The Ku Klux Klan prevented African Americans from gaining civil rights Essay
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The “Ku Klux Klan” were an Anglo-Saxon based cult who believed solely on white supremacy. The movement was first formed in the 1860’s in order to protect white rights; they mainly formed in the very deep southern states of America. Since starting the “KKK” has gone through phases of popularity followed by essentially fading in number. However in 1915 the “KKK” was reestablished with great force, now standing for what they described as Americanism, Christianity and Morality. After this The “KKK” continued to grow in number up until the late 1960’s, boasting numbers between two and five million members including some important political influence.
The “KKK” mostly used there aggressive manner and force they brought upon the black people. This intimidation stopped the black people from living near white communities and also made sure they would not complain or try to use their rights. This was so affective because the black people were so afraid or murder and torture they did not complain or protest for civil rights, therefore keeping this problem from the rest of America and the world. The “KKK” were ruthless in the south at this time as they preformed murders and destroyed black communities in order to install such fear that the blacks would keep quiet. Most black people felt so intimidated they couldn’t even vote because of the almost inevitability that the “KKK” would find out which would result in murders and firebombing of households.
The “KKK” was such a significant group because of the vast amount of members that belonged to the movement, especially in the southern states. The black people could not work out who was a Klan member or not so became scared and untrustworthy of all people, this lead to black even losing faith in the law and American politics. This was because many members and supporters of the Klan were very powerful at the time in America and held some powerful jobs. Senators, judges and police chiefs all potentially could have been Klansmen. This installed an even greater fear into the black people of America. These members also made sure that politically civil rights laws were not passed and in a state bases laws were not even kept. For example Bull Conner had powerful jobs within Birmingham, Alabama and the police chief for that town and due to his known racism made sure that all black citizens of Birmingham were treated badly and were refused freedom of speech, therefore this created an even bigger state of fear for citizens of Alabama at that time.
Many Black people living within Southern states as soon as they saved enough money or sorted out arrangements’ moved form the south to the north were they knew they would be treated fairer. This was made sure by the “KKK” that there were not enough blacks to even fight for their rights even if they could, for example if they could vote there would not be enough black people to make a difference and made sure that integration into white schools was not a problem. Also if black people were fleeing from the south to the north the “KKK” had won as they did not want to live amongst them anyway and made sure they knew they had forced them out by their intense persecution.
On the other hand, it can be argued that the “KKK” failed in their overall aim to stop black people from gaining civil rights in America. Schools and collages in both North and South stats became desegregated despite the Klan’s abuse. This proved that no matter what the black population still united and eventually won against this racial Tierney form the “KKK”. This also proved that still the majority of politicians believed in civil rights and proved that the “KKK” did not have as much influence within politics as they thought. The obvious other victory of this was that the younger generations began to accept black people as human beings and integrated them into same societies which proved that the “KKK” could not last forever and once the last of the Klansmen die out there will be very few people to take their places.
The “KKK” might have hindered the progress of civil rights being achieved in some states within southern America but there was still a large part of America who by this times supported civil rights and sympathized with how the blacks were treated in the south by the “KKK”, this created resentment for the North against the Klan and built up more support and votes for pro civil rights politicians. Therefore in the long run the Klan just hindered themselves and made sure essentially that the black were treated better and given more rights.
The influx of many civil rights activist groups such as the NAACP and the SCLC essentially cancelled out the “KKK” as these groups thanks to the likes of Martin Luther King used clever modern tactics to counteract the Klan’s forces. These groups supported blacks in all areas from peaceful protest to help in the court rooms. The Klan’s unimaginative and predictable methods were no match for the power of things like the media and use of making sympathy for the black people in the south. The NAACP even helped black people get the vote in southern states so. Therefore there were civil rights sympathizes even in southern states.
In conclusion, The “Ku Klux Klan” was a successful movement and stopped many black people from succeeding in gaining Civil Rights mainly in the South. However, In 1964 The Civil Rights Act was passed and therefore could not succeed and never really stopped it, essentially they just succeeded in prolonging this act for a while.