The Reconstruction Era Ku Klux Klan were not pro-Slavery.

The Reconstruction era Ku Klux Klan were not pro-slavery

It’s a common misconception that all reconstruction era anti-Union, racialist, or Southern organizations
were pro-slavery. The South, post-war, often saw the Blacks as a troublesome element which advocated,
and acted against the interests of the Whites as a tool of the occupying carpet baggers. as a tolerable
minority who could be kind, decent, and respectable if they participated within their societally appropriate
role but needed refinement. The South broadly, the Southerners disenfranchised under reconstruction, and
the Klan saw slavery as a passe institution, which was to be remembered in its proper context, but ultimately
was non-pragmatic, not necessary, and not wanted. The Ku Klux Klan both as a singular organization, or
by virtue of their many reconstruction era namesakes were not pro-slavery. They advocated White rule,
this is true but that is not necessarily the institution of slavery. The Klans’ concern was not with slavery
as a positive good, or as a bygone wrong; the South was apathetic as to a re-emergance of slavery as a
legally sanctioned organized institution. The South was ravaged, the anarchic Negroes were free, the
occupiers was utilizing the Blacks, and anti-Southern Whites to oppress the Southerners, slavery as an
abstraction was of no consequence to the Ku Klux Klan of that era. The Klan never enslaved any Africans.
Nor was any edict ever relayed to the public pertaining to a mass re-implementation of slavery. The first
Grand Wizard (leader) of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan Bedfod Forrest specified, in a number of speeches,
he wished the Blacks success as free people, and he, personally, wanted to help them attain that success.
His stance was not one of slavery, but of soft integration, however during the Reconstruction period the
conditions were such that the Africans who left or were forced off their former plantations by the invading
Union soldiers had to adapt, and they adapted through their aptitudes for barbarity and violent excess.

The Klan acted as a corrective good, not for slavery but for securing White rule, White autonomy, and
protecting the right, virtuous, and decently minded in all facets of the Southland. “I want to elevate you
to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going.” – Nathan
Bedford Forrest, Grand Wizard of the 1st era Ku Klux Klan speaking to a group of freed slaves
known as “The Pole Bearers.”

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