It’s a very good, very informative post about where we are today, and where it comes from. It’s both devastating and hopeful.
I’m going to quote just a bit of it (from the middle, not the beginning) below the fold, but please… click on the link and read the entire thing. Thank you…
When the Civil War ended and Reconstruction began, racist white Southerners were not at all happy. The effects of the war devastated the South. On top of that, they lost one of the cornerstones of their economy: the free labor provided by slaves. As part of efforts to cope with their loss, Southern leaders worked to revise the narrative regarding the Civil War among the minds of Southerners. Children were taught that the war was fought over “Northern Aggression” or that it was about taxes, or “States’ rights”. It was never about those things. It was *always* about slavery (and the Articles of Secession from each of the treasonous Confederate States is available online). These ahistorical revisions succeeded quite well. Such that today, many people still believe that slavery was A reason the Civil War was fought over, rather than THE reason.
Meanwhile, lazy-ass rich Southerners (who would have been thoroughly broken if they had to put up with the crap African-Americans faced as slaves) no longer had free labor, and their economy was endangered. So of course, the racist assholes exploited a loophole in the 13th Amendment, which was supposed to abolish slavery:
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
The anti-black laws created as part of the racial caste system known as Jim Crow enshrined white supremacy into law. Jim Crow laws established African-Americans as second class citizens and heavily regulated their lives. These laws were often enforced through violence, and where they weren’t, blacks were arrested and “duly convicted”. Once they were convicted, they could be used as legal slaves again, though the practice was involuntary servitude. Racist rich white people colluded with prisons and thus, free labor for the state governments in the South became a reality again (the language of the 13th Amendment has, as of today, still not changed, which means that SLAVERY IS STILL LEGAL IN THE UNITED STATES IN 2017, which would probably make the Nazi-in Chief quite happy).
Social enforcement of Jim Crow laws often happened in the form of lynchings, which were carried out by white people primarily against African-Americans (though other PoC were not safe from lynching, nor were white people with pro-black sensibilities). Lynching was not just carried out by the Ku Klux Klan, but regular, ordinary citizens of this country. Citizens who viewed Blacks and other racial minorities as subhumans with no rights. And while lynching was concentrated in the Southern States, it happened across the nation (here’s a map of the documented lynchings that occurred in the United States). Oh, and just so it’s clear, the United States government was aware that African-Americans were living under the constant threat of terrorism in the form of lynchings. Aware. Silent. Complicit.
During the height of Jim Crow and lynchings, white Southern Democrats, grew increasingly committed to segregation and resentful at having had to relinquish much of their power over the Southern states to the federal government. This led to the creation of the Dixiecrats in the 1948, as these Democrats felt they were losing power within their party. Over the next few decades, these Southern Democrats fiercely opposed integration efforts, and were staunch supporters of Jim Crow.
Then Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy entered the picture…