The Importance Of Racial Violence In The Civil War

1547 Words 7 Pages
Throughout history, racial violence has been a vital instrument in upholding white supremacy. Oftentimes, torturers use brutal, humiliating tactics to instill a sense of fear and cowardice within the abused. After the civil war and the emancipation of the slaves, the Reconstruction period brought on intense periods of racial violence due to controversial ideas about the authentic meaning of freedom. Controlled by fear, white men utilized violence to maintain their supremacy above African American men in post-Reconstruction South. The fear of African American men dominating in political power provoked white men to prevent “No Negro domination” at the polls as written on page 59 of Lynchings by Ida B. Wells. A tiny ballot that stated one’s …show more content…
Consequently, any time a rumor of an insurrection evolved, white men panicked and bestowed extreme forms of violence to any perceived “insurrectionist”, which oftentimes happened to be the African American closest in sight. The insurrection in Madison County illustrates how quickly insurrections would spread based upon little knowledge. In Madison County, Mississippi, whites lynched African Americans who were suspected to be apart of an uprising suggested by a newspaper article (Dray 25). However, no insurrection ever came about on the expected date (Dray 25). Whenever the media or even the town gossips cried of an uprising, an entire town cowered to think they would be treated as they had treated African Americans previously and utilized violence to ease the calamity in their mind. To combat white man’s guilt and fear, they kept repeating the cycle of violence instead of fixing racial …show more content…
Hamp Biscoe, his wife, and his thirteen year old son were all killed; the only survivor was the baby who was at the mother’s breast (Wells 75). The killing of a family, mother and child included, illustrates how self defense was punishable by death for those around and including the culprit. If Hamp Biscoe had let the officers trespass onto his property unalarmed, it most likely would have ended with the lynching of Hamp Biscoe. But since Biscoe had shot a Caucasian man, his actions exceed the punishment for one person and extend to his immediate family in the white man’s mind. Shooting the white constable in self defense of one’s property had proven that Biscoe thought his family to be equal to the white constable; thereby, meaning punishment must be enforced to the whole Biscoe family who dared to believe in equality. Any time an African American exemplified self defense, the Caucasian man feared it was threatening his authority and utilized violence to maintain his

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