What is the KKK?
The KKK was started in Pulaski, Tennessee on Christmas Eve, 1865 in a lawyers office. The office is still there. In the 1920’s there was a big celebration and people came from all over to dedicate a bronze plaque to be placed on the outside of the office. Today, the owner of the building has turned the plaque around because he doesn’t like the KKK or the idea of white Christian America. However, Thomas Robb, the director of The Knights started a holiday 15 years ago to honor the KKK and the brave members who formed this wonderful group.
The KKK was founded after the Civil war had ended. The war had been terrible and thousands and thousands of men died. Kids as young as 12 and 13 in the South faked their ages and joined the war effort toward the end. There was many more people in the North than the South.
Abraham Lincoln felt that the South should be treated as a child who had disobeyed his mother. But many powerful men in Congress hated the South and felt that it should be treated as a conquered land. They saw there was a profit to be made in the war beaten land. Abraham Lincoln wanted all Americans reunited. He wanted them to have good times. He decided to create a new type of money. It would be the kind of money Thomas Jefferson and Congress had decided upon at the beginning of the country. The name of the new money would be the Lincoln Greenback. Powerful bankers who secretly controlled politicians in Washington didn’t want the new money. They wouldn’t be able to control and bribe them with the new money. They hired a man named John Wilkes Booth to kill the president. It was terrible for everyone. Abraham Lincoln even had a plan to help all of the newly freed slaves to go home to Africa.
When he was killed everything was changed. The crooked men got their way and the South was treated awful. White people had to salute black people on the street. Whisky sellers came and sold liquor to blacks who excited about no longer having a curfew would roam the countryside hurting men, women, and children. The people suffered horribly. Most people never owned slaves. And some blacks even owned slaves. But the ex-slaves didn’t care. They were hungry for power.
They kept getting away with rape, murder, robbery, and drunkenness because those who wanted to take advantage of the South for profit knew it would be easier if all the white people were spending all their time fighting for their lives. Troops of armed men working for the crooked politicians would not allow the white people to defend themselves.
Six men who had once been Confederate soldiers decided to start a club. It would be a secret club, with secret code words, and neat costumes. The club was around for several months and they would meet in different places. It was very dangerous though. Bands of violent Negroes traveled around at night terrorizing families. One night when the club was meeting they accidentally came across an outlaw band of Negroes. But, this time instead of the white people getting murdered, the Negroes ran away screaming. They thought the men in their costumes were the ghosts of dead soldiers who had died in the Civil war just a couple of years earlier.
Soon a new idea caught on. These deeply religious men felt God had given them a great gift in disguise – a peaceful way to defend themselves. The plan worked. Moms, Grandmas, Aunts and sisters made the flowing white robes for their husbands, sons, fathers, or brothers. The men would ride through the countryside at night. Where the Negroes would see them they would immediately run home and stop looting, stealing, raping, or murdering. Soon thousands upon thousands of people joined the Ku Klux Klan. After a few years the white people were free again. The Negroes began respecting law and order once again. When the white people in the South refused to give up God blessed them and the crooked politicians sent the federal armies home. With no one to protect them and allow them to continue breaking the law, the Negroes regained respect for law and order. Times were good once again.
At other times in history, there have been occasions when white Christians needed to unite together for an important cause. They have turned to the Ku Klux Klan.
Today the KKK still stands for the unity of all white Christians. We don’t hate other people. We just are watching out for our white brothers and sisters. Just like other groups watch out for their people