Final Project – The Aryan Nation

The Ku Klux Klan had a significant impact on the Aryan Nation, based out of Hayden, Idaho. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was established in 1866 and primarily hated and victimized Catholics, Jews, blacks, and immigrants.
The KKK started small and grew to roughly 4 million people in the 1920s, Nathan Bedford Forest was their leader. “The organization of the Ku Klux Klan coincided with the beginning of the second phase of post-Civil War Reconstruction (History.com Staff).
This was the beginning of large hate groups organizations.
The Aryan Nation shares similar views as the KKK and is located in northern Idaho. They have been known to perform similar violent acts against similar groups of individuals.
The Aryan Nation, a neo-Nazi group, recruits a member not based their level of racism, but by “how white” that person is.
This right wing, white supremacy group — based out of Hayden, Idaho — has been struggling with a clear definition of what it means to be White. Kristen Haltinner, a Sociologist at the University of Idaho, stated that the “white-ness” of a person is determined by their ancestors. Shockingly, it has nothing to do with ones appearance. If there is even a trace of Native American or African American blood in someone they are considered no white enough, informed Haltinner.
The Aryan Nation seeks the week to join their highly racist group. However, according to Haltinner, the majority of new members are not racist prior to joining.
This raises the question, why do people join if they are not racist?
The women members of the Aryan Nation are encouraged to pursue traditional family roles, by staying home and tending to the house and children, stated Haltinner. The women tend to be the welcoming face of the Arian Nation; they make the group look kind and gentle.
Haltinner also explained that the women have an immense pressure on them to have as many children as possible. The Aryan Nation believes that it is God’s will to have a large family and they also want to keep their group strong and large, and more children serve that purpose.
A common theme that most hate groups poses is their fear of loosing power. Haltinner stated that members feel a sense of entitlement and they feel threatened by people of other races. Their power in society is staying the same, but as time has progressed, other races are now being given the same rights and opportunities that Whites have always had, explained Halintner.

“Ku Klux Klan.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 12 May 2014.

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