tv Ku Klux Klan - An American Story Deutsche Welle May 19, 2022 11:15am-12:01pm CEST
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dominance. good is step ahead with d. w. business beyond. ah, ah, the ku klux klan is the oldest racist terrorist group in the united states. i blame it. slavery with created after the civil war. the invisible empire gradually transformed into a violent militia, bent on terrorizing freed former slaves. the anti black anti semitic and anti catholic clan had enlisted more than 4000000 members in the 1920s before disappearing. ah
ah, after the 2nd world war, the invisible empire reemerged it's goal hadn't changed to defend white supremacy by any and all mean. mm mm hm. in the early 19 fifties, american society was more prosperous than ever before. consumption, growth and wellbeing were on the agenda of the world's leading economic power.
though the country had won the 2nd world war and served as a symbol of liberty, racial segregation still permeated the american south. 80 years after the official abolition of slavery, ah, black americans were cut off with no access to well paid jobs or health care. and not much in regards to quality education. the doors leading to prosperity remained close to them. when i was growing up as a child here, burly hair, as an african american, you couldn't go to a rest, run, sit down and have a meal. you couldn't trial close at a department store when my mother, for example, her attempted to buy shoes for us, liquid mat trout shoes. she would have to take a piece of paper and trace our feet at present that to the attend the adapt
a store. and they would use that to try matches up with the correct size of shoes. however, the segregationist system was beginning to wobble. may 17th, 1954. it was a major turning point. that day the supreme court declared racial segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional. and from then on, schools could no longer refuse to teach black children. this decision enraged many whites in the southern states. ah, ah, the gland, which had 4000000 members in the 1920s, had practically disappeared. but the threat of desegregation revived it. the invisible empire once again drew thousands of supporters wearing pointed hooks,
white children, college gender names of the valley ought to be the great. though out of which well, comic and lauer it barbara, mongo 5 are people. while braces will be to florida with african americans began to rise up and the civil rights movement was seeking justice. in december 1955 rosa parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. and martin luther king launched his campaign for non violent civil disobedience to obtain equality between blacks and whites. ah ah, the movement was pacifist, but the police response with anything but ah,
african americans were steadfast and demanding the end of segregation. but neither klan members nor southern politicians were prepared to give up their dominance. the governor of alabama george wallace represented this mindset from another era. but now i i dislike countless obstacle. on august 28th 1900. 63. more than 250000 american black and white, marched on washington to protest for a new kind of society, the with
a unique moment in the history of the united states. martin luther king junior shared his dream for america with a speech that defined the movement of the little children one day live in a nation where they will not be bothered about him, but by the come back i will pay the me what the country refused to move on in the south. whites who viewed their supremacy of god given were on the defensive. and they responded with radicalization at september 15th 1963, 2 weeks after the march on washington,
a bomb went off in the 16th street baptist church in the middle of a black neighborhood in birmingham, alabama. i played her clarinet in the church orchestra. i remembered the, the room began to shake. the light went out, lot of dust, lot of smoke. now we had no idea what was going oh, we just thought and looked at each other and ran georgia south was devastating. every window milan was broken. pieces of masonry weighing 20 pounds were rent from the facade and thrown across the street. that sunday morning, a dynamite balm head blasted through the southern side of the church. the shockwave was felt around the neighbourhood. 4 girls were killed in sunday school. carol robertson, adie, ne collins,
cynthia wesley, and denise mcnair. none of them older than 14 for precious lines were taken. ed denise carol, cynthia, but france, who basically 3 weeks down for where our last alarms, they found the mobile rubble. ah, birmingham had come to be known as bombing ham because of how frequent attacks had grown since the 1950s. but this time, the location and the victims young age shocked the country.
ah, the f b i and alabama authorities identified the suspected perpetrators just a few days later. for members of the local k, k. k were questioned, including robert chambliss known as dynamite, bob, very, shortly after the 16th street baptist church bombing of the f. b, i developed information which turned out to be true about who had actually carried out the bombing. they sent this file back to washington up to the f. b, i headquarters of but the head of the f, b i, j edgar hoover refused to forward that file to prosecutors in the department of justice. so it lay there for years and years and years and years. so in, in fact a,
f, b i, agents in the field knew who the killers were, knew who the bombers were, but because of the leadership of the f, b i, at the time, none of that information was prosecuted until decades later. robert chambliss who committed the bombing was convicted of possession of dynamite, but he would serve just 4 months in prison. the other suspects were not prosecuted ah, f b, i, director j edgar hoover had chosen his side. he did everything he could to block the investigations. he saw the civil rights activists who he considered communists as the biggest threat to the country. martin luther king's communications were being monitored investigations into upstanding patriotic white people in the clan could wait. the fact that no one was convicted right away, and again,
having the knowledge that they probably knew who did is seemingly was business as usual for the way african american people work were treated for this. impunity encouraged violence and the clan targeted one group in particular. promoters of racial equality in june 1964, 3 young civil rights activists. 2 of them white and jewish, and one african american went missing. while driving through the city of meridian, mississippi. they were arrested for speeding and then released the local deputy sheriff c. so price was the last person to see them. andrew goodman, james cheney and michael schwerner had simply vanished. oh,
an alert, went out. mississippi had a reputation as the most racist state in america. and the heartland of the klan. on june 23rd 48 hours after their disappearance, their car was found. ah, the car was empty, it had been burned out totally. it was exam and closely by a forensics expert who could not find any evidence related to the crohn. j edgar hoover called president lyndon johnson. and i want to let you know we have found the car. the car was burned and we do not know yet whether anybody is all inside of the car but causally and b
n b c, news present. the news coverage ran nonstop schwerner and the victims families use them to ask yours to help missing and mississippi. we would employ any by who can help to establish contact with him would be grateful to the media took interest in the new strong man of the k, k. k. robert shelton always seen driving his late model, cadillac shelton was an excellent organizer. he managed to bring several clan factions together to form the united clans of america, which he led, the former tire salesman was now in charge of $30000.00 men in 5 states. beaming with confidence, the imperial wizard appeared more and more in the news. under
pressure from the media, the investigation began moving faster and the f. b, i became more closely involved mediately more f b i. agents were transferred in the united states. navy has a small training base near meridian, and approximately 200 sailors came out with the f. b i. agents to assist in the 1st of the area where the car was located. on august 4th, 1964. after a $45.00 day investigation, the bodies were finally found in a forest. the f. b. i managed to get a witness to talk and reveal everything. more than 15 suspects were linked to the large scale plot and arrested. among them were samuel bowers,
a local plan official, as well as sheriff laurence rainy and cecil price, who had arrested the 3 activists. this was a premeditated murder. the civil rights workers were in town and therefore on their way out of town, they were stopped by the deputy sheriff and they were released in a very coordinated way. working with the police klan members were waiting near the jail house. they knew they were going to be released and they followed them out of town. the most remarkable thing was how local law enforcement was essentially the same as the clad they were clansman. and ultimately they handed these people. they took them out of a local cell where they'd been briefly arrested and detained and handed them to the clan, which then dragged them out into the forest and murdered them. trial after trial
took place, the criminals who arranged the arrests of the activists there murder and hiding their bodies with a bulldozer, were repeatedly arrested and released in mississippi white juries. rarely, if ever convicted suspects for murdering black people. ah, the local sheriff was really the under sheriff cecil price, you know, an infamous man. when you see cecil price when he was 1st tried and acquitted by local white jury, he has this terrible grin on his face. he's just laughing at how he's gotten away literally with murder. so a number of people involved in the freedom summer murders were brought to trial in the 19 sixty's edgar re killen as the architect of the plot was tried at then. and
he was not convicted basically because there was one particular person on the jury who said, regardless of what the details of the case were, they could not bring themselves to convicts. a preacher, someone who worked in service god for these crimes. and he was set free nothing managed to stop clear violence. the threats, terror, and murderers continued to take place. the clan knew how to indoctrinate its members. and remember that a given you all a tribal white fall out a decade. the fact that you hate something, they haven't avenue and they'll start to mould. you agree? it's brainwashing. and it takes a long time to get back from that. with
the preachers of hatred, openly encouraged committing crimes in a way i got you with i believe it's labor with what in 1965, yet another murder and alabama began to shake things up on march 25th by elderly youth. so a white civil rights activist drove a young, black man and fellow demonstrator home clansman spotted the vehicle, began following it and fired shots into it. and they got out of the car once they shot into her car to make sure she was dead. blood was everywhere, the roy mogan was
a young black fellow who was riding with her and he flapped his head down, you know, and pretended he was dead handles. her blood was all over his hand. and when they looked in, they saw they thought they had killed both of them. so he survived, but often say that she gave her a life. and the meantime, she saved his life with her blood. the driver of his car was mrs. by all you'd so the mother of 5 children, a red and white sedan overtook her car. several shots were fired. the driverless car veered off the highway and came to a stop at a cattle fence is as we would so was dead. this time the crime was solved quickly because one clan member in the perpetrators car happened to be an f. b i, informant. his name was gary thomas wrote this
individual reported immediately to the f. b i what he had saying what he had witnessed. and this led to the successful prosecution of the clansman, involved in her murder president lyndon johnson announced that the crime had been sold the next day, horrible crime which was committed last night and the claim became public enemy number one, alabama. so if plans one hear my voice to day, let it be both an appeal and a warning to get out of their queue plucked clam mouth, an return to a decent society before it is too late. but the invisible empire was indifferent to such threats. at their 1st trial, viola allude, so the murderers went unpunished. the all white jury refused to convict the
half resent mister w. o 8. mister james, covered with clara. well, as usual, the clans celebrated the 3 men, his heroes. they even signed autographs, and funds were raised to pay their legal fees they would later receive minimal sentences for their serious crime. but the clans combat against civil rights, nevertheless seemed more and more like a lost cause. and the unpunished cries would end up coming back to haunt the field. ah, in the same room where president lincoln signed the 1st emancipation order. in 1861
. president johnson signed the 1965 voter registration act and pledge to millions of americans a new chance to find a political voice. this law will ensure them the right to vote at last, african americans could fully exercise the civil rights. they had attained a century prior political pressure also forced the head of the f, b. i. j edgar hoover to go on the offensive. the agency was already monitoring communists and civil rights activists. but now had to get the klan reluctantly, the f b i director launched over 300 operations against the network. and klan meetings became riddled with moles under pressure from federal agents. the plan which still had 15000 members in 1967 lost 70 percent of its
membership in the early 19 seventy's times had changed. and the culture of impunity was over in 1971 ill baxley was appointed attorney general of alabama. and he decided to reopen the investigation into the bombing of the 16th street church in birmingham. soon after he began receiving threats. i received letters, threads and nasty letters from the clan, and la groups like them from all over the country. i did get one lasted letter. shaleigh was persecuting white patriot. sh. about doing this investigation? they demanded an answer to this letter. they sent me the plan and i said,
my reply is just law blank, blank, blank. so if i didn't put blanks, ah, despite the threats, bill baxley continued the investigation after j edgar hoover died a few classified files. finally resurfaced and the attorney general got back on the case of robert chambliss or dynamite bah. to convict him, the attorney general managed to track down a key witness. curtis glen, a woman who was in birmingham the evening before the explosion of 2 o'clock in the morning. and she saw a car in that alley and she saw for white men.
and she knew shelton one right. and so she wrote down the tag, melbourne, alert corps in the next morning when the bomb went off. she called left the yard and they carried pictures out to her. and she'll jennifer robert chambers. in 1963, this church in birmingham, alabama was bombed and 4 black girls were killed in the explosion. now, 14 years later, a criminal indictment has been returned and the case and the white man indicted is 73 years old. bill baxley managed to get robert chambliss sentenced to life in prison in 1977, 14 years after the crime.
certainly we know we know jam what, what any by player we know who is this? is that like a one step at a time, but we will go back and get new and i'm actually going to the other people. and now we will have all the trial families of the victims of the little girls, or ever able to say, it was a good day. it couldn't log bring back their children. but it was at least some french that finally finally just just may have been delayed, but it wasn't denied awe from all over the country. here stand up for a moment by the 1970s. the class had tried to what 2000 members and white people are, most often they were people who are marginalized or excluded from the system. money was tight,
a charismatic new leader managed to give the k k. k. a fresh start. david duke founded his own group in louisiana. the knights of the ku klux klan, the young leader even ran for senate. and this imperial wizard turned out to be a media wizard as well. david duke initiated this idea of a new and different ku klux klan. so it was duke who talked, for instance, about taking off our rogues and our conical hats and so on and putting on business seats like other business people. so duke attempted to am, to some extent, was successful in trying to kind of re position the klan as a responsible organization. you know, we don't hate black people, which us love white people. and white people are searching and are reaching out for a moment. the camera deals nor values. the dream,
missouri among duke's choir boy appearance concealed a dangerous holocaust denial and fan of hitler. despite his popularity, disputes within the organisation sidelines, the rising star of the american extreme far right. david duke left the clown in 1978. he managed to make the races, organization more acceptable, but terrorism was still part of the clans, dna with that in november 1979 in the working class city of greensboro, north carolina, a of communist demonstrators protested against the creation of united races front
between the clan and the american, not the party cars, full of clan members and new not these arrived the shooting broke out. several cameras caught the crime on film. the 5 anti racist activists were killed in 80, a 2nd. even though the massacre had been captured on film, a white jury acquitted the murderers
and so in the early 1980, the clan once again managed to for justice. the robert shelton who was still in charge of the united plan of america was unmoved and continued to spread. his hateful message is nothing more than an animal living in our society. riding in the spring, he took until $981.00 for another murder to bring an end to this long period of unity. in early morning march 21st 1981. i turned in avenue in mobiles. michael donald body is bound hanging from a tree. he had been beaten, strangled his throat cut 3 times. me. 19 year old michael donald was chosen at random to clansman, were looking for
a black man to kill his revenge for the murder of a white police officer. this was the classic definition of terrors, right? it wasn't merely killing a man because you hate the man or whatever it may be. michael donald's murder was a message to all black people in the south. this is what will happen if you dare to resist us to resist white dominance. the f b. i finally arrested the murderers following a 2 year investigation. henry francis hayes and james tiger knowles hayes was sentenced to the electric chair at knolls to a life sentence. a white man hadn't been sentenced to death for killing a black man in alabama for generations. but the victim's mother beulah donald wanted to go even further and she contacted a legal defense group for victims of discrimination.
michael donal case became extremely famous. ah, because a lawyer named more a stays and the southern poverty law center filed a civil lawsuit against the clan. group itself, not merely the individuals, as well as the leader of the clan group and the actual killers. and basically made the argument in civil court that the clan should be held liable for the criminal actions of its members that they had in effect, been pushed to do this, that the organization itself had been a part of it. and the end of the story is that ultimately on the jury agreed, and they ha, levy define of $7000000.00 against the united plants of america. and the verdict was historic. 7 years after her son's death beulah donald finally got justice. the main clan organization was bankrupt like so often in the united states,
the most efficient tactic is to go for the wallet. all of the property belonging to the united clan of america went to the donald family. imperial wizard, robert chilton, had lost his kingdom. no have any comments, just move gratian richard. oh, though the united clans had been convicted the ku klux klan had not actually been outlawed. the freedoms of assembly and speech guaranteed by the american constitution provided the k. k. k. with a permanent megaphone gradually, the clansman traded in their hoods for military gear and swastika tattoos. wine. they linked up with neo nazis and other right wing malicious, the powerful ties of white power and anti semitism found them together. beginning
in the 1970 s, she began to see explicitly, clansman, working with neo nazis. and it was at that time the 19 seventy's through the 1980s that this idea that the country was run by choose, came to be accepted all the way across the radical right. so the narrative came up that the federal government was sog, the zionist occupied government. and it's that that really symbolizes these movements coming together. so now today, when you see a big demonstration, ah, by the radical right, very typically you will have clansman and nazis arm and arm marchand together. their goal is to purify the white race and create a future for white children. basically, they want their own state. they want to have an all white sovereign state inside of
the united states. their goal is racial purification. ah, after decades of violence, the power dynamics had changed and the collusion that once existed between the court system, the police and the clan was no more. it was now impossible for the claim to publicly recruit without wiling up. its opponents with the clam began mainly spreading its propaganda through the internet. and when it came to taking action, they started relying on a new strategy. the lone wolf on
april 19th, 1995 in oklahoma city, a car bomb went off and destroyed a federal building. there were 168 deaths and nearly 700 wounded. it was at the time, the deadliest terrorist attack to ever occur on american soil. the culprit was timothy mcveigh, a veteran and former clansman. and he had to accomplices. you had domestic cherish and you have international cherish. and so right now, the domestic terrorism and, and our country and america is starting to be is bad, maybe worse than foreign, cherish awe, timothy mcveigh was sentenced to death and then executed on june 11th,
2001 in terra haute, indiana. ah, in the 2 thousands, the american justice system finally began confronting the country's sinister racist past initiatives. and after my almost 40 years after the crime deliberations on a murder trial that became a terrible symbol of race hatred in america, several classified cases were dusted off. robert chambliss his accomplices, the killers of the 4 young girls during the church bombing, and birmingham were finally arrested and convicted millions of americans remember where they were when they heard that 3 civil rights workers had been found dead in mississippi. edgar killen, one of the murderers of the 3 civil rights activists and mississippi, was sentenced to life in prison. ah,
to day the clan and other xena phobic groups are growing yet again. as has always happened when white supremacists have felt their dominance, threatened, threatened by the slaves fried after the civil war, threatened by mass immigration at the beginning of the 20th century, or by the end of segregation. and although they are fortunately less frequent than in the 19 sixty's, racist crimes and violence still continue to be committed. in 2017, in charlottesville, virginia, a confrontation broke out between anti racist activists and white. our supporters. a white supremacy took his car and drove it directly into the crowd.
150 years, america has failed to cast out it's old demons. ready ready ready ready ready ready ah, ah, there's a lot of work that has to be done in this country. ready to make things better. ready for all people, sometimes i wish there was a nother doctor king. i think the story, the key close plan is a part of the american story, but a severe, disgraceful par, must be vigilant to try to stop it. as soon as it shows its rears, its ugly head laws were changed as a result of the civil rights movement. but we're still having the fight in this country about whether the real america is a white america or the real america is a multicultural, or plural america. we shall over come.
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