Can I get a show of hands of those of you who abhor the notion that at one time in America this sort of thing was commonplace?
The Jim Crow laws and system of etiquette were undergirded by violence, real and threatened. Blacks who violated Jim Crow norms, for example, drinking from the white water fountain or trying to vote, risked their homes, their jobs, even their lives. Whites could physically beat blacks with impunity. Blacks had little legal recourse against these assaults because the Jim Crow criminal justice system was all-white: police, prosecutors, judges, juries, and prison officials. Violence was instrumental for Jim Crow. It was a method of social control. The most extreme forms of Jim Crow violence were lynchings.
Lynchings were public, often sadistic, murders carried out by mobs. Between 1882, when the first reliable data were collected, and 1968, when lynchings had become rare, there were 4,730 known lynchings, including 3,440 black men and women. Most of the victims of Lynch Law were hanged or shot, but some were burned at the stake, castrated, beaten with clubs, or dismembered. In the mid-1800s, whites constituted the majority of victims (and perpetrators); however, by the period of Radical Reconstruction, blacks became the most frequent lynching victims. This is an early indication that lynching was used as an intimidation tool to keep blacks, in this case the newly freed people, "in their places." The great majority of lynchings occurred in southern and border states, where the resentment against blacks ran deepest. According to the social economist Gunnar Myrdal (1994): "The southern states account for nine-tenths of the lynchings. More than two thirds of the remaining one-tenth occurred in the six states which immediately border the South" (pp. 560-561).
Many whites claimed that although lynchings were distasteful, they were necessary supplements to the criminal justice system because blacks were prone to violent crimes, especially the rapes of white women. Arthur Raper investigated nearly a century of lynchings and concluded that approximately one-third of all the victims were falsely accused (Myrdal, 1994, p. 561).
Note the bolded words in that last paragraph. What a horrendous time for America.
And yet... it reminds me of the mantra repeated often by pro-choice advocates about abortion needing to be safe, legal and rare. In other words, abortion is a necessary supplement to the existence of today's modern woman and nothing should get in the way of her ability to have one.
This morning, I read this over at The Anchoress' place:
Do you want to know what Margaret Sanger, the great “heroine” of Planned Parenthood, and abortion-advocates and committed elitists throughout the nation had to say about African American and lower-income populations?
We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. And we do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.
All of our problems are the result of overbreeding among the working class, and if morality is to mean anything at all to us, we must regard all the changes which tend toward the uplift and survival of the human race as moral.
Eugenics is … the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.
All of which makes this graphic from the folks over at IOwnTheWorld so devastatingly poignant:
Are you one who continues to think that abortion is about women's rights?