Claudius: I think their explicit intent was just a moral justification for their practical solution. That’s how politics works. The name or expressed mission bears no realty to the actual motivation or outcome which in this case was, keep non-wealthy Whites separate from lowly blacks.
This is literally what they said. Claudius’ explanation doesn’t follow. He says that Whites have a hard time being so evil, yet evil was pretty trivial to come by for White folks 150 years ago. They had a very different moral compass than we had. Also Claudius claims that the real reason was understandable and reasonable – stopping Black crime. But the stated reason was diabolical – to keep the niggers down.
For God’s sake, if I am going to do something halfway reasonable, why on Earth do I lie and say I am going to do something wicked instead. It’s the other way around. Humans do monstrous things while couching them in terms of at least reasonableness. A favorite among genocidal aggressors is “We were just fighting back.” But of course every bully on Earth is always fighting back even if the victim has never lifted a finger against him.
In fact, the freed Blacks were so poor and unemployment was so bad that they were besieging their former masters’ plantations pleading for work doing something, anything.
Claudius: I suspect many smart Blacks fled the south and went North leaving behind a slightly dumber freed Black population for regular Whites to contend with. And interesting snippet corroborating this hypothesis:
Your facts are not wrong, Alpha, but I think the general common wisdom about what was in Whites’ hearts when they did this is dead wrong. I’ve known too many American Whites to believe they could be so stupidly cruel. Only Cultural Leftists are so cruel en masse. When conservative Whites do “bad” shit en masse, it’s usually for a good reason.
Yes, but Whites in the South used to be just that – stupidly cruel. And they really got off on it too. Look at the party atmosphere at those lynchings, the sadistic grins on the faces of men, women, and children alike. Humans get off on being evil if you only let them. The trick is just don’t allow it in the first place! Our demon child personalities of childhood never left us. They just went underground and can come out quite easily. Mine’s locked in a maximum security prison in my gut, and the Hell he’s getting out, but a lot of people are not so cautious or guilty-minded.
Alpha responds to Claudius’ theory: The architects of Jim Crow were explicit about why they were instituting it. It was all about maintaining what they considered the God-given superiority of Whites and keeping Black people “in their place.” They particularly didn’t like the fact that Black people in the South were rising to positions of authority during Reconstruction.
The thing is that Alpha is probably right. We sit here at our vantage point in time looking out over the Hellscape of Black crime, especially violent crime, and assume that the architects of Jim Crow were trying to stop just this very thing by constructing their apartheid system. But they probably weren’t. We are trying to transport 22nd Century minds, methods, and motivations into the heads of Whites of the 1950’s to a century before. They say hindsight is 20-20 but in other ways, it’s often not accurate at all.
By the time that Jim Crow was instituted, the freed Blacks were mostly too terrified and terrorized by a century and a half of slavery to be much of a problem. The crime rate was pretty low back then. Also people, both Whites and Blacks, were very religious, and this tends to make people act pretty good.
Black people don’t automatically act bad, you know.
Yes, some bad things happened after the Civil War. Some freed slaves murdered their former masters and other White men. There may have been a few rapes of White women here and there. But overall, there was not much of this going on.
But the few cases that occurred literally struck terror into the hearts of the Whites. This was their worst nightmare – the Blacks returning to exact revenge on them for the crime of slavery. There has been quite a few slave rebellions in the US over a century and a half, and they tended to be bloody affairs. The Blacks spared no White – women, children, and old men were all fair game and were often killed in horrific ways. Beheading was common.
Also the Blacks put into positions of power were completely incompetent, not the least because they typically had zero education. So you had Black mayors, school boards, police, the whole nine yards, and they were so incompetent it would be laughable if it were not so tragic. It was downright stupid to throw out all the Whites and put a bunch of incompetent Blacks in charge.
The purpose of this was to punish the South. Look what happens when you punish losing parties in a war. The losing party Germany was punished after World War 1 and look what happened. It didn’t take much of this nonsense before the KKK was riding at night. The sun had scarcely set on the Civil War before the first nightriders appeared a mere three years later in 1868.
I’m not sure lynching was done to stop Black crime either. There wasn’t that much of it in the first place. The Black man during Jim Crow was a beaten-down soul. You still see many obsequious Blacks like this in the Deep South, especially in places like Mississippi. They act almost ridiculously friendly and helpful. Black hotel workers are typical in this regard. A terrorized man is a well-behaved man.
I suggested to my mother that lynching was done to stop Black crime, but she said the Whites were just doing it to terrorize Blacks and assert their dominance over them. Humans really get off on blatantly lording it over others if you haven’t noticed, even to the point of humiliation and rubbing it in. I think my Mom was right.
13 thoughts on “Alt Left: A Discussion about the Motives for Instituting Jim Crow in the South”
Thanks for this, Robert. I would add that while some of the Black officeholders during this time might have been incompetent, this wasn’t uniformly the case. Many of these men came from free Black families or had gained their freedom before the war. They were the “cream” of the Black community – the most educated, the most wealthy.
You’re missing the point about “moral solutions.” Back in those days, Nordic White Supremacy was a common belief so politicians used that s their excuse for Jim Crow. Moral solutions don’t have to be good or bad, they simply have to be moralistic in their nature.
All governments and bureaucracies do that when implementing programs: says some high-flying horseshit when their real reason is boring, mundane, and perhaps downright offensive to all parties involved.
Which sounds better to a Postbellum Southerner?
(1) You’re part of the great Teutonic Race! Those Negros are primitive savages. Let’s keep them away and preserve our dignity! Whiiiite Powwerrrr!
(2) The slave-owning powers that be dragged you into an impossible military conflict against a heavily industrialized North and then those damn Yankees came, saw, and freed the niggers. The slave owners were forced to free them niggers whom most of you never owned. So now they dumped them on you while they live in safety in their giant homes and enjoy all the luxuries of life. So let’s fix the problem by installing NOT ONE BUT TWO water fountains in every public and private concern across the land!. That’s right! You now have to send extra money to deal with the Negroes we dumped on you! Why? Because you are poor and the former slave-owners are rich!
Gimme a break. I can’t believe you guys believe the official stories. Even for Jim Crow. Even for the Nazis. They are mostly B.S. Maybe the asshole on the pulpit preaching it believes it, but his handlers and those who stand to benefit don’t.
And it may be true that demoralized White Southerners experienced schadenfreude during lynchings but that gives more credence to my hypothesis that the politicians know (1) above would be an easier sell. It certainly doesn’t contradict it. Also, I’m sure not every person took pleasure in lynchings. Those that show up to a lynchings are disproportionately cruel compared to the general population. Those that stay home are the opposite.
Morbid fascination with public executions are not unique to Whites. Muslims do it all the time. Prove to me that Whites are more cruel than other races? I doubt it. It’s probably positively correlated with racial IQ. Subhumans are more animal like.
When Whites lynched Blacks, usually they were criminals and I doubt blacks were better then than now. So I can see how normally good people become glad to be rid of such a criminal. Robert was congratulating the White cops in Kenosha who killed Jacob Blake, a black guy, as a public service execution. But Robert is pro-Black! A pro-Black White man cheering Whites killing a Black criminal.
Did they even bother to sell it to the Whites like this? Was there ever an effort to justify this as, “Hey, if we don’t make an example out of these niggers, they’ll run loose and commit massive horrific crime waves?” I doubt it.
They’re not LOL.
Oh no, the Black crime rate against Whites was extremely low, giving the lie to the notion that they were doing all this shit for the noble reason of preventing violent crime. As far as the Black crime rate against Blacks, I have no idea.
However, my Mom did say that what we see as “typical Black criminal behavior” in which Black men are seen as disproportionately likely to engage in heinous violent crimes, was even present back in the day, though at a much lower level. She told me she remembered when she was a girl growing up in Chicago around 1940 that a Black man was convicted of the brutal rape and murder of a White woman. The crime was so unusual that it shocked the whole city. And these crimes were very rarely committed by White men*.
Sure, but Blacks could be killed for whistling at a White woman, talking back to a White person, and of course for fighting back against a White person and hurting or killing them in the process, even if the White person was trying to kill them. They weren’t all lynched from a tree. In some cases, a few men with guns would just grab one or two Black offenders, take them to a field, and shoot them. It was Rule by Terrorism.
*But there were such White men. Recall William Heirens, the “Stop me before I kill again” guy. My Mom was present in Chicago when he was running loose.
OK, Jim Crow laws were proposed as a solution to a problem: White Southerners were being ordered to treat newly freed slaves (and free Black people) as equals, when it was clear that newly freed Black people were in no position to live as their equals.
Their solution? Forget all this “equality” stuff; it’s costing us too much. Let’s bring back the old, tried-and-true way we used to do things: Blacks subordinate to Whites and kept in their place. We’ll make sure it’s “legal.”
We weren’t living back in those times so we don’t know how Jim Crow was sold to the Whites. It doesn’t matter anyway. We know the real reasons for it. They were as Alpha laid out. Whatever cover story they chose to give Whites to make them feel better about this are not important, and from my analysis of the South back in those days, such niceties didn’t even need to be dispensed with, as most Whites were quite free to gleefully hate Blacks for the sheer fun and rush of it.
I think we are all right here. It depends on what you are focusing.
I’m always concerned with the conditions that allow for things to happen. I can give two-shits about how people justify them or feel about them.
With that said, I think there is a very evil undercurrent that runs throughout this whole continent from Alaska to Argentina, starting with the Conquest. The blood-soaked lands of the Indians may be cursed by them. I love the USA and many parts of Latin America too, but I can’t deny the evil that I sense. Maybe its like The Shining and White people are Jack, in a constant struggle between their good and evil sides, sometimes breaking free of the demonic possession in the hotel in which they sojourn. The Pre-Columbians practiced human sacrifice after all.
What I mean is that the demons quickly possessed the Spanish when they landed and egged them on the conquer the Indians whom previously supplied to them their blood sacrifices. Demons have no loyalty.
“We weren’t living back in those times, so we don’t know how Jim Crow was sold to the Whites. It doesn’t matter anyway. We know the real reasons for it. They were as Alpha laid out.”
Diachronic versus synchronic analysis:
Also, we have to factor in the element of time and how people change after certain institutions have been established. I don’t think it was out of pure evil that Jim Crow laws were established. They were primitive law enforcement and population control methods, central planning if you will.
However, after low and middle class Whites gained power they turned sadistic. This can capture our seemingly contradictory opinions in one grand unified theory! Keep in mind that poor Whites tended to have lower IQ’s on average than rich slave owners, making them more susceptible to the “demonic possession” of sadism.
Think of the infamous Stanford prison experiment which, despite being somewhat discredited, does highlight something about the sadistic nature of humans AFTER, not before, they’ve been put in a position of power to lord over “inferiors.”
That’s why I think RL and Alpha are wrong in using the cruel behavior of Whites after Jim Crow was enacted, especially decades into the social experiment, to explain how it came to be considering what we know of Blacks now and the postwar conditions of the South.
David Duke had a good video on lynching. I think hangings where the neck doesn’t snap is barbaric. I don’t think getting lynched was just Black thing, nor was every Black lynched innocent. There are statues for some of the worst Black rapists, and some good Black peoples’ stories were never told. Neither life nor death is fair. A Black was on both ends of the rope in one of the more famous lynchings.
I’ve heard talk of bad behaving Blacks ending up at the bottom of lakes. Maybe Whites feared bad Black behavior as Jews fear antisemitism, edging on the side of caution.
I believe most Blacks killed by mobs were acting bad, but Whites’ definition of bad Black behavior has modernized into a full reversal. Blacks have to be shittier than shitty to earn a White mob now, and even then another White mob will appear screaming “Black Lives Matter!”
Lording over people doesn’t seem to work long term.
Emmett Till wasn’t acting shittier than shitty when he was killed. The woman who started it all later said she lied.
There’s nothing new about throwing someone under a bus for the crime of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Especially to avoid either discovery of the accuser’s own wrongdoing or domestic violence, which, being perfectly legal at the time, must have been rampant.
Hey, thank you so much for this comment, Denise! You are correct, of course. Very happy to see you here and hope you stick around. Our traffic dropped 93% when we went to a new host. I had a fair amount of female commenters back then, but we hardly have any now. We could use some women on this board. Hope you stick around if you like it, but then, the content on this trollblog here isn’t for everyone to say the least. We’re a love us or hate us site here.
The 50’s isn’t now. While his behavior was questionable for the time, today Emmett would have to earn it.