Birmingham, Alabama – The Ku Klux Klan, the White supremacist organization believed to be dead, was never dissolved and now that some U.S. political trends aim to what the Klan has always believed – fighting immigration and closing the borders – the political-religious group is resurfacing.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s policies promise to make America great again enhancing anti-immigrant actions. According to Trump’s campaign website, the three core principles of the candidate’s immigration plan are that there must be a wall across the southern border; laws passed by the Constitutional system of government must be enforced; and third, any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans. The website is called Trump. Make America Great Again.
Following the three main ideas regarding immigration, the website shows a paragraph titled Make Mexico Pay for the Wall, where he accuses Mexico and other Latin American countries of using illegal immigration “to export crime and poverty to the United States.”
Stopping or limiting immigration has been one the many goals of the Klan since 1920, and Trump’s plans for the U.S. are helping the growth of the Christian-political entity known for wearing the pointy white mask.
In several interviews with the Associated Press, different Klan leaders stated that they fell U.S. politics are going their way, due to the new thought “us against them,” which accentuate nationalist feelings that go along with the KKK principles. This feeling is going deeper in the United States and every terrorist attack stress it.
20% of all Africans suffer from some form of the AIDS virus. Of the 528 Million Dollars given world wide for AIDS Research…
— Ku Klux Klan (@kkkofficial) April 27, 2009
The Associated Press added that KKK leaders said that after President Barack Obama’s second term in office, memberships have increased, though few of them would provide numbers.
It is impossible to estimate how many members are part of the Klan because most of the leaders did not state numbers and the ones that did say, do not match with the memberships assessments made by some organizations.
The Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said no evidence confirms the KKK numbers are returning to their former strength. The SPLC that the Klan could not have more than 6 thousand members total, in the whole country.
COMING THURSDAY: As it marks 150 years of existence, the KKK tries to reshape itself for a new era. Only on AP. pic.twitter.com/Me3HQ2AgIz
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 29, 2016
The Jewish protection group, the Anti-Defamation League, estimates nearly 3 thousand members total in the U.S.
Both numbers are almost insignificant if they are compared to the estimation made in 1920 about the figures of the KKK. The estimation was between 2 million and 5 million followers.
The Klan nowadays: a variety of groups with the same goal but with different methods.
KKK leaders told the Associated Press that the current groups are small and independent. The division is due to differences over certain issues regarding whether to join or not neo-Nazis ideas their principles or to change the color of the traditional white robe.
The AP also says that some Klan members are more contemporary and now share videos to preach against public diversity, or warn of a coming white genocide. Some leaders speak to the press and other Klans do not.
These practices are in conflict with the “traditional” actions of the previous Klan’s, who avoided public displays.
Other difference between KKK groups of the 21st century is that in some Klans women are allowed to vote, but in others, they are not.
— AfricanBattleRoach (@blasianBronson) June 30, 2016
Brent Waller, a KKK member that participated in the civil rights era, told the Associated Press that stopping immigration, and not blocking minority rights, is the Klan’s top priority at the present.
Different leaders state that they now have rules against violent acts, and they only admitted if it is used as self-defense, says the Associated Press. Even opponents of the White supremacist group recognize that the KKK has toned itself down after several of their former members went to prison for committing brutal acts, like deadly arsons, beatings, bombings, and shootings.
Ku Klux Klan most recent demonstration: crosses and Nazi swastikas
On April 23, 2016, the white supremacist and other associates gathered to hold two rallies in Georgia where about 60 people in white cotton robes held flaming torches and gathered around a cross on fire. A Nazi swastika was also burnt. During the ritual, unison chants sang “White supremacy” and “Death to the ungodly, death to our enemies,” the Associated Press reports.
After 150 years, the KKK continues with the old tradition of setting on fire crosses. These gatherings are called “lightings” by the members of the Klan, and they are carried on private property to avoid police officers and any demonstration against their practices and beliefs.
"Klan leaders say Trump's immigration position and his ascendancy in the GOP are signs things are going their way." https://t.co/NRNIt8ea0X
— Philip Bump (@pbump) June 30, 2016
Source: The Associated Press