All over the United States, neo-Nazi and Klan groups are flourishing and joining forces at a high rate. A majority of these groups, the white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and Klansmen, did not only protest, form meetings, and talk, they conspired to turn their abhorrence into ferocity. The groups planned to attack power grids, water plants, clinics, synagogues, churches, mosques, schools, funerals, banks, and courthouses. This paper explores the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi's extremist groups; their similarities and differences in beliefs, and membership.Literature Review
Empowered by Trump's presidency, and social media platforms, hate groups are rapidly emerging in the U.S from the fringes with a newfound sense of respectability. For instance, in 2015, local hate groups rose by fourteen percent - propagation incomparable in the contemporary period (Jones, 2017). This literature review analyses previous research on the background, beliefs, and members of the neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan groups.
According to Goldberg (2016), during the 1920's, the political state in Colorado was conquered by the Ku Klux Klan although a subdivision that, while devoted to the southerners, was extra preoccupied with Jews and Catholics than the blacks. The Klan rose to power after WW1 in a period that saw the U.S citizens recover from the tensions and anxieties associated with war although they found out that the era was not affluent for laborers and farmers. White Protestants tried to hold on to supremacy, so Italian and Irish immigrant Catholics became targets.
Meyer (2016) develops a more ambitious and broader hypothetical framework on ethnic and racial issues, repression and resistance movements. By describing the fall and revival of the Ku Klux Klan, he offers a significant outline of the Klan's long-held decline and progress of olden times (Meyer, 2016). The Klan flourished more in North Carolina, but this is astonishing since the ethnic situation was somewhat extra unreceptive in the southern region. Members of the Klan in the Northern region were worried about their association with Washington hence they acquired a lenient approach while responding to commercial and political pressures for incorporation. Americans who perceived their status as being under threat by civil rights movements viewed the Klan as the only hope for articulating their fears and protecting their unsubstantiated stands.
Goldberg (2016) states that the Ku Klux Klan is an undisclosed matter founded on violence and hatred. It states that its mission is to stand for activities and conventions that abide by the law, yet the Klan is known for partaking deceitful opinions during its existence. Even without paying attention to the destination of Klan movements, on most occasions, it always ends up in violence. The Cavaliers of the Klan believe that God's book supports them. They state that the word of God condones their actions (Goldberg, 2016). At no point does the Bible encourage the killing of one's neighbor. The Klan claims that they are not after destroying America but instead, are trying to save the nation. It is ironical how they believe in such, yet they practice violence and hatred.
According to Etter (2009), a culture of drug dealers and youth gang has evolved in the U.S with three different music genres. Among the criminal groups are the neo-Nazis who mostly believe in rock and metal music which talks about racial purity and white revolution. The neo-Nazis music choice together with the other two groups-Hispanics (narcocorrido music) and the black Americans gangsters (gangster rap or hip-hop) are similar in some ways. They all express a notion that the end is justified by the means, a feeling of discontent with the society, and violence. From this kind of musical beliefs, several street wars continue to erupt in the United States.
Dentice (2011) analyses Billy Roper, the leader of a growing nationalist American party, chair of internet social networking site and a neo-Nazi group. Roper went back to Arkansas, his hometown, to create his neo-Nazi party identified as 'White Revolution'. More than one thousand individuals from sixteen different cities were registered as members by May 2010 (Dentice, 2011). The site is also believed to harbor citizens of other nations. Most of the neo-Nazi members were skinheads at some point since they were even more associated with the Fascist political creed. Roper had a stand for those willing to join the neo-Nazi group, and it was compulsory for one to abide by the laws, to be devoted to their race, and be pure Americans. The neo-Nazi did not back up deepwater drilling, and the group suggested that state enticements ought to embrace the elimination of fossil fuels and introducing renewable, clean energy sources. Neo-Nazi extremists tend to worry a lot about the countries economic state and believe that migrants drain social institutions in the United States thus they tend to reject government policies which are beneficial to marginalized groups.
The Ku Klux Klan organization is vital in the U.S history but unfortunately, it was not a functional group since its people were racists. The Klan was after marginalized citizens as well as top officials of the government who played a role in eradicating slavery. Their main aim was to make it clear to the public that they feared anything could not stop anything and their beliefs.Their approach to punishment scared the citizens and had a significant influence on campaign results. Being a Klan member, one was required to be pure American. Since the big cities had different ethnic groups, the Klan would look for its members in regions which were occupied by the African Americans like small towns and villages of the south. For months, the Klan became more hostile that the government was forced to intercede. After some time, the Klan was no longer controlled by Nathan Forest since it had spread quite fast in broader regions.
Owens, Cunningham, and Ward (2015) carried out a study to explore the mobilization of Ku Klux Klan and their social organization in the Northern part of Carolina. Their verdicts show that the rallying effect of competition and threat differed between urban and rural regions, and that leadership and opposition play a mutual responsibility in interpreting shared objections into mobilization (Owens, Cunningham &Ward, 2015). The subject of persistence and continuity is particularly germane to right-wing movements and contemporary racist, that make use of several trans-and intra-movement to boost commitment and identity to objectives of a campaign in today's unfavorable political climate.
Archival primary and secondary resources were used to collect data on this research. By reviewing different literature works by other researchers, information on the history of the neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan extremist groups were able to be collected. The data helps to recognize the similarities and differences regarding beliefs and practices of the two groups. By analyzing previous studies, this approach helped to evaluate how extremist groups contribute to the rise of street wars and unrests in the society. The method was more efficient on getting more data on the Klan group, unlike the neo-Nazi. The research lacks control over the quality of data since there was no rigorous field research such as use of participants, and questionnaires.
Music is a reliable form of social expression, and through the neo-Nazis music preference, they get to talk about their beliefs in the society, the status of women, masculinity, and norms of the community. For this reason, America has gone ahead to implement the freedom of speech in music in its First Amendment, and this has contributed to street wars as extremist groups get ideas from different lyrics and end up protesting as a form of expressing their beliefs. The notion that violence is a suitable method of resolving issues flows through their musical genres. The intense discussion on the election of America's first black president provided an impetus for ongoing extremist actions through forums for white nationalists, social networks, assorted militia groups, and radical right-wing groups. Mobilization and recruiting of Klan and neo-Nazi members was achieved where the probability for economic competition among the whites and blacks was higher, and mobilization of civil rights was more noticeable (Meyer, 2016). The two groups are both racists and hold their beliefs in violence as a means of solving social issues.
Even as past research work on conflict identity and ethnic contention recognizes significant structural signs of competition and threat, evaluation of differences in the strategies associating these sources of possible formation of protests and organization still needs more clarity. While the Klan mobilization in the civil rights movement is seen as a unique example of relative significance to another national level like the south Klan mobilization, future research needs to dig more into community and county level strategies. Further research will see the creation of broader theoretical perspectives into the facilitated connection amid sensitive ethnic mobilization and contention since these cognate fields seem to offer a lot to each other.
Dentice, D. (2011). The Nationalist Party of America: Right-Wing Activism and Billy Roper's White Revolution. Social Movement Studies, 10(01), 107-112, doi: 10.1080/14742837.2011.545230.
Etter Sr, G. W. (2009). Hip-Hop, Narcocorrido, and Neo-Nazi Hate Rock: A Comparison of Alienated Criminal Groups. JIJIS, 9, 98.
Goldberg, R. A. (2016). White Robes, Silver Screens: Movies and the Making of the Ku Klux Klan and Not a Catholic Nation: The Ku Klux Klan Confronts New England in the 1920s, doi: 10.1093/jahist/jaw434.
Jones, V. (2017). Hate in the Age of Trump: A Photo Essay. The New Republic. Retrieved 9 June 2018, from https://newrepublic.com/article/140110/hate-age-trump-photo-essay-van-jones-johnny-milano.
Meyer, D. S. (2016). Klansville, USA: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan By David Cunningham Oxford University Press. 2013. 29.95cloth, 24.95 paper, doi: 10.1093/sf/sou067.
Owens, P. B., Cunningham, D., & Ward, G. (2015). The threat, competition, and mobilizing structures: Motivational and organizational contingencies of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan. Social Problems, 62(4), 572-604, doi: 10.1093/socpro/spv016
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