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Ku Klux Klan: Lula's contempt for protesters exposes prejudice and ignorance

“Bolsonaro’s act was a very funny thing. It looked like a Ku Klux Klan meeting. The only thing missing was the hood.” Thus, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, presidential candidate for the PT, classified the participation of supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL), candidate for reelection, on September 7. “There were no blacks , there was no pardo, there was no poor, worker. The main artist was the old man from Havan, who appeared as if he were the Louro José of the Bolsonaro campaign”, provoked Lula, during an act in Nova Iguaçu, in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

No It is the first time that Bolsonaro is associated with the racist organization whose origin dates back to the end of the Civil War in the United States, in the 19th century. On the eve of the election of 2018, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke, declared that the then candidate for president “sounded like the members of the organization”. Duke is one of the most prominent members of the group that emerged after the 1970 decade, after the civil rights movements. Bolsonaro, however, posted on his Twitter account that he “rejects any kind of support coming from supremacist groups”. A few days after the declaration, he would be elected with more than 55% of the valid votes.

Known for the white tunic with a pointed hood that covers On the face of it, the organization to which Lula compared Bolsonaro’s supporters is nothing like what was seen in the acts that marked the Bicentennial of Independence in Brazil. According to the text by Juliana Tiraboschi, originally published in September of 2018, the group began to meet in the south of the United States to persecute and rape the freed blacks with the official abolition of slavery, in

, and became known for assaulting, killing and raping black and white people who tried to help former slaves.

In the 1990s 1920, at its peak, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) had around 6 million members. “This was because, at this time, the organization expanded its enemies to other groups, such as Jews and Catholics,” says historian Linda Gordon, a professor at New York University. It is estimated that the group brutally murdered about four thousand people in the southern US, between 1870 and 1920.

The group’s performance was notorious for its cruelty. Many victims were hanged or beaten until they were disfigured, and some men were castrated. In 1963, KKK members blasted a Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama with dynamite, killing four black girls aged 11 to years and injuring at least more 14 people. One of the girls was decapitated with the impact of the explosion and the bodies were mutilated to the point of making it difficult to recognize them.

According to Linda Gordon, the KKK had four important moments in history: its creation, then after the abolition of slavery, then a rise and fall during the years 1950, a new strengthening between the years 1950 and

, during the civil rights movements, and the contemporary period, when it coexists with other white supremacist groups. Today, according to the American organization Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which specializes in civil rights, the group has between 5,000 and 8,000 members, divided among dozens of subgroups that use the same denomination. The demonstrations on September 7 took place peacefully, with a large participation of families.

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