One is a group that fights against police brutality. The other one has a history of lynching black people and burning down churches.
Welcome to America, where some people try to paint black people mobilizing to protect our lives from cops in the same brushstroke as a racist hate group that our country will still not officially call a terrorist group.
The Ku Klux Klan is a hate group that has been in this country since the late nineteenth century. It’s had three distinct movements/klan sections (1865-1870; 1915-1944; and 1946-the present). The Klan advocates for white supremacy, anti-immigration, white nationalism, as well as a slew of other ideologies, all in the vain of “purifying” this nation. The Klan claims to be rooted in Christian ideologies, but every demonination of Christianity has condemned the KKK. At one point in our nation’s history, their memebership exceeded four million people nationwide.
The third klan, which is our nation’s current manifestation of it, emerged in the form of local groups. Their main objective was to oppose the Civil Rights movement and desegregation, and it used murder and violence to suppress and terrify black activists. The KKK bombed black churches and schools, as well. It is apparenlty classified by the the Anti-Defamation League as a hate-group, and some reports say that the membership is up to 6,000 in 2016. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Klan actually forged alliances with Southern police departments or with governors’ offices. The city council in Charleston, South Carolina declared the KKK a terrorist organization in 1999, but our country as a whole has failed to do so yet. Some people like to attribute the Klan’s membership to poor white people, but the fact of the matter is: the Klan’s membership crosses class lines. When the Klan was at the height of its terrorizing, officials were usually hardpressed to find other white people to testify against them. If you were black, the Klan was and still is a threat to you. If you were white and testified against them, they saw you as siding with black people and you were in danger that way, as well.
For white America, the KKK represents a horrid time in our nation’s history where race was a super prevalent issue. To a lot of white Americans, we have made so much progress from those dark times and race is no longer an issue.
Black Lives Matter was created in 2012 after George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin’s murderer, was acquitted of his crimes. This movement is a call to action and a response to the systemic violence against black bodies from police. It calls out the anti-Black racism that is prevalent in our society. According to their website, Black Lives Matter “affirms the lives of Black queer and trans folk, disabled folks, black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum…It is a tactic to (re)build the Black liberation movement.”
No where in their message do they call for the death of police, the murder of police families, or for people to walk into police academies and shoot the trainees to death. Black Lives Matter is not anti-police; it is anti-police brutality, and these are two very different things. To be anti-police is to think that police are no longer relevant in our society and that the institution of police should be abolished. I will also point out that being anti-police does not necessarily mean that you want all police officers to die. To be anti-police brutality is to to be against the over-exertion of power from police towards citizens (especially citizens who are not white) that usually ends up in the harming or death of said citizens. A person is perfectly capable of respecting police as an institution but also recognizing that we have a deep issue in our country.
Some people (most likely white people, not gonna lie) like to compare the Black Lives Matter movement to the Ku Klux Klan. Somehow in their deluded brain where they don’t like to recognize blatant facts and racism, they see a movement that calls out police brutality against black bodies in the same realm as a white supremacist, anti-black, anti-immigrant, anti-Semetic, basically anti-everything that isn’t white, straight, and Christain group that is known for lynching, burning down churches, and shooting up schools. Black Lives Matter marches for justice and calls for police reform. The KKK wants to purify our nation by getting rid of everyone who is not white, straight, and Christian. These two ideologies are no where near similar.
So why are there some white people who want to group them together?
It’s simple. For white America, the KKK represents a horrid time in our nation’s history where race was a super prevalent issue. To a lot of white Americans, we have made so much progress from those dark times and race is no longer an issue. And also for these white people, the Black Lives Matter movement has seemingly derailed this progress and clearly pointed out that just because white people in hoods aren’t coming for us doesn’t mean that state-sanctioned and supported violence against black bodies has stopped. Comparing BLM to the KKK also instills fear in white America and weak-minded people of color who believe everything that the white majority feeds them. It is in no way logical to think that an anti-police brutality movement is in the same world as a white nationalist group. This is basically like saying that any woman who calls herself a feminist wants to kill all men (which, by the way for those who actually think like this, THAT’S NOT TRUE!).
And if you believe that the two organizations are the same, then let me be frank: YOU are part of the problem.
Black Lives Matter is not a terrorist group.
Black Lives Matter does not want to kill all police and is not anti-police.
Black Lives Matter is not in any way the same as the Ku Klux Klan.
These are just facts, and whether or not you choose to recognize them is on you.
Let me know you thoughts in the comments section below!