In 1994, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) applied to take care of one section of Missouri’s I-55 through the state’s “Adopt-a-Highway” program. On one side of the issue, the area’s diverse student body passes the sign every day and may feel threatened or intimidated. In addition, the ethical and political implications of positive advertising for the KKK have been seriously questioned. On these grounds, the KKK’s initial request was denied. However, this decision was soon overturned by the Lower Courts, who ruled that the KKK had a right to privately hold their own views in accordance with the amendment which protects free speech. Ironically, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has weighed in on the side of the KKK. In the following paper, the nuances of both sides of the case study will be explored and a mayoral endorsement will be made.
As an advocate of religion in the political arena, this ethical dilemma must be resolved and justified in a way not purely based upon personal beliefs. A personal moral compass is useful to any politician or other community authority figure. Police officers “intervene first of all on the basis of their appreciation of the situation, and only secondarily on the basis of rules and regulations”. Although operating solely on the basis of religious beliefs is not politically feasible, Christian persons do embrace tenets which our often found to be lacking in the political sphere; ideally, they emphasize mercy, empathy, hope, and communal citizenship. As Brower (2009) wrote, “By establishing what we value and understanding where that value comes from, we can change our perception of something and gain an appreciation for differences in ourselves”.
In a democratic society, the responsibility of each and every citizen requires that they respect the law as an authority, that they participate, and that adherence to legal mandates not outweigh conscientious personal analysis. The dissonance between organizational goals and organizational values often produces ambivalence. This ambivalence obstructs the citizenry’s effectiveness as a crucial democratic component and obstructs authority figures’ ability to enact social reforms and occurred in response to the FBI’s official sanction of Civil Rights advocacy on behalf of the KKK. As resistance to an authoritative sanction increases, the FBI is likely to become more avid in its repression of civil liberties which it ordinarily defends.
The KKK has long been recognized as a white supremacist group, but Brower (2009) describes the KKK as a hate group whose original target was African Americans. Symbolic acts and propaganda have been preferred since the Reconstruction of the late 19th century. Their slogan states that the KKK “must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” (138). Historically, the process of securing this existence has been accomplished mainly through violence and even death. Thus, the return of the dominion of a hate group- regardless of civil liberties- is a threat to modern democracy and security. In 2009, the FBI sanctioned a more violent branch of white supremacists and relocated key witnesses to a non-violent branch of the CKKKK. Group membership, as in extreme national pride, may foster hostilities much like those of various branches of an organization. The nationalist idea of a perfect country is not unique to Christian religious systems and was proposed by philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle.