The Recurring Klan Movement's Fight for "Americanism" and against Equality
From the deadly "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville in 2108, to the role of white nationalists in the recent U.S. Capitol insurgency, recent events have spotlighted white supremacist groups. To grapple with these forces and broader problems of racism and inequality, we need a deeper understanding of the klan movement -- the Ku Klux Klan and loosely aligned white supremacist groups -- and its influence on American political development. In this talk, I share research from historical archives and empirical data, including Klan speeches and newspapers, U.S. case law records, congressional and FBI investigations, military tribunals, newspaper reports, and prior studies, to illuminate how the Klan initiated a recurring white supremacist movement that has cloaked itself in constitutional patriotism as it has fought for an "invisible empire" and "pure Americanism," and against egalitarian democracy. This reveals a more complex picture of the 'what, why, who, how, where, and when' of the klan, and a web of klan influence on American politics, law, and culture that has never been adequately recognized or overturned.