The Ku Klux Klan, an organization rooted in hate crimes, terror, and racism, is currently under pressure by thousands of American citizens who wish to abolish it. Petitioners are seeking to designate the KKK as a terrorist organization, and have already picked up hundreds of thousands of signatures in the wake of nationwide protests against racism and police brutality.
The appeal simply seeks to make membership in the group, which was founded as a paramilitary organization in the South after the Civil War, illegal.
“The Ku Klux Klan is a white supremacist hate group with historic background of terrorism, including countless physical assaults and murders,” the Change.org petition reads. “The KKK is still active in certain parts of the country and has public rallies. Hate should not be a way to bring the communities together, nor should it be allowed or tolerated.”
The KKK is the “oldest and most infamous of American hate groups” and has targeted people of color, religious minorities and the LGBTQ community, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The petition has nearly 300,000 signatures as of today and has a goal of 500,000. The vast amount of participation is partially due to the momentum, and transparency facilitated by platforms like Twitter where information spreads like a wildfire.
Link to the actual petition seems to be lost in the article… but here you go. https://t.co/nfRnrlKeXc— Gilmore's glorious wood (@iveleftmymark) June 10, 2020
“It is dishonoring our black citizens by allowing a group that has tortured them from the very start to still exist,” one petition reads. “Abolish this hateful group that is carrying on a history of abuse, racism and murder. Abolish the KKK.”
The petitions come as President Donald Trump said last month he will be “designating antifa as a terrorist organization.” He said antifa, a movement of far-left activists that resist white supremacists and neo-Nazis, is behind “violence and vandalism” at protests, but officials have suggested white supremacists are behind the acts, The New York Times reported.
The federal government does not have the ability to declare “a domestic group as a terrorist organization,” according to The Hill.
Americans who assemble “with others who share the same hateful views” are protected by the First Amendment, Mary McCord, the former head of the Department of Justice National Security Division, said earlier this year, ABC News reported.
However, in our day and age, where we have expanded our understanding and broadened our values, it would be a great injustice and overt act of ignorance to allow such a group to function, and be protected by the law. America is perhaps one of the most diverse countries in our modern world, and is historically known to be a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities, religions etc. Therefore to allow a group such as the KKK to function under the first amendment and to be allowed to spread it’s hateful verbiage, while carrying out criminal actions is indeed a direct violation not only to the American Constitution but to the many American lives who work and live here on a daily basis.
“Abolish this hateful group that is carrying on a history of abuse, racism, and murder. Abolish the KKK,” the petition reads.
Sign the petitions listed below to help catalyze a long over due change in our country.