People are horrified to discover that it's still legal to join the KKK in 2020

Isobel van Hagen
Tuesday 09 June 2020 11:00
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(Getty)

Social media user are outraged that the Ku Klux Klan is somehow not an illegal organisation in the US, and thousands are signing a petition in hopes to make it so.

“It’s 2020 and i just signed a petition to make the KKK illegal and people don’t understand why the BLM movement is necessary” @minstrivia said on Monday.

The petition which as so far garnered 130,000 signatures says

The Ku Klux Klan is a white supremacist hate group with historic background of terrorism, including countless physical assaults and murders. The

"Of all the actions you could take, this one is easy and very obvious," another user tweeted with a link to the petition, and others said, "this should've been done a long time ago."

This petitions comes after an “admitted” KKK leader has been arrested and is being investigated for hate crime charges after he allegedly drove through peaceful protesters occupying a Virginia highway over the weekend.

Historically, the Klan used terrorism – both physical assault and murder – against blacks people and their allies in the South in the late 1860s. Now, the group has called for the "purification" of American society is considered "right-wing extremist" organisations, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The American Civil Liberties Union has often been at the centre of controversy for defending the free speech rights of groups that spew hate, such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis. “But if only popular ideas were protected, we wouldn't need a First Amendment,” the ACLU website says, referencing the freedom of speech clause in the American Constitution.

For many, this is not a sufficient argument. “It astonishes me that it's not [illegal] already. They're terrorists, always have been. There's no free speech argument when their aim is to kill, in fact their aim is to commit genocide in the ‘land of the free,’” one Twitter user said on Monday as the petition was trending.

A report from the SPLC found that the number of white supremacist groups has been rising since 2017, and data from the Anti-Defamation League shows that the use of white supremacist propaganda is growing across the US.

While Donald Trump’s party has condemned white supremacists, former KKK leader David Duke has praised the president's administration multiple times in the past.

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