Post-Civil War and today: The fight against white supremacists

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From the still smoldering ashes of the pro-slavery Confederacy there was the rise of the Ku Klux Klan which used terrorism, murder threats of violence and the cover of “states rights” to prop up the white supremacists agenda.

President Ulysses S. Grant used the Enforcement Acts, also known as the Ku Klux Klan Acts, to combat the activities of the Klan and try to protect the civil rights of African Americans during his presidency in post-Civil War America.

These acts were a series of federal laws passed in the early 1870s to address the rising violence and intimidation tactics of the KKK and other white supremacist groups in the South targeting the formerly enslaved Freemen and their white supporters. The KKK and others terrorized black citizens for exercising their right to vote, running for public office, and serving on juries.

The Enforcement Acts gave the federal government the authority to take action against individuals and groups engaged in conspiracies to deprive citizens of their civil rights. This allowed for the prosecution of Klan members and leaders involved in acts of violence, intimidation, and voter suppression.

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