Friday, August 06, 2010

And about Northern complicity with Southern violence

Now I'm getting on a roll, or maybe the roll is cresting. It should be remembered that in all of the time when the Klan was terrorizing and murdering blacks in the South and mobs of people were killing blacks by lynching, that the federal government could have stepped in and done something, but it didn't. In fact, the highest echelons of the federal government seem to have at times condoned it. I'm thinking of Woodrow Wilson's famous screening of "Birth of a Nation" at the White House after which he declared "it is like writing history with lightning. And my only regret is that it is all so terribly true". This wasn't just an American president expressing an ugly sentiment, it was also a tacit approval of what was going on in the South at that time, in 1915, including murder. The fourteenth amendment prohibits deprivation of life, liberty, or property without due process, and it could be argued that creating a lawless environment where people could be killed by mobs without consequences violated that principle, yet people in the federal government didn't seem to be too concerned with extending this protection to blacks in the South.

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