This Op-ed by William D. Carrigan and Clive Webb explores some of the lesser known racial tensions that have rocked the past century. Lynching, the act of publicly hanging, burning or flaying of marginalized people, in a spectacle of white supremacy, has historically targeted black people, given the history of slavery in the US. This piece sheds light on the fact that lynchers targeted many other ethnic minorities as well, especially Mexican people. Mexican immigrants in the southern and western US have been uniquely dispossessed, colonized minorities in their own historical lands. Local authorities and deputized citizens were usually the perpetrators of the lynchings of Mexican people. Under the guise of halting revolutionary actions, rangers in Texas and surrounding states have razed entire towns of Mexicans, lynching thousands. This history of racial violence has carried into the 21st century, if not in public records then at the very least, in cultural consciousness.
Read an excerpt of the article written by William D. Carrigan and Clive Webb:
The recent release of a landmark report on the history of lynching in the United States is a welcome contribution to the struggle over American collective memory. Few groups have suffered more systematic mistreatment, abuse and murder than African-Americans, the focus of the report. One dimension of mob violence that is often overlooked, however, is that lynchers targeted many other racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, including Native Americans, Italians, Chinese and, especially, Mexicans. Americans are largely unaware that Mexicans were frequently the targets of lynch mobs, from the mid-19th century until well into the 20th century, second only to African-Americans in the scale and scope of the crimes. ...read more