Talk of the Ku Klux Klan, white supremacy and neo-Nazis abounds in every establishment media outlet publishing today. Keeping in mind Edward De Bono’s cogent point that “Logic will never change emotion or perception,” it seems it’s time for a brief look at the influence of the KKK in the 21st century. How big is this movement? How much power do these people possess? Are these extremists a real threat to contemporary American society?
The Southern Poverty Law Center – not exactly a citadel of conservatives – claims there are “between 5,000 and 8,000 Klan members, split among dozens of different – and often warring – organizations that use the Klan name.” The U.S. Census Bureau says the population in America crested 323 million in 2016. Do the math, and you’ll immediately see that the threat of Klan power in this country is insignificant enough as to be rendered absurd.
As the SPLC also accurately points out, most of these folks are involved in a civil war within their own ranks. In his famous “House Divided” speech in 1858, Abraham Lincoln paraphrased the Bible, specifically Matthew 12:22-28, where Jesus of Nazareth said, ““Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” (NKJV)
This infighting is the second logical reason the KKK isn’t a significant threat; as few members as they have, they’re too busy fighting each other to do much else. The third and final logical reason the KKK isn’t worth worrying about is its historical trajectory. In 2015 there were 190 active Klan groups; that number dropped to 130 in 2016. Here is a graph of showing the number of active Klan groups in the U.S. since the turn of the century from the Southern Poverty Law Center:
If you look at the rapidly falling line from 2015 to 2016, the argument that President Trump has reignited a renaissance of the Ku Klux Klan just does not hold water. So, what we have here is an already small radical extremist organization fracturing further, and getting less popular in the last year with a total of – worst case – 8,000 members in a country of more than 323 million.
If the mainstream media wants to keep singing this tired old tune that the KKK is a threat to this country and its people, they must at least admit that their paradigm flies against all logic. Speaking of songs, perhaps this quote from the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra, puts a proper coda to the nonsense: “Fear is the enemy of logic.”
If there is any truth to this, then logical people must assume that the constant barrage of news about the growth and influence of the Ku Klux Klan is designed to instigate an uproar among the masses. Whip them up into an illogical frenzy, and you have people tearing down statues, assaulting those who are innocently standing on the street with an American flag, and a plethora of other irrational behaviors too numerous to tally. Or we could simply say this is all Much Ado About Nothing. Leave it to The Bard to get the last word.