It’s really difficult to even attempt to conceive of an appropriate introduction to a topic this basically disgusting. Double standards aren’t new, and neither is the general permission for white terrorism that defines this culture far more than is comfortable. And that’s a problem, because the further we as a nation are dragged out of our comfort zone specifically by tolerance for intolerance, the worse off most of us end up.
For those who don’t know, the KKK consider themselves the legitimate successors to the Confederate rebellion of the 1860s. Following the Civil War, the entire former Confederate States (excepting Tennessee) were placed under military rule, and spent the next couple of decades stubbornly resisting federal efforts to moderate their governments. At first, the incumbent Congress prevented most efforts to represent former Confederate interests, but this prompted the various bigots of Dixieland to seek unofficial recourse to their ‘occupation’. What would become an iconic means to this end would be the donning of white sheet disguises and the organized terrorizing of nonwhites and pro Unionists alike. But then 1873 came, and with it a depression that killed federal motivation to continue Reconstruction. And by 1877, the aristocrats of this terrorist band found themselves again in charge of the entire South, in exchange for recognizing the election of President Hayes.
Make no mistake, the KKK has been about destruction and chaos, from it’s inception all the way to the modern day, when the existence of the group is considered protected free speech despite having a longer history and higher body count of any stateless terror group ever to oppose United States authority. Which brings me to my point: Protecting the group like this is nothing short of implicit endorsement of their activities. By allowing the KKK the latitude of any other political group, the US government continues to outright admit that yes, we are willing to tolerate senseless violence, so long as it benefits a white power structure.
Now there’s a lot of folks who have argued that the KKK deserves such protection, mostly on the basis of protecting speech in general. Ordinarily, this would be a laudable contrast to people like the Klan, but it is predicated in this context on the notion that the Klan has any political agenda that doesn’t directly concern violence or bigotry (or worse, the notion that such is a legitimate political agenda). Nowhere in the world except the most disease ridden backwaters of Dixieland would such ridiculous notions be taken seriously.
However, it seems also that nowhere in the world but the most prosperous and privileged of liberal communities will consider honestly addressing groups like the Klan for what they are. Facts are facts, these people are terrorists, more deserving of the term and all appropriate martial opposition than any Islamist anywhere ever.
Don’t you think it’s high time you reminded your congressman that you won’t forget that just because they want you to?