As I’m sure you’ve already heard — Anonymous, a “hacktivist” group, has unhooded about 1,000 Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members and has named the big release #OperationKKK. Several of the members who have been unveiled are identified as our very own U.S. politicians. Surprise, surprise!
The Ku Klux Klan, notorious for their racist and violent history, have spread terror in this country for decades. We’ve all read in our textbooks about the KKK and learned about the awful acts the hate group committed in the late 1800s. As a girl in middle-school, sitting in my American History class and learning about the divide between white and black, I couldn’t understand what possible force could drive a human being to think that the color of their skin makes them superior over another. I would take a sigh of relief and think to myself, “Thank God this isn’t the 1800s.”
Fast forward to 2015 — and man do I stand corrected. While I am right about it not being the 19th century, mindsets from that era have yet to change. Sure, slavery is abolished and the KKK was declared unconstitutional, but belonging to a generation that constantly witnesses injustices against black people in this country only goes to show that we have one hell of a fight against racism ahead of us. We are not even close to seeing the end of racism in America — not one bit. Seeing support for hate groups like the KKK reminds us that white supremacy was not a thing of the past century, but that it still exists today.
Anonymous’ #OperationKKK proves that we don’t even need to look far to find supporters of the terrorist group. Rather, they’re closer to us than we think. Out of the many KKK members that were revealed, one can be found in our own congress. Yup, congress — you know, the one that has a significant role in shaping our country’s policies. Sadly it doesn’t come as a surprise, given that our government has failed us with weak responses and a nonchalant attitude toward ending racism.
Congressman Joe Wilson is among those who have been un-hooded. That explains Republican Wilson’s outburst back in 2009, when he called President Barack Obama a “liar” on the congress floor. Of course, Wilson apologized after a wave of backlash by saying he “let [his] emotions get the best of [him] when listening to the president’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the healthcare bill.”
Racism is well and alive in our government. Just think about the crap Obama has had to deal with in the past years. No president in the history of the United States has never received such disrespect from his own people. During Obama’s political career, how many times have we heard claims of “Obama is not being an American” or “Obama is a Muslim?” I mean for God’s sake, my own classmate claimed that the president is biased as an African-American for encouraging public sentiment, while referring to Trayvon Martin as a boy “who could be his son.”
Despite the organization being declared unconstitutional and a terrorist group, we still see unwavering support for the KKK. Support for racist ideologies stems from a much deeper problem. It’s when individuals become passive on this issue. When we read headlines about our politicians belonging to the KKK and take a shrug and go on with our day, it allows for our governments and politicians to ignore racism as well. The magnitude of the destruction it causes in our communities is then overlooked.
Could you imagine the media being so passive if the same politicians belonged to another terrorist organization instead of the KKK — let’s call it ISIS? If we are really true in our fight against extremism and terrorism, we must eliminate all forms of it. Unification in our struggle against extremism, racism and terrorism is much needed and is a reason why we have been unsuccessful in eliminating complete support for groups like the KKK.
The KKK has been a source of destruction in the country for way too many decades. The hate group has had blood on their hands for over a century. Members of the group are responsible for continuing to promote the divide between white and black and turning the other way. Not holding these members accountable will only allow our hate-drenched politicians to get away with it. These politicians are the ones who run our government. They are the ones who enforce policies. We cannot afford to let history repeat itself — or rather, let it continue.
Written by Sabena Chaudhry
Image: Daily Dot