Klansmen Preach Racial Hatred on Antietam Battlefield
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Members of the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups have been allowed to demonstrate at the bloodiest battlefield of the American civil war for the first time, after Supreme Court rulings on freedom of expression. About 30 Klansmen, some in white robes and others in the military costume and swastika armbands of the National Socialist Movement of America, gathered over the weekend at the site of the Battle of Antietam, in which more than 23,000 men died.
On September 17,1862,the Union and Confederate forces clashed in Maryland, 40 miles from Washington, as the Confederate army made its first march north to fight for secession, trying to fend off the north’s drive to abolish slavery.
Yesterday several Klansmen made speeches attacking immigrants, blacks, and other minority groups. “As the Klan, we are the ghosts of our Confederate brothers and sisters who died here,” the Imperial Wizard of the World Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Gordon Young, said.
The Klan was founded by Confederate veterans to resist post-war reconstruction. After it became violent, it was destroyed by President Grant in the early 1870s, only to rise again in 1915.
It is now thought to have only a few thousand members.