The Role Of Lynching In The 20th Century

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There have been many injustices against black rights during the 20th century. These included being thrown in jail, denied voting rights, and there right of freedom of speech in general. There have been no greater injustice than having their lives stripped from their hands. These acts of murder called lynching, mostly went unpunished. According to Robert L. Zangrando, “lynching is the practice whereby a mob--usually several dozen or several hundred persons--takes the law into its own hands in order to injure and kill a person accused of some wrongdoing”. What prompts the mob to lynch their victim ranges from minor and major offenses. From accusation of rape or murder, to merely whistling at a white woman, the victim of lynching usually stems …show more content…
Gibson points out something that many people may not be aware of. Gibson’s educates people of the fact that “contrary to present-day popular conception, lynching was not a crime committed exclusively against Black people” (Gibson). Gibson goes on to say that whites were lynched the most between the years of 1830’s and the 1850’s. After 1890, that’s when the numbers changed and the majority became the new minority. According to Gibson, “the pattern of almost exclusive lynching of Negroes was set during the Reconstruction period” (Gibson) Gibson’s says that the reason for these number of racially provoked lynching centered on “The racist myth of Negroes uncontrollable desire to rape white women” (Gibson). These lynchings, unsurprisingly, took place in the rural areas of the south where most people were uneducated, poor, and bored. The main aggressors of the mob usually consist of small land holders, tenant farmers and common laborers, whose economic status was equal to that of a black person. This caused a feeling of competition, bitterness, and aggression. They hated the idea of black success, which supports the idea that “lynching was more the expression of white American fear of Black social and economic advancement than of Negro crime.” Mary Church Terrell explains why blacks up north was spared from lynching, “Negroes who have been educated in Northern institutions of learning with white men and women, and who for that reason might have learned the meaning of social equality and have acquired a taste for the same, neither assault white women nor commit other crimes, as a rule” (Terrell 856). She also points out rather ironic point, that despite whites claim that they lynch because of the rape of their white woman, and that they will stop lynching once the black man stops raping, “three-fourths of the negroes who have met

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