The History of the Ku Klux Klan


On March 21, 1861, Confederate Vice President Alexander Stevens declared in his Cornerstone Speech: “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea {of the United States’ Constitution declaring equality for everyone}; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery – subordination to the superior race – is his natural and normal condition.” 

This strong belief – strong enough to divide an entire country – did not just die when the Confederates surrendered at Appomattox in 1865. Instead, it birthed yet another movement intended to keep the white people in a place of superiority: the white-hooded, cross-burning, Ku Klux Klan. 

The KKK popularity and influence ebb and flow, depending on the politics. They had a strong resurgence during the Civil Rights Movement, where they were responsible for burning down buildings and lynching innocent black people. The Equal Justice Initiative has done extensive research to determine the actual number of lynchings in America, and have determined the number to be almost 4,100 people from 1877-1950. This does not count the many who were killed during the Civil Rights movement, when non-white Americans sought the right to vote. 

Since the Black Lives Matter movement has become stronger, the KKK has returned, including a klansman driving into a BLM protestor in June of 2020. 

The KKK is still only listed as an “extremist domestic group,” not a terrorist organization.