They are one of the most infamous minority groups in US history having formed in 1865. The Ku Klux Klan (commonly known as the KKK) are an extreme group who value white supremacy / nationalism and who are fiercely ant-immigration and multiculturalism. They’re instantly recognizable from their white pointed hoods, designed to hide their identity & invoke fear amongst locals.
Many of them operated & orchestrated night attacks in rural towns where they were prone to being recognised by their vicitims. “The kind of thing that men are afraid or ashamed to do openly, and by day, they accomplish secretly, masked, and at night.” With this method of disguise, both the high and the low could be attacked.
They would frequently burn down the houses of African American’s, shooting, beating, raping or hanging them at will. They even suppressed black voting in Southern states, with over 2,000 individuals killed, wounded and otherwise injured in Louisiana within a few weeks prior to the Presidential election of November 1868.
At their peak during the 1920′s, Klan membership hit its peak of 4-6 million Americans – driven largely by a fear of immigrants threatening American values.
But several years later,as the civil rights movement gained momentum, the Klan took to take to more and more extreme forms of action against those deemed a threat to “white nationalism”. Their downfall began in the mid 1950′s where between 1995-1965 alone, the KKK were responsible for 200 bombings, killing several prominent civil rights advocates.
This severely turned the public against their cause, with many rebelling against & disassociate themselves from the Klan’s racist propaganda, illegal activities & hate speech. Around that time, the FBI successfully infiltrating the Klan, resulting in the imprisonment of many of the ‘supreme leaders’ and thus the KKK’s influence severely diminished. It’s now estimated that there’s between 5,000 and 8,000 Klan members still operating in the US.
Below are several items from the KKK clothing catalogue, dedicated to the official robes, costumes and banners of the Ku Klux Klan which dates back to 1925 – a chilling reminder of an era where discrimination, homophobia & neo-fascism was rife in America.
It also serves to highlight the positive strides America has made since – few (if any) sane individual would wear these garnets of extreme hate anymore.