Been doing a little research lately. Not too long ago I heard someone talking about the link between the KKK and Democrats, so I figured I’d check into that when I had time.

Turns out they were right, sort of. According to the TN Encyclopedia, the Klan was first organized by six Confederate veterans as a fraternity-style social club in late May early June in 1866. They got the name from the Greek kuklos (meaning band or circle) and the English clan. The KKK was a mock fraternity.

However, in 1867, as Republicans were recruiting newly freed black men, conservative Democrats saw this as a rallying point to protect the white conservative confederate way of life. They sought to drive Republicans, freed men, and their allies from the polls. Thus the KKK became a de facto arm of the southern Democratic party.

I know everyone knows the name Nathan Bedford Forrest. He was not, as popular opinion would have you believe, a founder of the KKK. He was, however, the first Grand Wizard. What they don’t tell you is that in 1869, he called for the disbandment of the Klan believing they had served their purpose.

It wasn’t until 1915 that the Klan was revived. In the aftermath of WWI, Scopes, the Red Scare, etc, many viewed the Klan as the protectors of traditional American values. This is the Klan we have operating today. This is a very short summation of the history of the KKK. If you want to know more, you should go to the link above.

So while many believe that the KKK is a right-wing extremist group, it would be more apropos to say it is and always has been a left-wing, but conservative, extremist group.

  1. TD says:

    If you would like to more understand the KKK in terms of political party connections, you must step out of the traditional southern KKK line of inquiry. The most extensive case of the KKK connection to politics is that of D.C. Stephenson who virtually controlled all levels of Indiana politics and law enforcement in the 1920’s and represents both the height of KKK power and the peak of national membership.

    • Mike says:

      I’ll definitely look into that. This is an issue that I’m just learning about and it’s quite intriguing what I’ve found out so far. Thanks for the lead.

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