: “It is said that when the [black] slave is sated, he fornicates, when he is hungry, he steals.”[82] According to J. Philippe Rushton, Arab relations with blacks whom the Muslims had dealt as slave traders for over 1,000 years could be summed up as follows:

Although the Qur’an stated that there were no superior and inferior races and therefore no bar to racial intermarriage, in practice this pious doctrine was disregarded. Arabs did not want their daughters to marry even hybridized blacks. The Ethiopians were the most respected, the “Zanj” (Bantu and other Negroid tribes from East and West Africa south of the Sahara) the least respected, with Nubians occupying an intermediate position.[83]

13th century slave market in Yemen. Yemen officially abolished slavery in 1962. In the struggle for emancipation of slaves in the Islamic world, there was double-layered racism that favored the white slaves.[84]

It should be noted that ethnic prejudice among some elite Arabs was not limited to darker-skinned black people, but was also directed towards fairer-skinned “ruddy people” (including Persians, Turks, Caucasians and Europeans), while Arabs referred to themselves as “swarthy people”.[85] According to Arnold J. Toynbee: “The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding achievements of Islam and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue.”[86]

Richard E. Nisbett has said that the question of racial superiority may go back at least a thousand years, to the time when the Umayyad Caliphate invaded Hispania, occupying most of the Iberian Peninsula for six centuries, where they founded the advanced civilization of Al-Andalus (711–1492). Al-Andalus coincided with La Convivencia, an era of religious tolerance, and with the Golden age of Jewish culture in Iberia (912, the rule of Abd-ar-Rahman III – 1066,Granada massacre).[87] It was followed by a violent Reconquista under the Reyes Catolicos (Catholic Monarchs), Ferdinand V and Isabella I. The CatholicSpaniards then formulated the Cleanliness of blood doctrine. It was during this time in history that the Western concept of aristocratic “blue blood” emerged in a highly racialized and implicitly white supremacist context, as author Robert Lacey explains:

It was the Spaniards who gave the world the notion that an aristocrat’s blood is not red but blue. The Spanish nobility started taking shape around the ninth century in classic military fashion, occupying land as warriors on horseback. They were to continue the process for more than five hundred years, clawing back sections of the peninsula from its Moorish occupiers, and a nobleman demonstrated his pedigree by holding up his sword arm to display the filigree of blue-blooded veins beneath his pale skin—proof that his birth had not been contaminated by the dark-skinned enemy. Sangre azul, blue blood, was thus a euphemism for being a white man—Spain’s own particular reminder that the refined footsteps of the aristocracy through history carry the rather less refined spoor of racism.[88]

Following the expulsion of most Sephardic Jews from the Iberian peninsula, the remaining Jews and Muslims were forced to convert to Roman Catholicism, becoming “New Christians” which were despised and discriminated by the “Old Christians“. An Inquisition was carried out by members of the Dominican Order in order to weed out converts that still practiced Judaism and Islam in secret. The system and ideology of the limpieza de sangre ostracized Christian converts from society, regardless of their actual degree of sincerity in their faith.

In Portugal, the legal distinction between New and Old Christian was only ended through a legal decree issued by the Marquis of Pombal in 1772, almost three centuries after the implementation of the racist discrimination. The limpieza de sangre doctrine was also very common in the colonization of the Americas, where it led to the racial separation of the various peoples in the colonies and created a very intricate list of nomenclature to describe one’s precise race and, by consequence, one’s place in society. This precise classification was described by Eduardo Galeano in the Open Veins of Latin America (1971). It included, among others terms, mestizo (50% Spaniard and 50% Native American), castizo (75% European and 25% Native American), Spaniard (87.5% European and 12.5% Native American), Mulatto (50% European and 50% African), Albarazado (43.75% Native American, 29.6875% European, and 26.5625% African), etc.

At the end of the Renaissance, the Valladolid debate (1550–1551) concerning the treatment of natives of the “New World” opposed the Dominican friar and Bishop of Chiapas Bartolomé de Las Casasto another Dominican philosopher Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda. The latter argued that “Indians” were natural slaves because they had no souls, and were therefore beneath humanity. Thus, reducing them to slavery or serfdom was in accordance with Catholic theology and natural law. To the contrary, Bartolomé de Las Casas argued that the Amerindians were free men in the natural order and deserved the same treatment as others, according to Catholic theology. It was one of the many controversy concerning racism, slavery and Eurocentrism that would arise in the following centuries.

Although anti-Semitism has a long European history, related to Christianism (anti-Judaism), racism itself is frequently described as a modern phenomenon. In the view of the French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault, the first formulation of racism emerged in the Early Modern period as the “discourse of race struggle”, a historical and political discourse, which Foucault opposed to the philosophical and juridical discourse of sovereignty.[89] Foucault thus argued that the first appearance of racism as a social discourse (as opposed to simple xenophobia, which some might argue has existed in all places and times) may be found during the 1688 Glorious Revolution in Great Britain, in Edward Coke or John Lilburne‘s work.

However, this “discourse of race struggle”, as interpreted by Foucault, must be distinguished from the 19th century biological racism, also known as “race science” or “scientific racism“. Indeed, this early modern discourse has many points of difference with modern racism. First of all, in this “discourse of race struggle”, “race” is not considered a biological notion — which would divide humanity into distinct biological groups — but as a historical notion. Moreover, this discourse is opposed to the sovereign’s discourse: it is used by the bourgeoisie, the people and the aristocracy as a mean of struggle against the monarchy. This discourse, which first appeared in Great Britain, was then carried on in France by people such as BoulainvilliersNicolas Fréret, and then, during the 1789 French RevolutionSieyès, and afterward Augustin Thierry and Cournot. Boulainvilliers, which created the matrix of such racist discourse in medieval France, conceived the “race” as something closer to the sense of “nation”, that is, in his times, the “people”.

He conceived France as divided between various nations — the unified nation-state is, of course, here an anachronism — which themselves formed different “races”. Boulainvilliers opposed the absolute monarchy, who tried to bypass the aristocracy by establishing a direct relationship to the Third Estate. Thus, he created this theory of the French aristocrats as being the descendants of foreign invaders, whom he called the “Franks“, while the Third Estate constituted according to him the autochthonous, vanquished Gallo-Romans, who were dominated by the Frankish aristocracy as a consequence of the right of conquest. Early modern racism was opposed to nationalism and the nation-state: the Comte de Montlosier, in exile during the French Revolution, who borrowed Boulainvilliers’ discourse on the “Nordic race” as being the French aristocracy that invaded the plebeian “Gauls”, thus showed his despise for the Third Estate calling it “this new people born of slaves…mixture of all races and of all times“.

While 19th century racism became closely intertwined with nationalism, leading to the ethnic nationalist discourse that identified the “race” to the “folk“, leading to such movements as pan-Germanism,Zionismpan-Turkismpan-Arabism, and pan-Slavism, medieval racism precisely divided the nation into various non-biological “races”, which were thought as the consequences of historical conquests and social conflicts. Michel Foucault traced the genealogy of modern racism to this medieval “historical and political discourse of race struggle”. According to him, it divided itself in the 19th century according to two rival lines: on one hand, it was incorporated by racists, biologists and eugenicists, who gave it the modern sense of “race” and, even more, transformed this popular discourse into a “state racism” (e.g. Nazism). On the other hand, Marxists also seized this discourse founded on the assumption of a political struggle that provided the real engine of history and continued to act underneath the apparent peace. Thus, Marxists transformed the essentialist notion of “race” into the historical notion of “class struggle“, defined by socially structured position: capitalist or proletarian. In The Will to Knowledge (1976), Foucault analyzed another opponent of the “race struggle” discourse: Sigmund Freud‘s psychoanalysis, which opposed the concepts of “blood heredity“, prevalent in the 19th century racist discourse.

19th century

Authors such as Hannah Arendt, in her 1951 book The Origins of Totalitarianism, have said that the racist ideology (popular racism) that developed at the end of the 19th century helped legitimize theimperialist conquests of foreign territories and the acts that accompanied them (such as the Herero and Namaqua Genocide of 1904–1907 or the Armenian Genocide of 1915–1917). Rudyard Kipling‘s poem The White Man’s Burden (1899) is one of the more famous illustrations of the belief in the inherent superiority of the European culture over the rest of the world, though also it is also thought to be a satirical appraisal of such imperialism. Racist ideology thus helped legitimize subjugation and the dismantling of the traditional societies of indigenous peoples, which were regarded as humanitarian obligations as a result of these racist beliefs.

However, during the 19th century, West European colonial powers were involved in the suppression of the Arab slave trade in Africa,[90] as well as in suppression of the slave trade in West Africa.[91]Other colonialists recognized the depravity of their actions but persisted for personal gain; some Europeans during the time period objected to the injustices caused by colonialism and lobbied on behalf of aboriginal peoples. Thus, when the Hottentot Venus was displayed in England in the beginning of the 19th century, the African Association publicly opposed itself to the exhibition. The same year that Kipling published his poem, Joseph Conrad published Heart of Darkness (1899), a clear criticism of the Congo Free State owned by Leopold II of Belgium.

Examples of racial theories used include the creation of the Hamitic ethno-linguistic group during the European exploration of Africa. It was then restricted by Karl Friedrich Lepsius (1810–1877) to non-Semitic Afro-Asiatic languages.[92]

The term Hamite was applied to different populations within Africa, mainly comprising EthiopiansEritreansSomalisBerbers, and Nubians. Hamites were regarded as Caucasoid peoples who probably originated in either Arabia or Asia on the basis of their cultural, physical and linguistic similarities with the peoples of those areas.[93][94][95] Europeans considered Hamites to be more civilized thanBlack Africans, and more akin to themselves and Semitic peoples.[96] In the first two-thirds of the 20th century, the Hamitic race was, in fact, considered one of the branches of the Caucasian race, along with the Indo-EuropeansDravidiansSemites, and the Mediterranean race.

However, the Hamitic peoples themselves were often deemed to have failed as rulers, which was usually ascribed to interbreeding with Negroes. In the mid-20th century, the German scholar Carl Meinhof (1857–1944) claimed that the Bantu race was formed by a merger of Hamitic and Negro races. The Hottentots (Nama or Khoi) were formed by the merger of Hamitic and Bushmen (San) races — both being termed nowadays as Khoisan peoples).

One in a series of posters attacking Radical Republicanson the issue of black suffrage, issued during the Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1866.

In the United States in the early 19th century, the American Colonization Society was established as the primary vehicle for proposals to return black Americans to greater freedom and equality in Africa.[97] The colonization effort resulted from a mixture of motives with its founder Henry Clay stating; “unconquerable prejudice resulting from their color, they never could amalgamate with the free whites of this country. It was desirable, therefore, as it respected them, and the residue of the population of the country, to drain them off”.[98] Racism spread throughout the New World in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Whitecapping, which started in Indiana in the late 19th century, soon spread throughout all of North America, causing many African laborers to flee from the land they worked on. In the US during the 1860s, racist posters were used during election campaigns. In one of these racist posters (see above), a black man is depicted lounging idly in the foreground as one white man ploughs his field and another chops wood. Accompanying labels are: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread,” and “The white man must work to keep his children and pay his taxes.” The black man wonders, “Whar is de use for me to work as long as dey make dese appropriations.” Above in a cloud is an image of the “Freedman’s Bureau! Negro Estimate of Freedom!” The bureau is pictured as a large domed building resembling the U.S. Capitol and is inscribed “Freedom and No Work.” Its columns and walls are labeled, “Candy,” “Rum, Gin, Whiskey,” “Sugar Plums,” “Indolence,” “White Women,” “Apathy,” “White Sugar,” “Idleness,” and so on.

On June 5, 1873, Sir Francis Galton, distinguished English explorer and cousin of Charles Darwin, wrote in a letter to The Times:

“My proposal is to make the encouragement of Chinese settlements of Africa a part of our national policy, in the belief that the Chinese immigrants would not only maintain their position, but that they would multiply and their descendants supplant the inferior Negro race” “I should expect that the African seaboard, now sparsely occupied by lazy, palavering savages, might in a few years be tenanted by industrious, order-loving Chinese, living either as a semidetached dependency of China, or else in perfect freedom under their own law.” [99]

20th century

Further information: HolocaustRacial segregation in the United States, and Rwandan Genocide

An improvised camp for Soviet POWs. Between June 1941 and January 1942, the Nazis killed an estimated 2.8 million Red Army POWs, whom they viewed as “subhuman”.[100]

Drinking fountain from mid-20th century with African-American drinking

The Nazis considered JewsGypsiesPoles and other Slavic people such as the RussiansUkrainiansCzechs and anyone else who was not an “Aryan” according to the contemporary Nazi race terminology to be subhuman (Untermensch). The Nazis rationalized that the Germans, being a super human (Übermenschlich) race, had a biological right to displace, eliminate and enslave inferiors.[101] Some 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis during theHolocaust. In the longer term,[102] the Nazis wanted to exterminate some 30–45 million Slavs.[103]

After the war, under the “Big Plan”, Generalplan Ost foresaw the eventual expulsion of more than 50 million non-Germanized Slavs of Eastern Europe throughforced migration, as well as some of the Balts, beyond the Ural Mountains and into Siberia. In their place, Germans would be settled in an extended “living space” (Lebensraum) of the 1000-Year Empire (Tausendjähriges Reich). Herbert Backe was one of the orchestrators of the Hunger Plan – the plan to starve tens of millions of Slavs in order to ensure steady food supplies for the German people and troops.[104]

Heinrich Himmler speech to about 100 SS Group Leaders in Posen, occupied Poland, 1943:

“What happens to the Russians, what happens to the Czechs, is a matter of utter indifference to me… Whether the other peoples live in comfort or perish of hunger interests me only in so far as we need them as slaves for our culture; apart from that it does not interest me. Whether or not 10,000 Russian women collapse from exhaustion while digging a tank ditch interests me only in so far as the tank ditch is completed for Germany… We Germans, who are the only people in the world who have a decent attitude to animals, will also adopt a decent attitude to these human animals, but it is a crime against our own blood to worry about them and to bring them ideals… I shall speak to you here with all frankness of a very serious subject. We shall now discuss it absolutely openly among ourselves, nevertheless we shall never speak of it in public. I mean the evacuation of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish race.”[105]

Serious race riots in Durban between Indians and Zulus erupted in 1949.[106] Ne Win‘s rise to power in Burma in 1962 and his relentless persecution of “resident aliens” led to an exodus of some 300,000 Burmese Indians.[107] They migrated to escape racial discrimination and wholesale nationalisation of private enterprise a few years later in 1964.[108] The Zanzibar Revolution of January 12, 1964 put an end to the local Arab dynasty.[109] Thousands of Arabs and Indians in Zanzibar were massacred in riots, and thousands more were detained or fled the island.[110] On 4 August 1972, Idi Amin, President of Uganda, ethnically cleansed Uganda’s Asians giving them 90 days to leave the country.[111]

Contemporary

During the Congo Civil War (1998–2003), Pygmies were hunted down like game animals and eaten. Both sides of the war regarded them as “subhuman” and some say their flesh can confer magical powers. UN human rights activists reported in 2003 that rebels had carried out acts of cannibalism. Sinafasi Makelo, a representative of Mbuti pygmies, has asked the UN Security Council to recognise cannibalism as a crime against humanity and an act of genocide.[112] A report released by the United NationsCommittee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination condemns Botswana‘s treatment of the ‘Bushmen‘ as racist.[113]

The mass demonstrations and riots against African students in NanjingChina, lasted from December 1988 to January 1989.[114] Bar owners in central Beijing had been forced “not to serve black people or Mongolians” during the 2008 Summer Olympics.[115] Some neighborhood committees in Guangzhou bar Africans from living in residential complexes.[116] In November 2009, British newspaper The Guardian reported that Lou Jing, of mixed Chinese and African parentage, had emerged as the most famous talent show contestant in China and has become the subject of intense debate because of her skin colour.[117] Her attention in the media opened serious debates about racism in China and racial prejudice.[118]

In Asia and Latin America, light skin is seen as more attractive.[119] Thus, skin whitening cosmetic products are popular in East Asia[120] and India.[121]

Some 70,000 black African Mauritanians were expelled from Mauritania in the late 1980s.[122] In the Sudan, black African captives in the civil war were often enslaved, and female prisoners were often used sexually.[123] The Darfur conflict has been described by some as a racial matter.[124] In October 2006, Niger announced that it would deport the Arabs living in the Diffa region of eastern Niger toChad.[125] This population numbered about 150,000.[126] While the Government collected Arabs in preparation for the deportation, two girls died, reportedly after fleeing Government forces, and three women suffered miscarriages.[127]

The Ethiopian Jewish community’s integration into Israeli society has been complicated by racist attitudes on the part of some elements of Israeli society and the official establishment.[128][129] The Israeli media reported that residents of Pisgat Ze’ev, a large Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, had formed a vigilante-style patrol to stop interracial dating between Arab men and local Jewish girls. In the 2007 poll, more than half of Israeli Jews said that intermarriage should be equated with “national treason”.[130]

The burnt out remains of Govinda’s Indian Restaurant in Fiji, May 2000

The Jakarta riots of May 1998 targeted many Chinese Indonesians.[131] The anti-Chinese legislation was in the Indonesian constitution until 1998. Xenophobia against Chinese migrants is currently on the rise in Africa[132][133][134] and Oceania.[135][136] Anti-Chinese rioting, involving tens of thousands of people,[137]broke out in Papua New Guinea in May 2009.[138] The Fiji coup of 2000 has provoked a violent backlash against the Indo-Fijians.[139] Fiji citizens of Indian, European, mixed race or other island heritage have become second-class citizens.[140][141] Racial divisions also exist in Guyana[142] and Malaysia.[143]

Inter-minority variants

Prejudiced thinking among and between minority groups does occur, for example conflicts between African Americans and Korean Americans (notably in theLos Angeles riots of 1992), by blacks towards Jews (such as the riots in Crown Heights in 1991), between new immigrant groups (such as Latinos), or towards whites.[144][145][146][147] One particularly pernicious form of racism in the United States is racial segregation, which, it can be argued, continues to exist today.[148]

There has been a long-running racial tension between African Americans and Mexican Americans.[149][150][151] There have been several significant riots inCalifornia prisons in which Mexican American inmates and African Americans have specifically targeted each other based on racial reasons.[152][153] There have been reports of racially motivated attacks against African Americans who have moved into neighborhoods occupied mostly by Mexican Americans, and vice versa.[154][155][156][157] In the late 1920s in California, there was animosity between the Filipinos and the Mexicans and between European Americans and Filipino Americans since they competed for the same jobs.[158] Recently, there has also been an increase in racial violence between African immigrants and Blacks who have already lived in the country for generations.[159]

The Aztlan movement has been described as racist. The movement’s goal is repossession of the American southwest. It has also been called the Mexican “reconquista” (re-conquest) whose name was inspired by the Spanish reconquista, which led to the expulsion of the Moors from Spain.[160] According to gang experts and law enforcement agents, a longstanding race war between the Mexican Mafia and the Black Guerilla family, a rival African American prison gang, has generated such intense racial hatred among Mexican Mafia leaders or shot callers, that they have issued a “green light” on all blacks. A sort of gang-life fatwa, this amounts to a standing authorization for Latino gang members to prove their mettle by terrorizing or even murdering any blacks sighted in a neighborhood claimed by a gang loyal to the Mexican Mafia.[161]

In Britain, tensions between minority groups can be just as strong as those between minorities and the majority population. In Birmingham, there have been long-term divisions between the Black and South Asian communities, which were illustrated in the Handsworth riots and in the smaller 2005 Birmingham riots. In Dewsbury, a Yorkshire town with a relatively high Muslim population, there have been tensions and minor civil disturbances between Kurds and South Asians.[162][163]

In France, home to Europe’s largest population of Muslims — about 6 million — as well as the continent’s largest community of Jews, about 600,000, anti-Jewish violence, property destruction, and racist language has been increasing over the last several years. Jewish leaders perceive the Muslim population as intensifying anti-Semitism in France, mainly among Muslims of Arab or Africanheritage, but also this anti-Semitism is perceived as also growing among Caribbean islanders from former colonies.[164][165]

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

UNESCO marks March 21 as the yearly International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, in memory of the events that occurred on March 21, 1960 in SharpevilleSouth Africa, where police killed student demonstrators peacefully protesting against the apartheid regime.

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KU KLUX KLAN , EXTREMISM , RACISM, INFAMY AND NOTORIETY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL, UK

July 7, 2011

THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL IS AN ALADDINS CAVE OF TRUE CRIME MEMORABILIA , MURDERABILIA , CELEBRITY SLEAZE AND SCANDAL , FREAKS OF NATURE , THE BIZARRE AND THE TABOO . IF EASILY OFFENDED , DISTURBED OR OF A SENSITIVE NATURE PLEASE DO AVOID VISITING THIS THOUGHT PROVOKING , POLITICALLY INCORRECT VISITOR ATTRACTION 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
“KKK” redirects here. For other uses, see KKK (disambiguation).
Page semi-protected
Ku Klux Klan
Klan-in-gainesville.jpg
Ku Klux Klan rally, Gainesville, Florida, December 31, 1922.
In existence
1st Klan 1865–1870s
2nd Klan 1915–1944
3rd Klan1 since 1946
Members
1st Klan 550,000
2nd Klan between 3 and 6 million[1] (peaked in 1920–1925 period)
Properties
Origin United States of America
Political ideology White supremacy
White nationalism
Nativism
Christian terrorism[2] [3][4][5]
Political position Far-right
Religion Protestant Christianity
1The 3rd Klan is decentralized, with approx. 179 chapters.

Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as The Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right[6][7][8][9] organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacywhite nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically expressed through terrorism.[10][11] Since the mid-20th century, the KKK has also been anti-communist.[10] The current manifestation is splintered into several chapters and is classified as a hate group.[12]

The first Klan flourished in the South in the 1860s, then died out by the early 1870s. Members adopted white costumes: robes, masks, and conical hats, designed to be outlandish and terrifying, and to hide their identities.[13] The second KKK flourished nationwide in the early and mid 1920s, and adopted the same costumes and code words as the first Klan, while introducing cross burnings.[14] The third KKK emerged after World War II and was associated with opposing the civil rights movement and progress among minorities. The second and third incarnations of the Ku Klux Klan made frequent reference to America’s “Anglo-Saxon” and “Celtic” blood, harking back to 19th-century nativism and claiming descent from the original 18th-century British colonial revolutionaries.[15] All incarnations of the Klan have well-established records of engaging in terrorism, though historians debate how widely the tactic was supported by the membership of the second KKK.

Contents

 [hide]

Three Klans

First KKK

The first Klan was founded in 1865 in Pulaski, Tennessee, as a terrorist organization[11] by veterans of the Confederate Army.[16] They named it after the Greek word ‘kuklos”, which means circle. The name means “Circle of Brothers.”[17]

Although there was no organizational structure above the local level, similar groups arose across the South, adopting the name and methods.[citation needed] Klan groups spread throughout the South as an insurgent movement during the Reconstruction era in the United States. As a secret vigilante group, the Klan targeted freedmen and their allies; it sought to restore white supremacy by threats and violence, including murder, against black and white Republicans. In 1870 and 1871 the federal government passed the Force Acts, which were used to prosecute Klan crimes.[18] Prosecution of Klan crimes and enforcement of the Force Acts suppressed Klan activity. In 1874 and later, however, newly organized and openly active paramilitary organizations, such as the White League and the Red Shirts, started a fresh round of violence aimed at suppressing blacks’ voting and running Republicans out of office. These contributed to segregationist white Democrats regaining political power in all the Southern states by 1877.

Second KKK

In 1915, the second Klan was founded and remained a small organization in Georgia. Starting in 1921, it adopted a modern business system of recruiting (which paid most of the initiation fee and costume charges to the organizers) and grew rapidly nationwide at a time of prosperity. Reflecting the social tensions of urban industrialization and vastly increased immigration, its membership grew most rapidly in cities, and spread to the Midwest and West out of the South. The second KKK preached Americanism and purification of politics, with strong racismanti-Catholicismanti-Communism,nativism, and antisemitism. Some local groups took part in attacks on private houses, and carried out other violent activities. The violent episodes were generally in the South.[19]

The second Klan was a formal fraternal organization, with a national and state structure. At its peak in the mid-1920s, the organization claimed to include about 15% of the nation’s eligible population, approximately 4–5 million men. Internal divisions, criminal behavior by leaders, and external opposition brought about a collapse in membership, which had dropped to about 30,000 by 1930. It finally faded away in the 1940s.[20]

Third KKK

The “Ku Klux Klan” name was used by many independent local groups opposing the Civil Rights Movement and desegregation, especially in the 1950s and 1960s. During this period, they often forged alliances with Southern police departments, as in Birmingham, Alabama; or with governor’s offices, as with George Wallace of Alabama.[21] Several members of KKK groups were convicted of murder in the deaths of civil rights workers and children in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Today, researchers estimate that there may be approximately 150 Klan chapters with upwards of 5,000 members nationwide.[22]

Today, a large majority of sources consider the Klan to be a “subversive or terrorist organization”.[22][23][24][25] In 1999, the city council of Charleston, South Carolina passed a resolution declaring the Klan to be a terrorist organization.[26] A similar effort was made in 2004 when a professor at the University of Louisville began a campaign to have the Klan declared a terrorist organization so it could be banned from campus.[27] In April 1997, FBI agents arrested four members of the True Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Dallas for conspiracy to commit robbery and to blow up a natural gas processing plant.[28]

First Klan 1865–1874

Creation and naming

A cartoon threatening that the KKK would lynchcarpetbaggers. From the Independent Monitor,Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1868.

Six well-educated Confederate veterans from Pulaski, Tennessee, created the original Ku Klux Klan on December 24, 1865, during Reconstruction of the South after the Civil War.[29][30] The name was formed by combining the Greek kyklos (κυκλοςcircle) with clan.[31] The group was known for a short time as the “Kuklux Clan.” The Ku Klux Klan was one among a number of secret, oath-bound organizations using violence, including the Southern Cross in New Orleans (1865), and the Knights of the White Camelia (1867) in Louisiana.[32]

Historians generally see the KKK as part of the postwar insurgent violence related not only to the high number of veterans in the population, but also to their effort to control the dramatically changed social situation by using extrajudicial means to restore white supremacy. In 1866, Mississippi GovernorWilliam L. Sharkey reported that disorder, lack of control and lawlessness were widespread; in some states armed bands of Confederate soldiers roamed at will. The Klan used public violence against blacks as intimidation. They burned houses, and attacked and killed blacks, leaving their bodies on the roads.[33]

A political cartoon depicting the KKK and the Democratic Party as continuations of the Confederacy

In an 1867 meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, Klan members gathered to try to create a hierarchical organization with local chapters eventually reporting up to a national headquarters. They elected Brian A. Scates to be the Leader and President of this organization. Since most of the Klan’s members were veterans, they were used to the hierarchical structure of the organization, but the Klan never operated under this centralized structure. Local chapters and bands were highly independent.

Former Confederate Brigadier General George Gordon developed the Prescript, or Klan dogma. The Prescript suggested elements of white supremacist belief. For instance, an applicant should be asked if he was in favor of “a white man’s government”, “the reenfranchisement and emancipation of the white men of the South, and the restitution of the Southern people to all their rights.”[34] The latter is a reference to the Ironclad Oath, which stripped the vote from white persons who refused to swear that they had not borne arms against the Union. Gordon was said to have told former slave trader and Confederate GeneralNathan Bedford Forrest about the Klan. Forrest allegedly responded, “That’s a good thing; that’s a damn good thing. We can use that to keep the niggers in their place.”[35] Forrest went on to become Grand Wizard, the Klan’s national leader.[16][36][37]

In an 1868 newspaper interview, Forrest stated that the Klan’s primary opposition was to the Loyal LeaguesRepublicanstate governments, people like Tennessee governor Brownlow and other carpetbaggers and scalawags. He argued that many southerners believed that blacks were voting for the Republican Party because they were being hoodwinked by the Loyal Leagues.[38] One Alabama newspaper editor declared “The League is nothing more than a nigger Ku Klux Klan.”[39]

Despite Gordon’s and Forrest’s work, local Klan units never accepted the Prescript and continued to operate autonomously. There were never hierarchical levels or state headquarters. Klan members used violence to settle old feuds and local grudges, as they worked to restore white dominance in the disrupted postwar society. The historian Elaine Frantz Parsons describes the membership:

Lifting the Klan mask revealed a chaotic multitude of antiblack vigilante groups, disgruntled poor white farmers, wartimeguerrilla bands, displaced Democratic politicians, illegal whiskey distillerscoercive moral reformers, sadistsrapists, white workmen fearful of black competition, employers trying to enforce labor discipline, common thieves, neighbors with decades-old grudges, and even a few freedmen and white Republicans who allied with Democratic whites or had criminal agendas of their own. Indeed, all they had in common, besides being overwhelmingly white, southern, and Democratic, was that they called themselves, or were called, Klansmen.[40]

Historian Eric Foner observed:

In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic party, the planter class, and all those who desired restoration of white supremacy. Its purposes were political, but political in the broadest sense, for it sought to affect power relations, both public and private, throughout Southern society. It aimed to reverse the interlocking changes sweeping over the South during Reconstruction: to destroy the Republican party’s infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish control of the black labor force, and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern life.[41]

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

To that end they worked to curb the education, economic advancement, voting rights, and right to keep and bear arms of blacks.[41] The Ku Klux Klan soon spread into nearly every southern state, launching a “reign of terror against Republican leaders both black and white. Those political leaders assassinated during the campaign included Arkansas Congressman James M. Hinds, three members of the South Carolina legislature, and several men who served in constitutional conventions.”[42]

Activities

Three Ku Klux Klan members arrested in Tishomingo County, Mississippi, September 1871, for the attempted murder of an entire family.

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

Klan members adopted masks and robes that hid their identities and added to the drama of their night rides, their chosen time for attacks. Many of them operated in small towns and rural areas where people otherwise knew each other’s faces, and sometimes still recognized the attackers. “The kind of thing that men are afraid or ashamed to do openly, and by day, they accomplish secretly, masked, and at night.” With this method both the high and the low could be attacked.[43] The Ku Klux Klan night riders “sometimes claimed to be ghosts of Confederate soldiers so, as they claimed, to frighten superstitious blacks. Few freedmen took such nonsense seriously.”[44]

The Klan attacked black members of the Loyal Leagues and intimidated southern Republicans and Freedmen’s Bureau workers. When they killed black political leaders, they also took heads of families, along with the leaders of churches and community groups, because people had many roles. Agents of the Freedmen’s Bureau reported weekly assaults and murders of blacks. “Armed guerrilla warfare killed thousands of Negroes; political riots were staged; their causes or occasions were always obscure, their results always certain: ten to one hundred times as many Negroes were killed as whites.” Masked men shot into houses and burned them, sometimes with the occupants still inside. They drove successful black farmers off their land. “Generally, it can be reported that in North and South Carolina, in 18 months ending in June 1867, there were 197 murders and 548 cases of aggravated assault.”[45]

Klan violence worked to suppress black voting. More than 2,000 persons were killed, wounded and otherwise injured in Louisiana within a few weeks prior to the Presidential election of November 1868. Although St. Landry Parish had a registered Republican majority of 1,071, after the murders, no Republicans voted in the fall elections. White Democrats cast the full vote of the parish for Grant’s opponent. The KKK killed and wounded more than 200 black Republicans, hunting and chasing them through the woods. Thirteen captives were taken from jail and shot; a half-buried pile of 25 bodies was found in the woods. The KKK made people vote Democratic and gave them certificates of the fact.[46]

In the April 1868 Georgia gubernatorial election, Columbia County cast 1,222 votes for Republican Rufus Bullock. By the November presidential election, however, Klan intimidation led to suppression of the Republican vote and only one person voted for Ulysses S. Grant.[47]

Klansmen killed more than 150 African Americans in a county in Florida, and hundreds more in other counties. Freedmen’s Bureau records provided a detailed recounting of Klansmen’s beatings and murders of freedmen and their white allies.[48]

Milder encounters also occurred. In Mississippi, according to the Congressional inquiry:[49]

One of these teachers (Miss Allen of Illinois), whose school was at Cotton Gin Port in Monroe County, was visited … between one and two o’clock in the morning on March 1871, by about fifty men mounted and disguised. Each man wore a long white robe and his face was covered by a loose mask with scarlet stripes. She was ordered to get up and dress which she did at once and then admitted to her room the captain and lieutenant who in addition to the usual disguise had long horns on their heads and a sort of device in front. The lieutenant had a pistolin his hand and he and the captain sat down while eight or ten men stood inside the door and the porch was full. They treated her “gentlemanly and quietly” but complained of the heavy school-tax, said she must stop teaching and go away and warned her that they never gave a second notice. She heeded the warning and left the county.

By 1868, two years after the Klan’s creation, its activity was beginning to decrease.[50] Members were hiding behind Klan masks and robes as a way to avoid prosecution for freelance violence. Many influential southern Democrats feared that Klan lawlessness provided an excuse for the federal government to retain its power over the South, and they began to turn against it.[51] There were outlandish claims made, such as Georgian B. H. Hill stating “that some of these outrages were actually perpetrated by the political friends of the parties slain.”[50]

Resistance

Union Army veterans in mountainous Blount County, Alabama, organized “the anti-Ku Klux”. They put an end to violence by threatening Klansmen with reprisals unless they stopped whipping Unionists and burning black churches and schools. Armed blacks formed their own defense in Bennettsville, South Carolina and patrolled the streets to protect their homes.[52]

National sentiment gathered to crack down on the Klan, even though some Democrats at the national level questioned whether the Klan really existed or believed that it was just a creation of nervous Southern Republican governors.[53] Many southern states began to pass anti-Klan legislation.

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

In January 1871, Pennsylvania Republican Senator John Scott convened a Congressional committee which took testimony from 52 witnesses about Klan atrocities. They accumulated 12 volumes of horrifying testimony. In February, former Union General and Congressman Benjamin Franklin Butler ofMassachusetts introduced the Civil Rights Act of 1871 (Ku Klux Klan Act). This added to the enmity that southern white Democrats bore toward him.[54]While the bill was being considered, further violence in the South swung support for its passage. The Governor of South Carolina appealed for federal troops to assist his efforts in keeping control of the state. A riot and massacre in a Meridian, Mississippi, courthouse were reported, from which a black state representative escaped only by taking to the woods.[55] The 1871 Civil Rights Act allowed President Ulysses S. Grant to suspend Habeas Corpus.[56]

In 1871, President Ulysses S. Grant signed Butler’s legislation. The Ku Klux Klan Act was used by the Federal government together with the 1870 Force Act, another act that President Grant signed, to enforce the civil rights provisions for individuals under the constitution. Under the 1871 Klan Act, after the Klan refused to voluntarily dissolve, President Grant issued a suspension of Habeas Corpus, and sent Federal troops into 9 South Carolina counties. The Klansmen were arrested and prosecuted in Federal court. More African Americans served on juries in Federal court than were selected for local or state juries, so they had a chance to participate in the process.[56][57] In the crackdown, hundreds of Klan members were fined or imprisoned.

The Klan declines and is superseded by other groups

Although Forrest boasted that the Klan was a nationwide organization of 550,000 men and that he could muster 40,000 Klansmen within five days’ notice, as a secret or “invisible” group, it had no membership rosters, no chapters, and no local officers. It was difficult for observers to judge its actual membership. It had created a sensation by the dramatic nature of its masked forays and because of its many murders.

In 1870 a federal grand jury determined that the Klan was a “terrorist organization”.[58] It issued hundreds of indictments for crimes of violence and terrorism. Klan members were prosecuted, and many fled from areas that were under federal government jurisdiction, particularly in South Carolina.[59] Many people not formally inducted into the Klan had used the Klan’s costume for anonymity, to hide their identities when carrying out acts of violence. Forrest ordered the Klan to disband in 1869, stating that it was “being perverted from its original honorable and patriotic purposes, becoming injurious instead of subservient to the public peace”.[60] HistorianStanley Horn writes “generally speaking, the Klan’s end was more in the form of spotty, slow, and gradual disintegration than a formal and decisive disbandment”.[61]A reporter in Georgia wrote in January 1870, “A true statement of the case is not that the Ku Klux are an organized band of licensed criminals, but that men who commit crimes call themselves Ku Klux”.[62]

Gov. William Holden of North Carolina.

While people used the Klan as a mask for nonpolitical crimes, state and local governments seldom acted against them. African Americans were kept off juries. In lynching cases, all-white juries almost never indicted Ku Klux Klan members. When there was a rare indictment, juries were unlikely to vote for a conviction. In part, jury members feared reprisals from local Klansmen.

Others may have agreed with lynching as a way of keeping dominance over black men. In many states, officials were reluctant to use black militia against the Klan out of fear that racial tensions would be raised.[57] When Republican Governor of North Carolina William Woods Holden called out the militia against the Klan in 1870, it added to his unpopularity. Combined with violence and fraud at the polls, the Republicans lost their majority in the state legislature. Disaffection with Holden’s actions led to white Democratic legislators’ impeaching Holden and removing him from office, but their reasons were numerous.[63]

The Klan was destroyed in South Carolina[64] and decimated throughout the rest of the South, where it had already been in decline. Attorney General Amos Tappan Ackerman led the prosecutions.[65]

In some areas, other local paramilitary organizations such as the White LeagueRed Shirts, saber clubs, and rifle clubs continued to intimidate and murder black voters.[66]

In 1874, organized white paramilitary groups formed in the Deep South to replace the faltering Klan: the White League in Louisiana and the Red Shirts in Mississippi,North and South Carolina. They campaigned openly to turn Republicans out of office, intimidated and killed black voters, tried to disrupt organizing and suppress black voting. They were out in force during the campaigns and elections of 1874 and 1876, contributing to the conservative Democrats regaining power in 1876, against a background of electoral violence.

Shortly after, in United States v. Cruikshank (1875), the Supreme Court ruled that the Force Act of 1870 did not give the Federal government power to regulate private actions, but only those by state governments. The result was that as the century went on, African Americans were at the mercy of hostile state governments that refused to intervene against private violence and paramilitary groups.

Whereas the number of indictments across the South was large, the number of cases leading to prosecution and sentencing was relatively small. The overloaded federal courts were not able to meet the demands of trying such a tremendous number of cases, a situation that led to selective pardoning. By late 1873 and 1874, most of the charges against Klansmen were dropped although new cases continued to be prosecuted for several more years. Most of those sentenced had either served their terms or been pardoned by 1875. The Supreme Court of the United States eviscerated the Ku Klux Act in 1876 by ruling that the federal government could no longer prosecute individuals although states would be forced to comply with federal civil rights provisions. Republicans passed a second civil rights act (the Civil Rights Act of 1875) to grant equal access to public facilities and other housing accommodations regardless of race. Ironically, the Klan during this period served to further Northern reconstruction efforts, as Ku Klux violence provided the political climate needed to pass civil rights protections for blacks. Although the Ku Klux Act of 1871 dismantled the first Klan, Southern whites formed other, similar groups that kept blacks away from the polls through intimidation and physical violence. Reconstruction ended with the election of President Rutherford B. Hayes, who suspended the federal military occupation of the South; yet blacks still found themselves without the basic civil liberties that Congressional Republicans had sought to secure.[67]

In 1882, the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Harris that the Klan Act was partially unconstitutional. It ruled that Congress’s power under the Fourteenth Amendment did not extend to the right to regulate against private conspiracies.[68]

Klan costumes, also called “regalia“, disappeared by the early 1870s (Wade 1987, p. 109). The fact that the Klan did not exist for decades was shown when Simmons’s 1915 recreation of the Klan attracted only two aging “former Reconstruction Klansmen.” All other members were new.[69] By 1872, the Klan was broken as an organization.[70] Nonetheless, the goals that the Klan had failed to achieve itself, such as suppressing suffrage for Southern blacks and driving a wedge between poor whites and blacks, were largely accomplished by the 1890s by militant Southern whites. Lynchings of African Americans, far from being ended by the Klan’s disintegration, instead peaked in 1892 with 161 deaths.[71]

The second Klan: 1915–1944

Refounding in 1915

Movie poster for The Birth of a Nation. It has been widely noted for reviving the Ku Klux Klan.

An illustration from The Clansman: “Take dat f’um yo equal—”

President Woodrow Wilson

The lynching of Leo FrankAugust 17, 1915 in Marietta, Georgia

William J. Simmons founded the second Ku Klux Klan in 1915

Branford Clarke illustration in The Ku Klux Klan In Prophecy by Bishop Alma Whitepublished by the Pillar of Fire Church in 1925 at Zarephath, NJ

“The End” Referring to the end of Catholic influence in the US. Klansmen: Guardians of Liberty 1926

Photograph on Page 4, February 1923 edition of The Good Citizen

Three events in 1915 acted as catalysts to the revival of the Klan:

  • The film The Birth of a Nation was released, mythologizing and glorifying the first Klan.
  • Leo Frank was lynched near Atlanta after the Georgia governor commuted his death sentence to life in prison. Frank had been convicted in 1913 and sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a young white factory worker named Mary Phagan, in a trial marked by intimidation of the jury and media frenzy. His legal appeals had been exhausted.
  • The second Ku Klux Klan was founded by William J. Simmons at Stone Mountain, outside Atlanta. It added to the original anti-black ideology with a new anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, prohibitionist and antisemitic agenda. Most of the founders were from an Atlanta-area organization calling itself the Knights of Mary Phagan, which had organized around Leo Frank’s trial. The new organization emulated the fictionalized version of the Klan presented in The Birth of a Nation.

The Birth of a Nation

Director D. W. Griffith‘s The Birth of a Nation glorified the original Klan. His film was based on the book and play The Clansman and the book The Leopard’s Spots, both by Thomas Dixon, Jr.. Dixon said his purpose was “to revolutionize northern sentiment by a presentation of history that would transform every man in my audience into a good Democrat!” The film created a nationwide Klan craze. At the official premier in Atlanta, members of the Klan rode up and down the street in front of the theater.[72]

Much of the modern Klan’s iconography, including the standardized white costume and the lighted cross, are derived from the film. Its imagery was based on Dixon’s romanticized concept of old England and Scotland, as portrayed in the novels and poetry of Sir Walter Scott. The film’s influence and popularity were enhanced by a widely reported endorsement by historian and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson.

The Birth of a Nation included extensive quotations from Woodrow Wilson’s History of the American People, as if to give it a stronger basis. After seeing the film in a special White House screening, Wilson allegedly said, “It is like writing history with lightning, and my only regret is that it is all so terribly true.”[73] Given Wilson’s views on race and the Klan, his statement was taken as supportive of the film. In later correspondence with Griffith, Wilson confirmed his enthusiasm. Wilson’s remarks immediately became controversial. Wilson tried to remain aloof, but finally, on April 30, he issued a non-denial denial.[74] The historian Arthur Linkquoted comments by Wilson’s aide, Joseph Tumulty: “the President was entirely unaware of the nature of the play before it was presented and at no time has expressed his approbation of it.”[75]

Leo Frank

Another event that influenced the Klan was sensational coverage in 1913 of the trial, conviction and sentencing of a Jewish factory manager from Atlanta named Leo Frank. In lurid newspaper accounts, Frank was accused of the rape and murder of Mary Phagan, a girl employed at his factory.

After a trial in Georgia in which a mob daily surrounded the courtroom, Frank was convicted. Because of the presence of the armed mob, the judge asked Frank and his counsel to stay away when the verdict was announced. Frank’s legal appeals of his trial failed, despite the revelation of new evidence casting doubt on his guilt. US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes dissented from other justices in their upholding of his conviction and condemned the mob’s intimidation of the jury as the court’s failing to provide due process to the defendant. After the governor commuted Frank’s sentence to life imprisonment in 1915, a mob calling itself the Knights of Mary Phagan kidnapped Frank from prison and lynched him.

The Frank trial was used skillfully by Georgia politician and publisher Thomas E. Watson, the editor for The Jeffersonian magazine. He was a leader in recreating the Klan and was later elected to the U.S. Senate. The new Klan was inaugurated in 1915 at a meeting led by William J. Simmons on top of Stone Mountain. A few aging members of the original Klan attended, along with members of the self-named Knights of Mary Phagan.

Simmons stated that he had been inspired by the original Klan’s Prescripts, written in 1867 by Confederate veteran George Gordon in an attempt to create a national organization. These were never adopted by the Klan, however.[76] The Prescript stated the Klan’s purposes in idealistic terms, hiding the fact that its members committed acts of vigilante violence and murder from behind masks.

Social factors

The second Klan arose during the nadir of American race relations, in response to urbanization and industrialization. Massive immigration from the largely Catholic countries of eastern and southern Europe led to friction with America’s longer-established Protestant citizens. The Great Migration of African Americans to the North stoked racism by whites in Northern industrial cities; thus the second Klan would achieve its greatest political power not in any Southern state, but in Indiana. The migration of African Americans and whites from rural areas to Southern cities further increased tensions. The Klan grew most rapidly in urbanizing cities which had high growth rates between 1910 and 1930, such as DetroitMemphisDaytonAtlantaDallas, and Houston. In Michigan, more than half of the members lived in Detroit and were concerned about urban issues: limited housing, rapid social change, competition for jobs.[77] Stanley Horn, a Southern historian sympathetic to the first Klan, was careful in an oral interview to distinguish it from the later “spurious Ku Klux organization which was in ill-repute—and, of course, had no connection whatsoever with the Klan of Reconstruction days”.[78]

In an era without Social Security or widely available life insurance, it was common for men to join fraternal organizationssuch as the Elks or the Woodmen of the World to provide for their families in case they died or were unable to work. The founder of the new Klan, William J. Simmons, was a member of twelve different fraternal organizations. He recruited for the Klan with his chest covered with fraternal badges, and consciously modeled the Klan after those organizations.[79]

Klan organizers, called “Kleagles“, signed up hundreds of new members, who paid initiation fees and bought KKK costumes. The organizer kept half the money and sent the rest to state or national officials. When the organizer was done with an area, he organized a huge rally, often with burning crosses and perhaps presented a Bible to a local Protestant minister. He then left town with the money. The local units operated like many fraternal organizations and occasionally brought in speakers.

The Klan’s growth was also affected by mobilization for World War I and postwar tensions, especially in the cities where strangers came up against each other more often. Southern whites resented the arming of black soldiers. Black veterans did not want to go back to second-class status in the United States. Some were lynched, still in uniform, upon returning from overseas service.[80]

Activities

In reaction to social changes, the Klan adopted anti-Jewishanti-Catholicanti-Communist and anti-immigrant slants.

Although Klan members were concentrated in the South, Midwest and west, there were some members in New England, too. Klan members torched anAfrican American school in Scituate, Rhode Island.[81]

Temperance

Lender et al. state that the Klan’s resurgence in the 1920s was aided by the temperance movement. In Arkansas and elsewhere, the Klan opposed bootleggers, and in 1922, two hundred Klan members set fire to saloons in Union County. The national Klan office was finally established in DallasTexas, butLittle Rock, Arkansas was the home of the Women of the Ku Klux Klan. The first head of this auxiliary was a former president of the Arkansas WCTU.[82][verification needed] One historian contends that the KKK’s “support for Prohibition represented the single most important bond between Klansmen throughout the nation”.[83] Membership in the Klan and other prohibition groups overlapped, and they often coordinated activities. For example, Edward Young Clarke, a top leader of the Klan, raised funds for both the Klan and the Anti-Saloon League.[84] Clarke was indicted in 1923 for violations of the Mann Act.[85]

Labor and anti-unionism

The social unrest of the postwar period included labor strikes in response to low wages and poor working conditions in many industrial cities, often led by immigrants, who also organized unions. Klan members worried about labor organizers’ effect on their jobs, as well as the socialist leanings of some of the immigrants, which only added to the tensions. They also resented upwardly mobile ethnic Catholics.[86] At the same time, in cities Klan members were themselves working in industrial environments and often struggled with working conditions.

In southern cities such as Birmingham, Alabama, Klan members kept control of access to the better-paying industrial jobs but opposed unions. During the 1930s and 1940s, Klan leaders urged members to disrupt the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), which advocated industrial unions and was open to African-American members. With access to dynamite and skills from their jobs in mining and steel, in the late 1940s some Klan members in Birmingham began using bombings to intimidate upwardly mobile blacks who moved into middle-class neighborhoods. “By mid-1949, there were so many charred house carcasses that the area [College Hills] was informally named Dynamite Hill.”[87] Independent Klan groups remained active in Birmingham and were deeply engaged in violent opposition to the Civil Rights Movement.[87]

Urbanization

Stone Mountain, site of the founding of the second Klan in 1915

A significant characteristic of the second Klan was that it was an organization based in urban areas, reflecting the major shifts of population to cities in both the North and the South. In Michigan, for instance, 40,000 members lived in Detroit, where they made up more than half of the state’s membership. Most Klansmen were lower- to middle-class whites who were trying to protect their jobs and housing from the waves of newcomers to the industrial cities: immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, who tended to be Catholic and Jewish in numbers higher than earlier groups of immigrants; and black and white migrants from the South. As new populations poured into cities, rapidly changing neighborhoods created social tensions. Because of the rapid pace of population growth in industrializing cities such as Detroit and Chicago, the Klan grew rapidly in the U.S. Midwest. The Klan also grew in booming Southern cities such as Dallas and Houston.[88]

In the medium-size industrial city of Worcester, Massachusetts in the 1920s, the Klan ascended to power quickly but diminished as a result of opposition from the Catholic Church. There was no violence and the local newspaper ridiculed Klansmen as “night-shirt knights”. Half of the members were Swedish American, including some first-generation immigrants. The ethnic and religious conflicts between Worcester residents is discussed. Swedish Protestants fought against Irish Catholics for political and ideological control of the city.[89]

For some states, historians have obtained membership rosters of some local units and matched the names against city directory and local records to create statistical profiles of the membership. Big city newspapers were often hostile and ridiculed Klansmen as ignorant farmers. Detailed analysis from Indianashowed the rural stereotype was false for that state:

Indiana’s Klansmen represented a wide cross section of society: they were not disproportionately urban or rural, nor were they significantly more or less likely than other members of society to be from the working class, middle class, or professional ranks. Klansmen were Protestants, of course, but they cannot be described exclusively or even predominantly as fundamentalists. In reality, their religious affiliations mirrored the whole of white Protestant society, including those who did not belong to any church.[90]

The Klan attracted people but most of them did not remain in the organization for long. Membership in the Klan turned over rapidly as people found out that it was not the group they wanted. Millions joined, and at its peak in the 1920s, the organization included about 15% of the nation’s eligible population. The lessening of social tensions contributed to the Klan’s decline.

The burning cross

Cross burning is said to have been introduced by William J. Simmons, the founder of the second Klan in 1915.

The second Klan adopted a burning Latin cross as its symbol. No such crosses had been used by the first Klan, but the burning cross became a symbol of intimidation by the second Klan.[91] The burning of the cross was also used during the second Klan as a symbol of Christian fellowship, and its lighting during meetings was steeped in Christian prayer, the singing of hymns, and other overtly religious symbolism.[14]

The practice of cross burning had been loosely based on ancient Scottish clans’ burning a St. Andrew’s cross (an X-shaped cross) as a beacon to muster forces for war. In The Clansman (see above), Dixon had falsely claimed that the first Klan had used fiery crosses when rallying to fight against Reconstruction. Griffith brought this image to the screen in The Birth of a Nation; he mistakenly portrayed the burning cross as an upright Latin cross rather than the St. Andrew’s cross. Simmons adopted the symbol wholesale from the movie, prominently displaying it at the 1915 Stone Mountain meeting. The symbol has been associated with the Klan ever since.[92]

Education

In an attempt to gain a foothold in education, the Klan in 1921 bought Lanier University, a struggling Baptist university in Atlanta. Nathan Bedford Forrest, grandson of the confederate general by the same name, was appointed business manager, and the school would teach “pure, 100 percent Americanism”.[93]Enrollment was dismal and the school closed after its first year of Klan ownership. Ironically the complex would later be used as a synagogue.

Political influence

Sheet music to “We Are All Loyal Klansmen”, 1923

The Good Citizen July 1926 Published byPillar of Fire Church

The Klan had major political influence in several states, and it was influential mostly in the center of the country. The Klan spread from the South into the Midwest and Northern states. It also arose in Canada, where there was a large movement against Catholic immigrants.[94] At its peak, Klan membership exceeded four million and comprised 20% of the adult white male population in many broad geographic regions, and 40% in some areas.[citation needed] Most of the Klan’s membership resided in Midwestern states.

In another well-known example from 1924, the Klan decided to turn Anaheim, California, into a model Klan city. It secretly took over the City Council. When the members’ affiliation became known, the city conducted a special recall election, and citizens voted out the Klan members.[95]

The Klan issue played a significant role at the bitterly divisive 1924 Democratic National Convention in New York City. The leading candidates were Protestant William Gibbs McAdoo, with a base in areas where the Klan was strong, and Catholic New York Governor Al Smith, with a base in the large cities. After weeks of stalemate, both candidates withdrew in favor of a compromise. Anti-Klan delegates proposed a resolution indirectly attacking the Klan; it was narrowly defeated.[96][97]

In some states, such as Alabama, members of the KKK worked for political and social reform. The state’s Klansmen were among the foremost advocates of better public schools, effective prohibition enforcement, expanded road construction, and other political measures which benefited lower-class white people. By 1925, the Klan was a political force in the state, as leaders such as J. Thomas HeflinDavid Bibb Graves, and Hugo Black manipulated the KKK membership to try to build political power against the Black Belt planters, who had long dominated the state.[98] Black was elected US senator in 1926; President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Black to the Supreme Court not knowing he had been active in the Klan in the 1920s. In 1926, with Klan support, Bibb Graves won the Alabama governor’s office. He was a former Klan chapter head. He pushed for increased education funding, better public health, new highway construction, and pro-labor legislation. Because the Alabama state legislature refused to redistrict until 1972, however, even the Klan was unable to break the planters’ and rural areas’ hold on legislative power.

Its predecessor had been an exclusively partisan Democratic organization in the South. The second Klan grew in the Midwest, where for a time, its members were courted by both Republicans and Democrats. The KKK state organizations endorsed candidates from either party that supported its goals; Prohibition in particular helped the Klan and some Republicans to make common cause in the Midwest. In the South, however, the southern Klan remained Democratic, closely allied with Democratic police, sheriffs, and other functionaries of local government. With continuing disfranchisement of most African Americans and many poor whites, the only political activity took place within the Democratic Party.

Resistance and decline

The Ku Klux Klan rose to prominence in Indiana politics and society after World War I. It was made up of native-born, white Protestants of many income and social levels. Nationally, in the 1920s, Indiana had the most powerful Ku Klux Klan. Though it counted a high number of members statewide, (over 30% of its white male citizens[99]) its importance peaked with the 1924 election of Edward Jackson for governor. A short time later, the scandal surrounding the murder trial of D.C. Stephenson destroyed the image of the Ku Klux Klan as upholders of law and order. By 1926 the Ku Klux Klan was “crippled and discredited.” [100]

D. C. Stephenson, Grand Dragon of the Indiana Klan. His conviction for murdering a young white schoolteacher in 1925 devastated the Indiana Klan.

D. C. Stephenson was the Grand Dragon of Indiana and 22 northern states. He led the states under his control to separate from the national KKK organization in 1923. In his 1925 trial, he was convicted for second degree murder for his part in the rape and subsequent death [101] of Madge Oberholtzer. After Stephenson’s conviction in a sensational trial, the Klan declined dramatically in Indiana. Historian Leonard Moore concluded that a failure in leadership caused the Klan’s collapse:

Stephenson and the other salesmen and office seekers who maneuvered for control of Indiana’s Invisible Empire lacked both the ability and the desire to use the political system to carry out the Klan’s stated goals. They were uninterested in, or perhaps even unaware of, grass roots concerns within the movement. For them, the Klan had been nothing more than a means for gaining wealth and power. These marginal men had risen to the top of the hooded order because, until it became a political force, the Klan had never required strong, dedicated leadership. More established and experienced politicians who endorsed the Klan, or who pursued some of the interests of their Klan constituents, also accomplished little. Factionalism created one barrier, but many politicians had supported the Klan simply out of expedience. When charges of crime and corruption began to taint the movement, those concerned about their political futures had even less reason to work on the Klan’s behalf.:[102]

Many groups and leaders, including prominent Protestant ministers such as Reinhold Niebuhr in Detroit, spoke out against the Klan. In response to blunt attacks against Jewish Americans and the Klan’s campaign to outlaw private schools, the Jewish Anti-Defamation League was formed after the lynching of Leo Frank. When one civic group began to publish Klan membership lists, the number of members quickly declined. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoplecarried on public education campaigns in order to inform people about Klan activities and lobbied against Klan abuses in Congress. After its peak in 1925, Klan membership in most areas of the Midwest began to decline rapidly.[88]

In Alabama, KKK vigilantes, thinking that they had governmental protection, launched a wave of physical terror in 1927. They targeted both blacks and whites for violation of racial norms and for perceived moral lapses.[103] This led however to a large backlash beginning in the media. Grover C. Hall, Sr., editor of the Montgomery Advertiser, began publishing a series of editorials and articles that attacked the Klan for its “racial and religious intolerance”. Hall won a Pulitzer Prize for his crusade.[104] Other newspapers kept up a steady, loud attack on the Klan, referring to the organization as violent and “un-American”. Sheriffs cracked down. In the 1928 presidential election, the state voted for the Democratic candidate Al Smith, although he was Catholic.

Klan membership in Alabama dropped to less than 6,000 by 1930. Small independent units continued to be active in Birmingham, where in the late 1940s, members launched a reign of terror by bombing the homes of upwardly mobile African Americans. Activism by such independent KKK groups increased as a reaction against the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

Imperial Wizard Hiram Wesley Evans sold the organization in 1939 to James Colescott, an Indiana veterinarian, and Samuel Green, an Atlanta obstetrician. They were unable to staunch the declining membership. In 1944, the IRS filed a lien for $685,000 in back taxes against the Klan, and Colescott was forced to dissolve the organization in 1944. Local Klan groups closed over the following years.[105]

Ku Klux Klan members march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. in 1928

Due in part to the Klan terror directed at them, five million blacks left the South for northern, midwestern and western cities from 1940 to 1970.

After World War II, folklorist and author Stetson Kennedy infiltrated the Klan and provided information to media and law enforcement agencies. He also provided secret code words to the writers of the Superman radio program, resulting in episodes in which Superman took on the KKK. Kennedy’s intention to strip away the Klan’s mystique and trivialize the Klan’s rituals and code words may have contributed to the decline in Klan recruiting and membership.[106] In the 1950s, Kennedy wrote a bestselling book about his experiences, which further damaged the Klan.[107]

The following table shows the change in the Klan’s estimated membership over time.[108] (The years given in the table represent approximate time periods.)

Year Membership
1920 4,000,000[109]
1924 6,000,000
1930 30,000
1980 5,000
2008 6,000

Later Klans, 1950 through 1960s

Soviet propaganda poster (Freedom, American style, 1950, by Nikolay Dolgorukov and Boris Efimov), showing the KKK’s lynchings of blacks.

The name “Ku Klux Klan” began to be used by several independent groups. Beginning in the 1950s, for instance, individual Klan groups in Birmingham, Alabama began to resist social change and blacks’ improving their lives by bombing houses in transitional neighborhoods. There were so many bombings in Birmingham of blacks’ homes by Klan groups in the 1950s that the city’s nickname was “Bombingham”.[21]

During the tenure of Bull Connor as police commissioner in the city, Klan groups were closely allied with the police and operated with impunity. When the Freedom Riders arrived in Birmingham, Connor gave Klan members fifteen minutes to attack the riders before sending in the police to quell the attack.[21] When local and state authorities failed to protect the Freedom Riders and activists, the federal government established effective intervention.

In states such as Alabama and Mississippi, Klan members forged alliances with governors’ administrations.[21] In Birmingham and elsewhere, the KKK groups bombed the houses of civil rights activists. In some cases they used physical violence, intimidation and assassination directly against individuals. Many murders went unreported and were not prosecuted by local and state authorities. Continuing disfranchisement of blacks across the South meant that most could not serve on juries, which were all white.

According to a report from the Southern Regional Council in Atlanta, the homes of 40 black Southern families were bombed during 1951 and 1952. Some of the bombing victims were social activists whose work exposed them to danger, but most were either people who refused to bow to racist convention or were innocent bystanders, unsuspecting victims of random violence.[110]

Among the more notorious murders by Klan members:

There was also resistance to the Klan. In 1953, newspaper publisher W. Horace Carter received a Pulitzer prize for reporting on the activities of the Klan. In a 1958 North Carolina incident, the Klan burned crosses at the homes of two Lumbee Native Americans who had associated with white people, and they threatened to return with more men. When the KKK held a nighttime rally nearby, they were quickly surrounded by hundreds of armed Lumbees. Gunfire was exchanged, and the Klan was routed at what became known as the Battle of Hayes Pond.[115]

While the FBI had paid informants in the Klan, for instance in Birmingham in the early 1960s, its relations with local law enforcement agencies and the Klan were often ambiguous. The head of the FBIJ. Edgar Hoover, appeared more concerned about Communist links to civil rights activists than about controlling Klan excesses against citizens. In 1964, the FBI’s COINTELPRO program began attempts to infiltrate and disrupt civil rights groups.[21]

As 20th-century Supreme Court rulings extended federal enforcement of citizens’ civil rights, the government revived the Force Act and Klan Act from Reconstruction days. Federal prosecutors used these laws as the basis for investigations and indictments in the 1964 murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner;[116] and the 1965 murder of Viola Liuzzo.[117] They were also the basis for prosecution in 1991 in Bray v. Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic.

Contemporary Klan: 1970s–present

Violence at a Klan march inMobile, Alabama, 1977

Once African Americans secured federal legislation to protect civil and voting rights, the KKK shifted its focus to opposing court-ordered busing to desegregate schools,affirmative action and more open immigration. In 1971, KKK members used bombs to destroy 10 school buses in Pontiac, Michigan.

Altercation with Communist Workers Party

Main article: Greensboro massacre

On November 3, 1979, five protesters were killed by KKK and American Nazi Party members in the Greensboro massacre in Greensboro, North Carolina.[118] This incident was the culmination of attempts by the Communist Workers Party to organize industrial workers, predominantly black, in the area.[119]

Jerry Thompson infiltration

Jerry Thompson, a newspaper reporter who infiltrated the KKK in 1979, reported that the FBI’s COINTELPRO efforts were highly successful. Rival KKK factions accused each other’s leaders of being FBI informantsBill Wilkinson of the Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was revealed to have been working for the FBI.[120]

Thompson, the journalist who claimed he had infiltrated the Klan, related that KKK leaders who appeared indifferent to the threat of arrest showed great concern about a series of civil lawsuits filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center for damages of millions of dollars. These were filed after KKK members shot into a group of African Americans. Klansmen curtailed activities to conserve money for defense against the lawsuits. The KKK also used lawsuits as tools; they filed a libel suit to prevent publication of a paperback edition of Thompson’s book.

Tennessee shooting

In 1980, three KKK members shot four elderly black women (Viola Ellison, Lela Evans, Opal Jackson and Katherine Johnson) in ChattanoogaTennessee, following a KKK initiation rally. A fifth woman, Fannie Crumsey, was injured by flying glass in the incident. Attempted murder charges were filed against the three KKK members, two of whom—Bill Church and Larry Payne—were acquitted by an all-white jury, and the other of whom—Marshall Thrash—was sentenced by the same jury to nine months on lesser charges. He was released after three months.[121][122][123] In 1982, a jury awarded the five women $535,000 in a civil rights trial.[124]

Michael Donald lynching

After Michael Donald was lynched in 1981 in Alabama, the FBI investigated his death and two local KKK members were convicted of having a role, including Henry Francis Hays, who was sentenced to death. With the support of attorneys Morris Dees and Joseph J. Levin of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Donald’s mother, Beulah Mae Donald, sued the KKK in civil court in Alabama. Her lawsuit against the United Klans of America was tried in February 1987. The all-white jury found the Klan responsible for the lynching of Donald and ordered the Klan to pay US$7 million. To pay the judgment, the KKK turned over all of its assets, including its national headquarters building in Tuscaloosa.[125] After exhausting the appeals process, Hays was executed for Donald’s death in Alabama on June 6, 1997. It was the first time since 1913 that a white man had been executed in Alabama for a crime against an African American.[126]

Neo-Nazi alliances and Stormfront

Main article: Stormfront (website)

In 1995, Don Black and Chloê Hardin, former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke‘s ex-wife, began a small bulletin board system (BBS) called Stormfront. Today, Stormfront has become a prominent online forum for white nationalismNeo-Nazismhate speechracism, and antisemitism.[127][128][129] Duke has an account on Stormfront which he uses to post articles from his own website, as well as polling forum members for opinions and questions, in particular during his internet broadcasts. Duke has worked with Don Black on numerous projects including Operation Red Dog in 1980.[130][131]

Modern statistics

The modern KKK is not one organization; rather it is composed of small independent chapters across the US.[132] The formation of independent chapters has made KKK groups more difficult to infiltrate, and researchers find it hard to estimate their numbers. Estimates are that about two-thirds of KKK members are concentrated in the Southern United States, with another third situated primarily in the lower Midwest.[133][134][135] KKK members have stepped up recruitment in recent years, but the organization grows slowly, with membership estimated at 5,000–8,000 across 179 chapters. These recent membership campaigns have been based on issues such as people’s anxieties about illegal immigration, urban crime and same-sex marriage.[136] Many KKK groups have formed strong alliances with other white supremacist groups, such as neo-Nazis. Some KKK groups have become increasingly “Nazified”, adopting the look and emblems of white power skinheads.[137]

On November 14, 2008, an all-white jury of seven men and seven women awarded $1.5 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages to plaintiff Jordan Gruver, represented by theSouthern Poverty Law Center against the Imperial Klans of America.[138] The ruling found that five IKA members had savagely beaten Gruver, then 16 years old, at a Kentucky county fair in July 2006.[139]

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has provided legal support to various factions of the KKK in defense of their First Amendment rights to hold public rallies, parades, and marches, as well as their right to field political candidates.[140]

Current Klan splinter divisions have grown substantially since the 2008 election of U.S. President Barack Obama, the first African-American to hold the office;[141][142] the Klan has expanded its recruitment efforts to white supremacists at the international level.[143] Current membership estimates by the ADL hold at a national estimate of five thousand.[135]

Ex-Grand Wizard David Duke has claimed that thousands of Tea Party movement activists have urged him to run for president in 2012 [144] and he is seriously considering entering the Republican Party primaries.[145] Duke has also released a video detailing his platform.[146] In the video, he pledges that as president he would stop all immigration to the US, including legal immigration, and says that he “will not let Israel or any nation dictate our foreign policy.”[147] He has also claimed that he would be “willing to risk life and limb, endure the barbs of the media” to mount “the most honest campaign for president since the time of our Founding Fathers.” [148] However, Duke is legally disqualified from running for public office as part of his 2002 guilty plea for tax evasion.[149]

Current Klan organizations

A list is maintained by the ADL:[150]

Vocabulary

Membership in the Klan is secret. Like many fraternal organizations, the Klan has signs which members can use to recognize one another. A member may use the acronym AYAK (Are you a Klansman?) in conversation to surreptitiously identify himself to another potential member. The response AKIA (A Klansman I am) completes the greeting.[154]

Throughout its varied history, the Klan has coined many words[155] beginning with “KL” including:

  • Klabee: treasurers
  • Klavern: local organization
  • Imperial Kleagle: recruiter
  • Klecktoken: initiation fee
  • Kligrapp: secretary
  • Klonvocation: gathering
  • Kloran: ritual book
  • Kloreroe: delegate
  • Imperial Kludd: chaplain

All of the above terminology was created by William Simmons, as part of his 1915 revival of the Klan.[156] The Reconstruction-era Klan used different titles; the only titles to carry over were ” Wizard ” for the overall leader of the Klan, “Night Hawk ” for the official in charge of security, and a few others, mostly for regional officers of the organization.[citation needed]

The Imperial Kludd was the chaplain of the Imperial Klonvokation and he performed “such other duties as may be required by the Imperial Wizard.” The Imperial Kaliff was the second highest position after the Imperial Wizard.[157]

 

 

 

 


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