Mob Violence Essay

1649 words - 7 pages

A mob according to online dictionary (2011) refers to an out of control crowd who are bent on causing havoc and reigning terror should they be triggered. Mob justice refers to the activities of a charged group that vents their long held hatred on an individual or groups of people whom they perceive as their enemy. Carrigan & Webb as cited in Parker et al. (2003) state that no other nationals of any country have stood by to watch as the mob plunder and carry out a series of crimes against other citizens as the US did. The mobs according to Ramirez as cited in Parker et al. (2003) pretended to punish one crime while on the other hand committed even greater crimes. The mob law or justice in the United States has been carried out by the whites against mostly the blacks and other minority races and ethnicities. An example of acts of mob violence against minorities in the case where a young Mexican raped a white woman and was subsequently arrested and later the following day whites broke into the jail where the man was held and torched his body claiming that what the man did was an affront to white womanhood (Parker et al., 2003). The paper seeks to explore mob justice in the US; its past, present and the future.
Wood (2009) stated that mob violence was used by the whites to express their dominances and superiority over the other races mostly the blacks. There was constant fear among the blacks and other minority groups whose lives were lived in constant fears since the whites conceived them as criminals whose actions had to be countered by the collective unity of the white supremacists. Mob violence in America escalated after the proclamation of emancipation especially during the reconstruction period. The southerners were not happy about the state of affairs which were brought about by the abolition of slave trade and thus they used mob violence to assert their position as the dominant race. Between the late 19th century and mid 20th century extending up to 1940’s, the mob actions of the whites had extended to target Native Americans, Mexicans, Chinese, African American women and other ethnic-racial minorities. Mob justice later to the southerners’ was like a patriarchal duty in which the perceived racial superior group; the whites tried to restore their masculinity which was being eroded by the increasing social autonomy of the blacks. The black males were targets of rape almost being accused by the white women at will. Most of the mob violence that was carried out was done in the guise of protecting the women.
Mob violence was also instigated due to properties that they held be it land or other production resources. Parker et al (2003) note that the Mexicans were hunted down because of their hold on factors of economic production thus they were mostly killed for issues related to theft as they were perceived as a threat to the dominance of the whites in production. Frederick Douglas a writer about violence against blacks at one time noted the...

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