Episode 110: KKK: Kowards in Kostumes

This episode is brought to you by El Yucateco

On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we pull back the hood and look at the history of the Ku Klux Klan. What started as a social club for six ex-confederate soldiers morphed into the largest, longest-lasting terrorist organization on American soil. What most people don’t know, however, is that there wasn’t just one KKK. There have been several that have come and gone over the years.

The first one started in 1865 in Tennessee, and their focus wasn’t quite the racially motivated hatred we think of today. Instead, they were a group who organized to stop the spread of the federal Republican-led government from spreading to the Southern States. This happened to target a lot of blacks who were Republican, but they murdered thousands of people (white and black) all the through the south to ensure an election result they were happy with. And it worked.

The first Klan fell away to obscurity until 1915, when Klan version 2.0 appeared on the scene. This second Klan was by far the largest that America has ever seen; some estimate their size to be 6 million people, roughly 15% of the American population at the time! This Klan was the result of the popularity of D.W. Griffith’s racist masterpiece, The Birth of a Nation, as well as a famous murder case known as the Leo Frank Case. This clan evolved rapidly into a massive business model, selling expensive memberships and robes, but it was taken down by federal legislation.

The third and fourth Klans are what grew from hostilities and lynchings just before and during Civil Rights all the way to the scattered but militant Klan groups found today (the Aryan, white power type). So give this one a listen if you want to hear about ridiculous names the Klan gives to everything (here’s a hint, they all start with K and are really stupid) or want to hear about their modern day lame recruitment flyers. Hate is a virus, and the KKK spreads quickly, so listen up and learn how they could grow to power again and how to stop history from repeating itself.

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