Right-wing extremists are gaining support across Europe, but what is happening in America? It is vital that we track these movements and clearly understand their arguments, so that we may combat them effectively. I decided to tap into the doctrine of America’s most significant movement in white supremacy, the Ku Klux Klan, and read works written by that hand. A formal doctrine entitled “Ideals of the Ku Klux Klan” outlined the character, the function and beliefs of the Klan. This work repeatedly enforced the mission to achieve “solidarity and distinction of the races.” It claimed there was not hate against, “colored or mongrel races” but that separation of the races was vital and any movement to skew this end must result in combat. I found it interesting that the Klan made explicit exclusion to American Indians. In response to its movement, the Klan stated, “This is an American Organization, and we do restrict membership to native-born American citizens.” Does anyone else see some major hypocrisy lingering within this statement? (History majors?) However, in respect to the argument I must expose their logic. “The records show that recently, at least, the aliens who have been flooding our land have come into this country, not because of any love for America, but, because of intolerable or unfavorable conditions in the land they left behind.” OK, hold up, in response to this, what the hell did the British do, and who was here when the British got here? Are we supposed to just ignore huge chunks of history and mold the ones we prefer into personalized theories?The doctrine continues to say that American Indians are here to solely prosper their own interests and in no way do they contribute to Americans’ “growth and development.” Why don’t we strip the wizard of his home, annihilate his identity, and see how well he prospers. Besides, who is the Klan to say American Indians aren’t contributing to the welfare of the country? It is all a matter of opinion and personally I find the Klan to perfectly fill the exact downfalls they accuse within the Native American population. The Klan doesn’t deny that other races don’t have rights, however, they believe that those rights must not interfere with “white” rights. Klan states that it is not on a mission to “rob the colored population of their rights, but we demand that they respect the rights of the White Race in whose country they are permitted to reside.” The idea of America being a “white man’s country” is the fundamental principal upon which the Klan is built. The Klan believes that since all other races are within their residence, they must respect “white” rights above their own. “Ideals of the Klan” states that when it comes to the point where African Americans don’t recognize Caucasian American rights, “they must be reminded that this is a White Man`s country, so that they will seek for themselves a country more agreeable to their tastes and aspirations.” This statement is an open invitation for brutality. It is logic composed upon false beliefs of whose country America really is, and for that debate, I can come up with about 500 different responses, all of which include every ethnic background and religious affiliation possible. However ill-contrived the Klan’s logic may be, individuals from every ethnic origin must understand the belief system of the Klan. This is the only way we are going to be able to isolate the movement from advancing. Bigotry was never fought with passivity and the Klan won’t die out from silence.
Lisa Bhungalia is a senior English major.