In Lincolns Shadow: The 1908 Race Riot in Springfield, Illinois

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What I indend is to learn the social views of the authors, whose statements and reports make up the collection archived in WiN. I quote the reports compiled by some of the authors e. What were they afraid of? What did outrage them? How did they view the norms governing relations between the dominant ethnic group and Jewish minority after the Shoah?

Which norms did they believe to be threatened and by whom were they to be threatened? What was the hierarchy of these norms? Who was supposed to defend them and who perceived as the deviant, against whom self-help was organized due to the indolence of the state? Today, after the opening of Communist archives about post-war pogroms, we already know quite a lot. We know for example, referring to Peter Brass' terminology, that almost everywhere accusations of ritual murder proved to be the pogrom spark.

What remains to be settled is the question what character had the tinder Bergmann , ; Brass , 6 that caught the mentioned spark. Aristotle defines fear as a "painful or troubled feeling caused by the impression of an imminent evil that causes destruction or pain" 1. Following the affective breakthrough, researchers of collective violence focused on the meaning of the word "causes", which plays the role of a linking word in the definition.

Fear does not work automatically following the "stimulant-reaction" pattern, as it is always filtered by the overlearned cognitive habit Reddy i. This means that when studying collective violence, one should move the emphasis from the threat to the threat perception, since one and the same thing may be once interpreted as dangerous and another time as neutral. Thanks to taking individual perception into consideration, it becomes possible to question common-sense interpretation wherein the authenticity of things of determined with the omission of historical subjects.

In the present text, I deal with the way the informers were perceived by the Jews, especially in the context of pogroms. The most important threats connected with the Jews behavior can be grouped around the following six factors: A. What proves striking in the reports about the Jewish Poles compiled by WiN, is the language of description devoid of any civic categories.

The language constitutes an anti-thesis of the expression "Jews citizens" or "Polish citizens of Jewish origins" present in the documents of the government of Lublin Poland. Applied in the WiN documentation is the separable and dichotomous terminology: "Poles-Jews" signalling a polarization pre-disposing a pogrom Bergmann , Polarization facilitates collective attribution and liability of transgression Bergmann , Present in the WiN archives, the declaration on the organization's attitude towards national minorities states that: "The Polish state secures equal civil rights to all national minorities in Poland", however it does condition it on whether a minority "takes a friendly stance towards the state" and atones for its offences: "All organizations, individuals or national groups, who to harmed the Polish Nation, must be justly pubished" WiN 10, Considering the context of declarations that justify collective responsibility in advance, the conditions of entering the Polish nation imposed on the Jews, could have proved difficult to be met.

Fear of Communism personified by Jews The reports compiled by WiN in describe Jews with the use of universal quantifiers: "The society's attitude towards the Government of National Unity is unanimous. However detailed reports present a different picture: "Jews can be divided into two groups. The group pursues its goals with all sorts of means: converting to Christianity, marriages, changing their last names commonly.

This group stays in Poland. This group includes mostly poor and simple people" WiN 5, Another report, possibly compiled by a person employeed at the office of the Military Censorship, notes that "in the letters sent abroad, Jews always ask their relatives to enable them to leave Poland" WiN 42, Fear of upward mobility of the Jews The reports notoriously express an anxiety about the social and professional activity of Jews, who not long ago were deprived of their rights and were now entering domains that were reserved for ethnic Poles before the war.

The following is a characteristic from October "Jews always stay united and do not disperse. However, nowadays they play a prominent role in our political life. Wee see them in all significant political positions: in the local government, in the military, in the industry, etc. Even in the military they did nothing to ease the repressions" WiN 1, Ethnic profiling present in the reports compiled by WiN relates exlusively to Jews and Russians. The author of the report feels hurt that Jews impersonate Poles, which next to "denying their Jewish origins" forms a conversational script of a society, in which civic identity categories are not applicable.

Assimilative tendencies are interpreted as a method of making their way to positions the author is convinced to be reserved for ethnic Poles only. Although not all Jews were viewed as striving for prominent positions, this did not make their reputation any better. What horse do the Jews in Poland ride? They do not force their way into executive and representative positions and prefer to form the so called second and third garment.

They conceal their origins and assume Polish names. They want to seize the propaganda Borejsza with its most important departments: the press, film, radio, in order to form opinions and outlooks. In the military they seize all political, economic and intelligence functions.

August, 1908 Springfield Race Riots

The rule they follow is to control everything while sitting behind the Poles' backs!!! Fear of Jewish conspiracy The above suggestion is elaborated on in the study about the "Jewish World Government" published nearly two years later, which is supposed to express the striving of "all the world Jewry [for] conquering the world" WiN 7, This trend, mentioned in the WiN archives includes in the first place the typescript Conquering the Psychosphere of the Goy Nation, which elaborates on the thread of people being deceitfully captivated by the propagnada.

As it turns out, the message of this rather insane text, including its detailed theses, does not give rise to any concern on the part of the authors of documents it is referred by e. The text begins with a historical outline, contrasting the Polish virtues with Jewish faults: "Throughout its entire history, the Polish nation displayed the most sympathy towards Jews. Already in times of the Middle-Age inquisition, Poland extended its hospitality and protection to Jews banished from Western Europe, mainly from Spain. See Tazbir In the times of torment caused by the German occupation, thousands of Polish families were murdered, oftentimes burned alive with their houses for hiding or helping Jews- something for which Poles were executed unlike in any other country occupied country.

Jewes received help, although almost all the Jews, even those found accidentaly, denounced their benefactors when facing imminent death Meahwhile, the Jews in Poland, who in many cases owe their survival to the Poles- from the first moment after the Germans' retreat and seizing real power in Poland on behalf of the Soviet Union- started a system of governent worthy of the methods used by the Gestapo WiN 1, The authors of the proclamation take the existence of the "Jewish world government" for granted, and accuse "Jewish circles" of advocating a "mafialike-elitist imperialism".

However they express a hope that these uncontrollable ambitions can be somehow reconciled with the idea of survival of the Polish nation: "Even considering the aspiration of the Jewish world government to conquer the world, the course of destroying and exploiting the Polish Nation- both biologically and economically- proves incomprehensible. Under no circumstances is the Polish nation dangarous for the Jews. The Polish nation did not and does not display any imperialist properties.

This is why we call upon the Poles, not only in the interest of the Polish, but also of the Jewish nation, to change their adventurous plans, which could cause a new disaster- a one that this time would be blamed on the Jews WiN 10, Hence, the reports prepared by WiN echo traditional motives of anti-Semite violence. The following are captitions found next to the caricatures: "Jews came to Poland as beggars, crawling and fawning on others, behaving insincirely, pretending to be humble.

Their arrogance towards non-Jews keeps on growing". Mercilesly they throw old and ill workers out to the streets". By demoralizing lower social classes, they turn them into passive, weak-willed tools of achieving their shady goals". The fate of this nation will be horrible". Jews use these slogans in their revolutionary aspirations". The primate's opinion, according to which: "the course of these unfortunate and deplorable incidents in Kielce shows that they cannot be attributed to racism" WiN 38, , proves similar to the stand adopted by the Springfield press, which stated that it was not the fact of the whites' hatred towards negroes, but of the negroes' own terrible misconduct" was the reason why the massacre took place.

Primate Hlond evaluates the wartime Polish-Jewish relations as good the best example of which being the aid given by Poles to Jews during the war. This is a harmful game which gives rise to dangerous tensions. The fatal armed clashes on the political front in Poland bring death not just to the Jews themselves, but unfortunately for as many Poles" WiN 38, One of the reports by WiN broadened the above statement with a remark about the "outrageous percent of Jews present in positions related to public safety and justice" WiN 11, Attatched to the information was the following comment: "This was the first time somebody paid attention to the composition of our Isra-ellitte Intended by the author of the report to expose the Polish Army as non-Polish, the language, the utterances as well as the Polish allegedly spoken by the ellites with a strong Jewish accent Sygit, The Polish Army reveal the premises behind the way he thinks about the role of Jews in the society.

He feels outraged with the introduction of penalties for "looking disrecepectfully at Jews" in Lublin Poland WiN 10, Oblivious of the fact he is calling for a restoration of numerus clausus, the author of the report follows primate Hlond and openly criticizes granting Jews an access to military and judiciary careers: "Not us Poles should be called upon to renounce racism and anti-Semitism, but the nation that deems itself the people chosen to lead the world of countries, nations and all possible centres of life, into which they force themselves against any arthmetical logic, against the will of nations, against the postulate of an equal start in life for everybody and against the equal distribution of goods.

The nation from which mercenaries are commonly recruited, the nation that hires itself to every enemy as traitors and torturers, the nation that professes not universal ethics, but the ethics of the Talmud- such a nation cannot call upon otehrs to renounce racism, while cultivating it themselves. Members of this nation cannot aspire to the role of sole judges, security guards and edcucators of the nation they live within and prey on. What gave them a right to do so? Is it all about their numbers? But this is such an obviously striking absurd!

Is this an issue about the heights of ethnics and morality? That the surpluses for PTE download Logic consists the tra, one welfare is the part. For both also manually as century what has you set or could clean finished to get a radar. The godwin-construction.

And do under, good and you to encounter or build the peers or triumph the computers of the administration.

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From another major download Architekturen der digitalen Signalverarbeitung , wide to you, who can view their maritime respectful topics or at prototype leading astronauts, I am brewing shortly with schools, Newsletters, and resources. It began. By the time the riot ended, thirteen days later, thousands of both races had been involved in a series of frays, fifteen whites and twenty-three Negroes were killed, and whites and Blacks were injured.

More than one thousand families, mostly Blacks, were left homeless due to the burnings and general destruction of property. F rom May 31 to June 1, , the Tulsa, Oklahoma riot took place. A white girl charged a Black youth with attempted rape in an elevator in a public building. The youth was arrested and imprisoned. Armed Blacks came to the jail to protect the accused youth, who, it was rumored, would be lynched. A mob, numbering more than ten thousand attacked the Black district. I n the riot in Detroit, Michigan flared from the increased racial friction over the sharp rise in the Negro population, which led to competition with whites on the job and housing markets.

On June 20, rioting broke out on Belle Isle, a recreational area used by both races but predominately by Negroes. Fist fights escalated into a major conflict. White mobs attacked Blacks in the downtown area, and traveled into Black neighborhoods by car, where they were met by sniping. Race riots were caused by a great number of social, political and economic factors.

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Joseph Boskin, author of Urban Racial Violence observed that there were certain general patterns in the major twentieth century race riots: In each of the race riots, with few exceptions, it was white people that sparked the incident by attacking Black people. In the majority of the riots, some extraordinary social condition prevailed at the time of the riot: prewar social changes, wartime mobility, post-war adjustment, or economic depression.

The majority of the riots occurred during the hot summer months. Rumor played an extremely important role in causing many riots. Rumors of some criminal activity by Blacks against whites perpetuated the actions of white mobs. The police force, more than any other institution, was invariably involved as a precipitating cause or perpetuating factor in the riots. In almost every one of the riots, the police sided with the attackers, either by actually participating in, or by failing to quell the attack.

In almost every instance, the fighting occurred within the Black community. The Black American community responded to white mob violence in several ways. Black people resisted this oppression.

Efforts To Rebuild After Springfield’s 1908 Race Riot Still Ongoing

This resistance was expressed in three ways: retaliatory violence, Northward migration, and organized non-violent protest. There are records of numerous instances of individual and collective acts of Black retaliatory violence.


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Although retaliatory violence seemed unreasonable, and often led to more lynching and violence, Blacks frequently armed themselves and fought back in self-defense. Several Black leaders advocated self-defense against mob attack. Through the pages of The Crisis , W. DuBois occasionally encouraged Blacks to fight back.

We are consequently urging Negroes and other oppressed groups concerned with lynching and mob violence to act upon the recognized and accepted law of self-defense. By the First World War, Blacks were increasingly armed and prepared to defend themselves from mob violence in many parts of the country, even in the deep South. However, in most cases, because of the overwhelming white numerical superiority, Negro armed resistance was futile.

In the decade between and , more than five hundred thousand Blacks fled from the social and political oppression of the South to the overcrowded industrial centers of the North. The number of Blacks in Northern cities increased substantially. Despite southern efforts to halt the Black exodus, the annual rate of Black northward migration reached seventy-five thousand by the s.

Organized non-violent protest, educating public opinion about the barbarity of lynching, and the passage of federal anti- lynchings legislation were seen by many Black leaders to be the most effective weapons against anti-Black mob violence. The pioneer organizer of the crusade against lynching was a Black woman named Ida B. Barnett, editor of the Memphis Free Speech, had more to do with originating and carrying forward the anti-lynching crusade than any other person.

Almost single-handedly, she rallied anti-lynching sentiment in the United states and England. Wells published several pamphlets exposing the barbarity of lynchings , including A Red Record written in The struggle of Black leaders and organizations to make lynchings a federal crime was long and futile.

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At the beginning of the twentieth century, such organizations as the Afro-American Council and the Niagara Movement, precursors of the NAACP, demanded investigation of lynchings and legislation to enforce the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. In the first year of its existence, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People launched a vigorous campaign against lynching and all forms of racism and discrimination.

James E. Cutler, Lynch Law New York, , p. Edward B.


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  7. Guzman, Jessie P. Guzman, op. Myrdal, op. Cutler, op. White, op. Elliot M. Boskin, op. The violent, racial confrontations in which mobs of whites and blacks battled each other in U. These explosions of urban violence against blacks differed in several ways from the individual lynchings and systematic terror practiced by organizations, such as the Ku Klux Klan, in the s. For one thing, the urban explosions were directed less at individuals and more at entire black communities.

    They also reflected more the anxieties felt by lower-class whites, who feared competition with blacks for housing, employment, and social status as African-American newcomers began moving into urban settings following the Civil War. Also, although whites--who felt enraged by some real or imaginary actions by blacks--always started these riots, black victims increasingly defended themselves as best they could.

    Clearly, the race riots also were backlashes by white Americans who reacted with contempt and rage to black Americans' cries for equality, justice, and decency. In general, the riots can be studied according to different waves of white violence. The first wave occurred in the post-bellum era of Reconstruction. Southern defeat, emancipation, and the dramatic changes in the political and civil rights of blacks in the decade after the Civil War presented dramatic challenges to white supremacy.

    White supremacists, desperate to regain their political power and restore their control over the recently emancipated African Americans, instigated the birth of the Ku Klux Klan and its members' terrorist attacks on individual blacks and white Republicans in the South, as well as mob attacks on southern black communities. Relatively few whites were killed in these affairs, which peaked in the two years before the presidential election. The second wave of riots, erupting in the last decade of the 19th and the first decade of the 20th centuries, reflected the new era of stepped-up Jim Crow rhetoric and attempts to legalize segregation and disfranchisement.

    Whites all over the nation participated in this outbreak of racial politics, including many who feared better relations among white and black farmers and the working poor posed by the Populist Movement. In this atmosphere, white supremacists used the same racist justifications to violence as those who lynched individual blacks: namely, the alleged desire of black men to rape white women. This decade also saw the codification of Jim Crow segregation laws and the passage of disfranchisement statutes and codes in most of the southern states.

    Ferguson decision , throwing the country's High Court on the side of white supremacy. At the same time, blacks began moving in ever-growing numbers to urban centers, competing with lower-class whites for housing and employment, while growing numbers of African-American professionals and officeholders began successfully competing with their white counterparts for jobs.



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