Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.
A few items of Klanspeak:
· Kloran - their handbook
· Klonvocation - assembly
· Klanton - the ‘turf’’ of an individual Klan unit
· Klongress - congress
· Klokard - lecturer
· Kludd - chaplain
· Kligrapp - secretary
· Klabee - treasurer
· Kladd – ‘conductor’, in charge of initiating new members
· Klankraft - the state of being a Klan member
· Klaxon – senior ranking officer
The capirote is a hood traditionally worn by Spanish Catholic penitents, still worn in Holy Week processions. It looks exactly like a KKK hood. During the Inquisition it was used to humiliate the condemned and indicate their impending fate. No one is entirely sure how a Spanish Catholic hat came to be adopted by a Protestant White supremacist society in the southern USA, though some claim the white, ghost-like headwear is symbolic of the spirits of the confederate troops killed in the American Civil War.
The Ku Klux Klan’s deep roots may lie in secret ‘horse-whispering’ societies of Scottish ploughmen in rural Aberdeenshire. According to a book by Scottish vet Russell Lyon, six young men from Buchan, who had emigrated to the US, were recruited during the American Civil War by the Confederate army’s cavalry, and after the war set up a secret society based on the whisperers’ traditions. The name derived from the Greek word ‘kuklos’ meaning circle. The founders’ original intentions were ‘to have fun, make mischief and play pranks on the public.’ It was only when a former general and slave-owner named Nathan Forest became their Grand Wizard in 1867 that the lynching, torture and murder of black men became the Klan’s raison d’être.
That original incarnation of the Klan disappeared by the early 1870s. It didn’t reappear until 1915, inspired by the release of the D.W. Griffiths epic The Birth of a Nation, which portrayed the Klan as an heroic force restoring racial order to the South after the Civil War.
Griffiths twice uses another Scottish tradition, the burning cross, which he had lifted from Thomas Dixon’s pro-KKK novel The Clansman published in 1905. The burning cross or Crann Tara was originally used as a declaration of war between rival Scottish clans.
The first real-life Klan cross burning took place on Stone Mountain outside Atlanta in 1915 and this quickly became the KKK’s most potent symbol.
One of the most effective anti-KKK campaigns was masterminded in 1947 by Stetson Kennedy, a white man from Florida. He learned the identities of the Klan’s leaders, and deciphered the hierarchy, rituals and ‘secret language’. This wasn’t much more sophisticated than affixing a Kl- to words, as in, ‘Two Klansmen held a Klonversation in the Klavern’. He was soon promoted to join the Klavaliers, the Klan’s secret police. His tip-offs to the actual police went completely unnoticed, so he contacted the producers of the radio show The Adventures of Superman, which got millions of listeners each week. With the war over, the show needed new villains for Superman to fight, and the Klan fitted the bill nicely.
Four weeks of Superman went out with real Klan passwords, hierarchy, agendas and gossip. After two airings, recruitment levels in Kennedy’s area fell to zero: no grown man wanted to associate themselves with anything so ludicrous as the Klan.
Some conspiracy theorists claim that The Smurfs’ pointy hats show they are a front for the KKK.
Try to imagine a Shakespeare beset by fundamentalism, or a Goethe trying to work with the Ku Klux Klan roaring under his door.
KKK is Korean for ‘lol’.
In the mid-1920s KKK membership numbered 15% of the United States' voting eligible population.
The first two words of the KKK's name supposedly derived from the Greek word 'kyklos', meaning circle.
In the 1920's Louisiana, Michigan, and Oklahoma passed anti-mask laws intended to frustrate KKK activity.