In spite of America's identity as a liberal democracy, the vile act of lynching happened frequently in the Southern United States over the course of the nation's history. Indeed, lynchings were very public events, and were even advertised in newspapers, begging the question of how such brazen disregard for the law could have occurred so freely and openly. Liberalizing Lynching: Building a New Racialized State seeks to explain the seemingly paradoxical relationship between the Aemrican liberal regime and the illiberal act of lynching. Drawing on legal cases, congressional documents, presidential correspondence, and newspaper reports, Daniel Kato explores the federal government's pattern of nonintervention regarding lynchings of African Americans from the late nineteenth century through the 1960s. Although popular belief holds that the federal government was unable to address racial violence in the South, this book argues that the actions and decisions of the federal government from the 1870s through the 1960s reveal that federal inaction was not primarily a consequence of institutional or legal incapacities, but rather a decision that was supported and maintained by all three branches of government. Inaction stemmed from the decision not to intervene, not from the powerlessness of the federal government. To cement his argument, Kato develops the theory of constitutional anarchy, which crystallizes the ways in which the federal government had the capacity to intervene, yet relinquished its responsibility while nonetheless maintaining authority. Liberalizing Lynching is a bold challenge to conventional knowledge about the government's historic role in racial violence. -- from dust jacket.
Bibliography, etc. Note
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note
The strange career of lynching Strengthening the weak state : politicizing the American states's "weakness" on racial violence The tragic legality of racial violence : reconstruction, race, and emergency Constitutional anarchy : 1883-1966 Bringing constitutional anarchy to an end Conclusion.
KF9312 .K37 2016
New York, NY : Oxford University Press,