Progression of the Ku Klux Klan Mr. Downhour Period 515 May 2015The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is arguably the most infamous and one of the oldest American hate groups. Though the list of KKK targets has considerably widened, the primary target has typically been black Americans. The organization was formed in December 1865 primarily associated with Christianity, however today, the Klan groups have a variety of theological and political ideologies.The first Klan emerged after the Civil War, during the Reconstruction era. “The original KKK was a secret organization that used violence and terror to intimidate the freed African Americans and to prevent them from taking advantage of their new rights, particularly the right to vote. Members disguised in robes and hoods carried out these actions. ” (SOURCE 5) Understandably, after the Civil War, especially in the South, racial unrest was rampant. The Klan emerged to terrorize Southern blacks and any white supporters in order to prevent them from enjoying their civil rights. Violence became the hallmark of the Klan: lynchings, tar-and-featherings, rapes, etc. However, the membership requirements document states otherwise. “Every member is sworn to uphold the law and the principles of justice, and that he will not conspire with others to commit any unlawful or violent acts.” (SOURCE 2) The Ku Klux Klan believed highly of themselves and held enough dignity not to resort to violence in their credo.