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Ku Klux Klan - Ideology
The basic ideology of the Ku Klux Klan today is not very different from that of many other hard-core white supremacist groups, such as neo-Nazis. Though the symbols and rituals may differ, most Klan groups share the same emphasis on the “14 Words” slogan (“We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children”) that tends to define modern hard-core white supremacy in the United States. However, there are differences. Though Ku Klux Klan groups are generally extremely anti-Semitic, a number of them, especially in the South, tend to spend more of their energy in activities opposing African-Americans and non-white immigrants, who are often seen as the more immediate enemies.

Another difference involves religion. Whereas many neo-Nazis and racist skinheads may be atheists or pagan, Klan groups tend to be overwhelmingly Christian (often adhering to the racist and anti-Semitic Christian Identity sect), reflecting the Klan’s more traditional origins. However, even this may be changing to a certain degree. For example, in 2006, the Kentucky-based Imperial Klans of America (IKA) announced on its Web site, as part of an effort to attract new members from the white supremacist subculture, that it would now accept certain non-Christians. “Since its beginning the IKA has been a Klan that only accepted Christians into its ranks,” the IKA announced in April 2006. However, now “…within the IKA, the message of all groups will be heard…Each will be able to have their own separate identity within the Klan, be they Odinists, National Socialists, Nazi’s [sic], Skinheads, Defenders, Confederates, or any other group so dedicated to our Cause.”

This move by the IKA reflected another noteworthy trend within the Klan—its growing Nazification. From the 1970s onward, Klan groups had to compete with a variety of other white supremacist movements, from neo-Nazis to racist skinheads, for potential recruits. Many white supremacists, especially younger ones, viewed the Klan as old-fashioned compared to these newer movements. Some Klan groups adapted to this challenge by becoming more like neo-Nazi and skinhead groups, adopting their symbols, regalia, tattoos, slogans, and even music. A number of Klan groups have abandoned the use of the traditional hoods and robes, eschewing them altogether (typically wearing some form of military uniform instead) or only using them during ceremonies. As a result, today a Klansman might just as easily resemble a racist skinhead in dress and appearance as he might the traditional hooded and robed figure that most people associate with the Klan.

Klan groups also increased cooperation with neo-Nazi groups and occasionally even merged with them. The IKA’s yearly white power music event, Nordicfest, is a perfect example of this, attracting a wide variety of racist skinheads and neo-Nazis to Kentucky every year. Another example is the number of joint events the Klan held with the National Socialist Movement across the country in 2006.

Untitled Document
The Ku Klux Klan Rebounds
About the Ku Klux Klan
Recent Developments:
Changes in Longstanding Groups
New Klan Groups Emerging
Geographic Expansion
New Tactics
Criminal Activity
and Violence
Active Groups by State
Slide Show
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