Ku Klux Klan: Masters of "Fear Warfare": Some things never change

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My experiences and knowledge as it pertains to the Klan

Ku Klux Klan: Masters of “Fear Warfare”: Some things never change

I was born in 1947, and was raised on my family’s farm in Franklin, Tennessee. It goes, without saying that I know the South, very well, because I am a part of the South’s history. Therefore, when I talk about the Klan I speak about my experience and first- hand knowledge of the Klan. These first two paragraphs are actually an introduction to my hometown and my life, living in my hometown, is just an introduction to how I have learned what I know about the South and about the Klan. The Klan, racial hate, fear-mongering is something that African Americans have had to face and endure from the inception of the KKK in 1865. Actually, the issues that we struggled with have been with us for more than 200 years, here in Franklin, Tennessee. Franklin, Tennessee, or should I say, the town of Franklin was established in 1799. Franklin, Tennessee is a very old, and presently, a very wealthy, and historical, Southern town.

There is an Episcopal Church called St. Paul’s, the Mother Church of the Diocese that was established in 1827. This church, a historical building, used to have “slave-galleys” located within the building where black slaves were chained. During the Civil War Battle of Franklin, the Federal troops first used the building, doing serious damage to it, and after they evacuated the building, moving their troops north, toward Nashville, Tennessee, the Confederate troops used the building doing further damage to the structure. When the church building was later rebuilt, after the Civil War had ended, the slave-galleys were removed. By the way, 4 years ago, when my step-father died, an Episcopal priest at St. Paul’s, named Rev. Ann, helped me helped me with the funeral service and with all the details, even to the grave side burial. Since that time, the families of St. Paul’s have become my friends.

The above two paragraphs give you an idea of what it may have been like for me, an African American child, to experience childhood growing up on a small family farm in a (for lack of better words) hostile environment. Every time something bad happened to me, for example a car load of white males, with the windows of their vehicle rolled down, tried to run me over one night, as I walked toward home (our family farm) after having bussed dishes and operating the dishwashing machine, to make extra money for the family, in the year 1962. I did not tell my step-father about this incident because I was afraid he would have made me quit my job. I did talk to an old man that I knew about the incident. He immediately said it sounded like a Klan related, intimidation tactic, because he believed that the Klan wanted to keep young, black boys scared and humble.

There were other incidents that happened in my life but I want to move on to deal directly with Klan related facts for the rest of this discourse.

The first Klan organization was founded in 1865 in Pulaski, Tennessee, by a group of veterans of the Confederate Army. Pulaski is not too far from Franklin, Tennessee. It was well known to all blacks that the KKK sought to restore “white supremacy” by threatening, beating, murdering (hanging by the neck, preferably) blacks. Also, it was common knowledge that they hated Catholics and Jews. Klansmen also profess hate for Spanish speakers, Mormons and Muslims. There was an attack again Mormons in 1884 (August the first) called the Cane Creek Massacre (or The Tennessee Mormon Massacre) that very few, non-Mormons know about. The men were armed and were wearing masks and “outlandish colorful” disguises. No one, as far as I know, accused the Klan of this attack. However, more research is in order.

Time does not allow me to continue writing, but I will attempt to find the time to write more on the Klan at a later date. There is more, much more, that can be said about the Klan’s World View and where they hope to go with their mission and their vision.

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Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

This is a great and educational hub. The information in this article is so true. This type of racism is evil, but there are a lot of people who do not believe it is still happening today. The only difference between people who are black, white, asian, hispanic, is the color of skin. Why does the color of a person's skin cause so much hate? I don't know. But, it is still happening. When will it end? I don't know that either. But, I pray that someday it will.

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