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The “KKK Caucus” is a Very Clear and Present Danger By David W. Marshall

The “KKK Caucus” is a Very Clear and Present Danger
By David W. Marshall

david w. marshall

( - There are men and women throughout all levels of government who hold positions of leadership, but are far from being ethical and effective leaders. At a time of social, economic and political uncertainty, our nation cries out for competent, responsible and just leaders. Myles Monroe once said, “Great leaders do not desire to lead but to serve”. Elected officials in our local, state and federal governments are called to serve and protect not only the electorate, but the institutions they represent.

Currently, the Republican Party is suffering from an unbelievable void in leadership. When any member of Congress receives a death threat it cannot be taken likely. Regardless of their political party. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has often been critical of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and rightfully so. McCarthy has consistently failed to hold members of the GOP caucus accountable for offensive actions and hateful rhetoric which has led to death threats being made to other members of Congress. Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet, “Kevin McCarthy is so desperate to be speaker that he is working with his Ku Klux Klan caucus to look aside and allow violent targeting of women of color members of Congress”.

I was initially surprised by the KKK reference. When remembering what the Ku Klux Klan movement is really about, I realized it is an accurate description. Their mission is to always defend the belief that White Angelo-Saxon Protestants were superior by race and religion.

While they remain an active organization, the height of Klan activity in America would rise and fall throughout history. During three dark and tragic periods of time, the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan arose from a dormant to an active state when spreading hate and terror. Active primarily in the South and Midwest, the Klan members were domestic terrorists who often were not punished for their crimes.

The first Klan group emerged as powerful agents of hate during the period of Reconstruction. Mainly in opposition to the government’s attempt at racial equality, and to prevent full citizenship and voting rights for former slaves. The second period of Klan resurgence was in the early 20th century as a response to the large influx of Catholics and Jewish immigrants coming into the United States. The third uprising was the violent backlash in response to the civil rights movement during the 1950’s and 60’s. It was the second emergence of the Klan during the 1920’s which was far different and dangerous then the first and third versions.

With immigrants arriving from Southern and Eastern Europe, their presence was perceived as the social and cultural decay of American values. By combining bigotry with patriotism, the Klan defined what it meant to be a patriot and what it meant to be a “true American”. During this second rising, racist ideology and false doctrines became normalized and accepted in mainstream America. Similar to what we see today in 2021 with white nationalists and their supporters becoming extremely bold with their messages and actions.

The 1920’s version developed a powerful and influential network with broad support from white politicians and white clergy. The Ku Klux Klan caucus within today’s GOP is a clear and present danger to American democracy. Why does a Klansman burn down a church yet they say they are Christians? Why does a Republican destroy democracy yet they say they are patriots?

I had a friend from Mississippi who said, “Everything in Mississippi is about race”. That is true not just in Mississippi but everywhere. When it becomes all about race, a person who considers themselves a Christian will burn down a house of worship because they see it as a source of support and strength to segments of the Black community. The second version of the Klan was in response to a changing America becoming more culturally diverse. Immigrants were not considered to be “true Americans” despite gaining citizenship.

The election of Barack Obama as president reflected a changing America because Black and Brown voters spoke loudly and won. For many people, President Obama was not accepted as being a “true American” despite being born in Hawaii. When it becomes all about race, a person who considers themselves a patriot will burn down democracy in order to protect Angelo-Saxon political traditions.

They recognize the power of democracy. They also realize when democracy, as an institution, is allowed to work unobstructed the results will be fair elections benefitting communities of color. To some, this is totally unacceptable. In the wake of a changing America, the current Ku Klux Klan caucus represents a movement which supports the need to maintain racial and religious superiority at any cost. Having to fairly share power through the results of free and fair elections will justify any efforts in overturning future elections which are necessary to maintain power and control. So democracy will not be totally destroyed. Only the part that benefits communities of color.

David W. Marshall is founder of the faith based organization, TRB: The Reconciled Body, and author of the book “God Bless Our Divided America”. He can be reached at

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