Lynching Hysteria Research Paper

Tri Nguyen
American Lit
30 September, 2015
The lynching Hysteria
Between the 1882-1940, mass lynchings killed many people of all different colors but mostly blacks. Lynching is to hang someone by mob action without legal authority("Lynch"). The problem stemmed from whites not wanting slaves as equals. This was particularly big in the south as they were last people to abolish slavery in the US by force. Lynchings started off by Southerners blaming the newly freed slaves for their problems like disease, money, hunger, drought...etc. To get rid of their anger they would kill anyone that so much as looked at them wrong. But the real problem arouse when people started believing they were doing the right thing by killing blacks, as if they
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Blacks started having jobs, getting more money and started to get involved in politics. This made southern whites mad, especially the poorer and landowning ones. The poor believed that white people should get more money than blacks and that they should automatically be higher in every way. They were frustrated that a lowly “nigger” was showing them up so out of anger they started kill blacks. But they played it off as if killing blacks were the same as cleaning the streets. But the biggest fear for southern whites were that “Black men were sexual predators and wanted integration in order to be with white women”,” about one-fourth of lynchings from 1880 to 1930 were prompted by an accusation of rape. In fact, most victims of lynching were political activists, labor organizers” (PBS). Out of fear some white females would report blacks for raping them, even when most of the time the blacks did nothing other then look at them. This lead to violence by white males who were ‘protecting their females’ , although most of the time , it gave justification to get rid of some of the more powerful african americans. The hysteria got started by people look for a scapegoat in their lives that they could blame for their …show more content…
White supremacy was what many historians believe to be the leading cause of the horrific events that happen during the Lynchings. The problem with white supremacy was that it made people proud of what they were doing. “Like executions by guillotine in medieval times, lynchings were often advertised in newspapers and drew large crowds of white families.They were a kind of vigilantism where Southern white men saw themselves as protectors of their way of life and their white women ”("People & Events: Lynching in America "). It was like they were proud of what they were doing. They advertised the next lynching on the newspaper and children with their families would come watch people die, even pose for pictures. To the children it was the same thing as watching a superhero kill a villain. They saw nothing wrong with blacks dieing for no reason, other than they were darker. Hysteria spread though anyone who watched the lynchings,the community would cheer on the horde that was killing blacks. They also wanted to send a message to the blacks that they were not going to take kindly to “niggers”. And their message was clear. In the book Black Boy Author Richard Wright wrote “The things that influenced my conduct as a Negro did not have to happen

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