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David Levering Lewis : The Lynching of African Americans
David Levering Lewis From about the 1890s on, in order to make the new system of segregation, or Jim Crow, work it was necessary to cow people and so lynching, which had been not uncommon in the South and ofttimes in equal opportunity pursuit -- whites were lynched as well -- but by the 1890s it is almost exclusively race coded, color coded, and it escalates as part of the glue of the new system of repression under segregation. George White introduced the first federal anti-lynching legislation in 1900 in response to the rise in lynching that would peak about 1910. White thinks that the government has a role to play, that the civil rights of citizens under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments should be protected and it's appropriate that the government, therefore, do so and this legislation he introduced was to effectuate that.

It received three votes. By that time, the consensus was that even for those who were descendants of abolitionists in the North, the consensus was "This is such a messy problem that we should let the South handle the problem and we should do nothing to destabilize this arrangement." It was not altogether because of racism vis-a-vis the African American, because at that very moment in 1900 we have this in migration of immigrants, new immigrants, not the nordic immigrants of yore, but from southern Europe, from Russia and they presented a problem to the native American establishment quite analogous to the African American problem, as it was perceived, presented to the plantocracy of the New South.

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