Samir’s Selection 03/03/2016 (p.m.)

  • Reconstruction was doomed by two developments: Washington’s decision to no longer enforce the rights of African-Americans in the South, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and related white supremacist groups that brought to bear “a campaign of murder, assault and arson that can only be described as homegrown American terrorism.”The Southern states subsequently wrote black citizens out of their constitutions and erected a system of civic apartheid, enforced by mob rule. The Southern fixation on denying African-Americans the right to vote was a direct response to the rise of black political power during Reconstruction. A similar backlash erupted during the modern civil rights movement.Reconstruction-era talk re-emerged after Mr. Obama was elected in 2008. Tea Party supporters and others responded to the extraordinary turnout among black voters by contending that the election had been “stolen.” Since then, most of the states that had the highest levels of black turnout have passed laws making it more difficult to vote. A 2013 study from The University of Massachusetts Boston concluded that these laws were debated and enacted in a “highly partisan, strategic and racialized” process.Antigovernment and militia groups have grown rapidly since 2008. Shortly after Mr. Obama’s election, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors extremist groups, reported that the antigovernment militia movement had undergone a resurgence, fueled partly “by fears of a black man in the White House.” And for proof of violence like that of the Reconstruction era, look no further than the young white supremacist who is charged with murdering nine African-Americans at a church in Charleston, S.C., last summer.

    tags: UShistory USracism terrorism UScivilwar DonaldTrump

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