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Antifa a terror group, but not the KKK?

Since the formation of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in 1865, white supremacist groups have existed to terrorise, devastate and murder the black community in the United States of America by propagating racism, hatred and violence.

The KKK, an American white supremacist hate group, continues to advocate extremist reactionary positions such as white nationalism and anti-immigration, with its primary targets being African Americans.

Image credit: Poynter

While some say the right-wing organisation’s name was chosen because it mimics the sound of a rifle being cocked, others suggest a link to the Greek word kyklos, which means circle.

That was essentially the goal of the defeated Confederate soldiers who formed the KKK in 1865 – to encircle or murder black Americans.

The Klan initially flourished in the southern states of America in the late 1860s during Reconstruction. The organisation’s power and ferociousness grew mostly through the performance of terrorist raids to intimidate black Americans, as well as the destruction of property (mostly churches) as well as copious assaults, lynchings, and hangings. The bodies of black men were even dragged behind cars.

With the successful passing of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and the abolition of slavery, the federal government had no choice but to take forcible action against KKK-led terrorism in order to ensure the basic rights and protections of the formerly enslaved were properly enacted.

To this day, right-wing groups, including white-supremacy groups, are responsible for more murders on U.S. soil than any other extremist group.

Of the extremist-related killings that have occurred over the past decade in the USA, three-quarters were at the hands of right-wing extremists.

So, why is this Trump’s Administration has cut funding for programmes that combat far-right extremism?

Rather worryingly, Trump has inaccurately claimed that the threat from Islamic extremism is far greater than that of extremist white Americans on home ground.

Now, Trump’s administration has found a new face for America’s domestic terrorist threat: Antifa.

Short for “anti-fascist”, Antifa is a left-wing organisation comprising a loose collection of groups, networks and individuals who believe in active, aggressive opposition to far right-wing movements. The common goal – to protect the black community from white terrorism.

Image credit: Forbes

Is an Antifa threat worse than the fascists being opposed?

The group has been accused of committing property damage during the Black Lives Matter protests that are currently in force across America. If Antifa is designated a terrorist group, the U.S. military and various American militias can be used against it.

Currently, mechanisms exist only for designating foreign terror groups, not domestic ones. Perhaps it is time for the U.S. government to create a domestic terrorism statute.

With institutional racism, terror, abuse, and injustice devastating black Americans for the past 400 years in the States is it not time for the KKK to be shut down?

The KKK believes its acts are justified because the government has refused to wholly outlaw its existence, regardless of the obvious danger to public safety it poses. Thus, it is sad to say terror extends to the highest level of the law, our government.

It is time for a federal law designating the KKK as a domestic terrorist group – no longer can the United States ignore the very real threat and harmful racist ideologies that the KKK, and other white supremacist organisations, preach.

The recent terror threats received by city officials and black residents in Birmingham, Alabama, from the Ku Klux Klan is just one example of how menacing this organisation is to society.

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