sode smith, unit 4 post 1

Ida B. Wells was a member of the First Baptist Church, which roots itself in baptizing only professing believers of Christ as the savior. They believe strongly that every person is accountable to God for their actions. Because of her strong baptist beliefs, Wells wrties about physical violence (lynching) and also the mob mentality. In her article, Wells desricbes how lynching became widley accpeted in White, Southern communties, and how this form of violence has become “unwritten law,” with no punishments for those involved. This type of violence is attributed to the social norms / culture of the southern states, and how over time these unjust forms of action were “legalized” since these people who preformed lynchings never received any type of justice. This is extremely dehumanizing to the black community, because the law doesn’t serve them, and they aren’t allowed to have a trial: no person is safe from this unjust crime. However, Terrell describes a different type of violence, one ingrained in the law, which made all of the actions she describes completely legal. For example, Terrell discusses legal segregation, and how there is a form of violence in which colored people couldn’t entertain basic human rights (employment, education, accommodations).  This is violence because the colored community faces legal obstacles to their potential success. Because of this legal repression, Terrell states that there are no incentives for black individuals to get an education, because they will be demeaned and forced to work in menial jobs For both of these women, the root cause of these types of violence is society’s norms and culture. Lycnhing evolved as a type of “legal” violence because society allowed these crimes to pass and the legal structures didn’t allow for justification. Jim Crow is also an example of how society can be a root cause of violence, since legal segregation is promoted in the laws of the land. Women constitute the focus of both Wells and Terrell because they face slightly different types of violence than men do. For example, there is a certain type of intersectionality that both of these female authors address. Not only do women have to deal with the factor of their race, they also have to deal with the discrimantion that comes with their gender. Wells describes instances in which females were lynched because they refused to say where their male relatives were hiding, and this can serve as an example of gender discrimantion because even though the woman was clearly inconcent, she was still killed because she refused to open up. Terrell more clearly addresses intersectionality in her article because she describes the many instances in which females were prohibited or had their jobs retracted due to their race. Not only did these women have to deal with gender dircimantion, but racial discrimination as well. Both of these authors have strong reactions to the types of violence they are describing. Wells is disgusted by what she is describing because how do we as a society allow innocent people to be killed for no reason. Why are some individuals only acting based off their emotions? Terrell is also furious when writing about Jim Crow. Even when blacka and white people have the same credentials, the law prohibits black people from being able to succeed. Since they can barely secure low paying jobs, the colored community will never be able to escape this cycle of legal repression. 

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