In early Oct., the NAACP chapter at Ole Miss organized a protest to have the Confederate battle emblem removed from the Mississippi state flag. Members of the KKK arrived at the rally where a confrontation between the NAACP and the KKK ensued. No violence occurred as the police authority escorted the KKK off campus.
A few months ago, I signed a petition asking the Administration to recognize the Ku Klux Klan as a domestic terrorist organization and make its eradication a Homeland Security priority. They responded “although simply believing in white supremacy or belonging to a white supremacist group is not a crime, the federal government has successfully charged white supremacists over the years using federal statutes…(and) works closely with local law enforcement to identify, investigate and prosecute hate-fueled violence.”
How is it that the federal government has not successfully managed to shut down the Klan when they state “we believe that all Americans have a role to play in combatting hate and intolerance, in uplifting our nation, and in making our union more perfect,” in response to the same petition. The hypocrisy and irony of the system is completely unbearable and intolerable. Movements motivated by equality and civil rights get trumped by movements encouraged and motivated by hate, separation, white supremacy and inequality.
The Ku Klux Klan are among the most racist, white supremacist thinkers in the world. The formation of the Klan was founded in 1866 in Pulaski, Tennessee as a social club by former members of the Confederacy. They sought a campaign of violence against black and white Republicans to reserve policies of the Radical Reconstruction and restore white supremacy in the South.
Could you imagine American history if the Native Americans and Africans chose to descend on Europe; allowing their cruel and torturous mindset of supreme power to dictate their actions to colonize, assimilate and enslave the masses? Imagine these immigrants barging into the Europeans homeland, killing, burning, lynching, raping, and whipping white men, women and children because they did not approve of their foreign and outrageously different skin tone.
The reality is white people were the culprits of these despicable actions for more than 400 years. Naturally, it is appropriate to assume that throughout this time people would fight back and create movements to combat this racism, discrimination and inequality.
White power was rooted deeply into all branches of reality including the industrial prison complex, poverty, homelessness, mental health, education, and starvation causing generations of minorities to feel outcast and unappreciated. America likes to bully others and then pretend like they don’t understand why people are upset. Somehow they manage to become offended when minorities fight back as though we are unappreciative of the “favors” they so graciously forced on us.
After Congress passed the Reconstruction Act over the president’s veto in 1867, which granted “equal protection” under the Constitution to former slaves, whites did not know how to cope with this new idea of equality.
The Klu Klux Klan were prominent members of this confused identity. The name of the party derives from the Greek word “kyklos” meaning circle, suggesting a formation of brotherhood among the Klan. At its height in 1920, the Klan consisted of more than 4 million people. Of course there were attempts to shut down the Klan, but somehow they managed to slip under the thumb of the government and are still very alive today.
Many minority groups weren’t able to maintain control of their voices to end violence and discrimination and groups like the Black Panther Party, the Chicano movement and Native American movement were shut down because they challenged the ideals of the white supremacist.
In 1966, Huey Newton founded a Black Panther Party branch–dedicated to the empowerment and unification of blacks–in Oakland, California. A 10-item list of demands, derived from the Declaration of Independence titled “What we want, what we believe,” demanded basic rights to the black community and an explanation of why.
Basic wants included: “WE WANT freedom. WE WANT full employment for our people. WE WANT an end to the robbery by the CAPITALIST of our Black Community. WE WANT decent housing, fit for the shelter of human beings. WE WANT education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. WE WANT an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of black people. WE WANT all black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their black communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States.”
The FBI enforced COINTELPRO, a program of intense surveillance, infiltration and police brutality, to undermine the Party and drain the resources and manpower from the organization.
In the 1960s,the Chicano Movement, a sub branch of the Mexican American Civil Rights movement, was dedicated to the restoration of land grants, farm workers’ rights, enhanced education, and voting and political rights. According to an article on Marxist.com titled “The struggle for Chicano liberation,” the brutal police assault on the Chicano Moratorium rally and the East Los Angeles barrio, showed that the ruling class feared the prospect of mass mobilizations of Chicanos in the streets.
The Native American movement was founded in 1968 in Minneapolis, Minnesota with goals of tribal sovereignty and cultural preservation. According to an article by CNN, a revolving group of Native Americans held the island of Alcatraz, a place once reserved for infamous criminals, from Nov. 20, 1969, to June 10, 1971 so it could develop several Indian institutions. However, their primary motive for the occupation was the government’s general treatment of Indians. Sixteen years earlier, the U.S. had begun a policy of terminating Indian reservations and relocating the inhabitants to urban areas. Of course the groups’ demands were not met but it was an effort to end the policies of assimilation in the U.S.
As any underprivileged minority group has done under Enlightenment ideals of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, we are fighting for what is morally right: to be treated as human. Every person on this earth falls under some category of the under acknowledged minority. Even the wealthy, white supremacist man has a down fall. You are among the most hated men on earth for your oppressive and racist ways. You are the majority but ironically the minority. A majority of “your” nation is on the same mission of peace and equality while you are determined for division and war. The government needs to shut down the Klan and get over their white supremacist power structure.
Opinion Editor, Monica Houston
Monica is a transfer student from Norfolk State University studying English. Her dog, Furby, is an in-office celebrity and frequently attends production and meetings with Monica.