The Ku Klux Klan commonly called the KKK, or the Klan is an American white supremacist hate group. The Klan has existed in three distinct eras at different points in time during the history of the United States. Each has advocated extremist reactionary positions such as white nationalism, anti-immigration and—especially in later iterations—Nordicism and anti-Catholicism. Historically, the Klan used terrorism—both physical assault and murder—against groups or individuals whom they opposed. All three movements have called for the “purification” of American society, and all are considered right-wing extremist organizations. In each era, membership was secret, and both friends and enemies highly exaggerated estimates of the total.
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