What is the History of the U.S. White Supremacist Movement?

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August 6, 1999

· The white supremacist movement is not a new phenomenon. The Ku Klux Klan, historically the most influential white supremacist organization in the U.S., was founded in 1865, as a fraternal order for Civil War veterans of the confederate states (Blee, 1991).

· The Klan reemerged in 1915, expanding its membership to between four and five million by 1925 (Blee, 1991).

· The civil rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s triggered the next wave of interest in the Klan (Ferber 1998).

· The American Nazi Party was founded in 1958 by George Lincoln Rockwell, honoring the legacy of Adolph Hitler.

· While the American Nazi Party never gained many members, many contemporary neo-Nazi organizations are their direct descendants (Ferber 1998).

· There are a wide variety of white supremacy organizations today, including various Klan groups, skinheads, the neo-Nazi National Alliance, the National Socialist White People's Party, and the Posse Comitatus.

· The white supremacist movement of the 1980s gave birth to the militia movement, which has recently grown increasingly racist and anti-Semitic.

References

Blee, Kathleen. 1991. Women of the Klan: Racism and Gender in the 1920s. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Ferber, Abby L. 1998. White Man Falling: Race, Gender and White Supremacy. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

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