The case of U.S.A versus Cecil Price et al (1967)

Introduction

The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was an extremist organization in U.S.A and it always aimed at preserving the white culture and domination of other minority groups that lived in U.S. This group was also anti-communist and it never wanted the black people to have equal rights with whites (Sullivan, 2000).

In the second half of 19th century, the first Klan emerged but it collapsed around 1870. In 1920s the second group was formed and it subscribed to the traditions and activities of the former. The third clan came to the limelight after the end of the Second World War and its major aim was to suppress the civil rights activities that were often conducted by the black elites (Sullivan, 2000).

This extremist group of terrorists is popularly known for advocating for the white domination over the minority groups that lived in the south. The Klan conducted a series of terrorist activities both in the rural and urban centers. They mainly targeted the black activists who always demanded democratic rights (Hansen, 2005). This paper discusses the tactics that were used by the Klan in the movie “Mississippi Rising” and also the tactics that were used by the F.B.I to investigate the group (Hansen, 2005).

Tactics used by the Ku Klux Klan

Lynching

The Ku Klux Klan which was against the civil rights granted to the black people in U.S used a number of tactics in a bid to intimidate the black people who were demanding for equal opportunities.

The tactics included the following. Lynching was one of the tactics that was commonly used by the members of the Klan. Lynching refers to the act of killing people through mob action and it was commonly practiced in U.S, between1860-1960. This tactic is closely connected with white supremacy which was widely practiced in the south after the civil war of 1860 (Sullivan, 2000).

During the reconstruction period in the south that took place immediately after the American civil war, the Africa Americans were granted civil rights (Hansen, 2005). The whites who for a very long time had dominated the Africans were greatly disturbed. The people who were demanding for the civil rights were now targeted by this gang with the aim of being lynched and killed.

The Klan members who conducted the lynching always had different motives. Some of them could raid and displace the Africans from their investments, others wanted to gain political control in the south, while others aimed at punishing those who had contradicted their customs (Hansen, 2005).

Hate Messages

Apart from lynching, the members of the Klan circulated fliers that had hate messages to the blacks. These messages were actually very provocative and scary in nature. They burnt crosses in the black residential areas as a way of provoking them. In addition to these tactics, they carried out protest rallies on the street. They occasionally burnt firms and properties belonging to the blacks (Sullivan, 2000). The blacks resisted the lynching in several ways.

For example, the black elites and journalists always informed the public about their rights. They protested against lynching through peaceful demonstrations and questioned the government’s position in these violent attacks against the blacks. Several advocacy groups together with some whites who disliked the activities of the Klan also helped them by pressurizing the government to address the issue (Dublin, 1993).

How the F.B.I Dealt with Ku Klux Klan

Inadequate Investigation

The government responded by using the F.B.I to investigate and deal with the Klan. The F.B.I used four main tactics to dismantle the militia groups and they included the following. Infiltration was one of the methods they used. In several cases the F.B.I detectives simply discredited and disrupted political activities deeming them illegal without conducting proper investigations (Sullivan, 2000).

The police officers and detectives from F.B.I unit used dubious methods like “Psychological Warfare from the Outside” (Sullivan, 2000) to suppress political movements.

They created their own information and relayed wrong information to media houses concerning illegal movements like Klan. Apart from doing this, the F.B.I officials also wrote false reports and letters. They also kept on manipulating parents, workers and children to give the activists a hard time (Dublin, 1993).

Misuse of the Law

The F.B.I and police officers misused the law by harassing innocent people and treating them like criminals. The police officers created stories to file charges against innocent people and many citizens ended up being unlawfully arrested and imprisoned. They also used extra force and violence to harass innocent people with the aim of silencing and preventing them from engaging in politics (Hansen, 2005).

Conclusion

From the above discussion it is evident that the black people in U.S faced a lot of challenges during the reconstruction period that took place after the end of the civil war. This inhuman treatment of the blacks by the whites was a great demonstration of racism and discrimination against the black people.

The activities of the Klan were not simple criminal activities but they were militant in nature. This is because they had a large group that conducted raids in various parts of the south (Hansen, 2005). Besides, the Klan had a clear objective to achieve. The methods that were used by the F.B.I in conducting the investigations about the Klan’s activities were very illegal and action ought to have been taken against them (Dublin, 1993).

References

Dublin, T. (1993). Immigrant voices. Chicago: University ofIllonois Press.

Hansen, D. (2005). The dream:Martin Luther King and the speech that inspired a nation. New York: Harpper Perrenial.

Sullivan, P. (2000). Civil rights in the United States. New York: Macmillan Refence USA.