Bad Laws in America


“The idea of blacks rejecting their old slave roles and rushing to improve themselves was terrifying to whites. If blacks were changing, many Southern whites believed, it must be for the worse. They were certain that former slaves were members of an inferior race whose nature could never change. Without guidance of white slave owners, blacks were certain to revert to savagery and barbarism. They must be ruthlessly put down. This belief was twisted, such a vile nightmare, it became a kind of sickness in the Southern mind. But it was so vivid and powerful, it spread like a disease across the whole nation. In the 1890’s people were being lynched every other day for a year and two out of three people who were lynched were black. Between 1899 and 1936, nearly 4,000 black men, women and children were murdered. During that time nine out of ten people who were lynched were black.”

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