Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Lynching of Eugene Bell

War Veteran Lynched by Mississippi Farmers during Jim Crow ERA
The Lynching of Eugene Bell

My great uncle Eugene Bell was a war veteran and was  killed in 1945, he was my grandmother' younger brother. He was killed only because he was a black man in the Jim Crow south. My great uncle had return from the war honorable discharged by his country. He was killed by two white men whom he had worked for before going into the military. They were upset that my uncle had returned from the war and had not come back to work for them. He was ambushed and beaten and shot in the back on a lonely road in Mississippi. My uncles lynching is one of many from the Jim Crow south era.

The Murder of Emmitt Till shed light on the horrors of the Jim Crow south. His death sparked the Movement. The four little girls: Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertsion and Cynthia Welsley were not involved in the Movement; neither was Virgil Lamar Ware, a 13 year old boy who was killed the same day by the people involved in the bombing of the 16th  Baptist church. Although they were not involved in the movement, their deaths were a direct result of the horrors of the Jim Crow South .

On Thursday March 6, 2014 A representative of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project contacted me as the result of me posting for information on the Bell web site. They are reopening his case. As a child my mother had talked about this tragedy over the years and I was well aware of this killing.
Below you will find the laws and etiquette of Jim Crow

The Jim Crow Era and their laws

No Dogs, Negros, Mexicans Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system which operated primarily, but not exclusively in southern and border states, between 1877 and the mid-1960s. Jim Crow was more than a series of rigid anti-black laws. It was a way of life. Under Jim Crow, African Americans were relegated to the
status of second class citizens. Jim Crow represented the legitimization of anti-black racism. Many Christian ministers and theologians taught that whites were the Chosen people, blacks were cursed to be servants, and God supported racial segregation. Craniologists, eugenicists, phrenologists, and Social Darwinists, at every educational level, buttressed the belief that blacks were innately intellectually and culturally inferior to whites. Pro-segregation politicians gave eloquent speeches on the great danger of integration: the mongrelization of the white race. Newspaper and magazine writers routinely referred to blacks as niggers, coons, and darkies; and worse, their articles reinforced anti-black stereotypes. Even children's games portrayed blacks as inferior beings (see "From Hostility to Reverence: 100 Years of African-American Imagery in Games"). All major societal institutions reflected and supported the oppression of blacks.
Seated in Rear The Jim Crow system was undergirded by the following beliefs or rationalizations: whites were superior to blacks in all important ways, including but not limited to intelligence, morality, and civilized behavior; sexual relations between blacks and whites would produce a mongrel race which would destroy America; treating blacks as equals would encourage interracial sexual unions; any activity which suggested social equality encouraged interracial sexual relations; if necessary, violence must be used to keep blacks at the bottom of the racial hierarchy. The following Jim Crow etiquette norms show how inclusive and pervasive these norms were:
  1. A black male could not offer his hand (to shake hands) with a white male because it implied being socially equal. Obviously, a black male could not offer his hand or any other part of his body to a white woman, because he risked being accused of rape.
  2. Blacks and whites were not supposed to eat together. If they did eat together, whites were to be served first, and some sort of partition was to be placed between them.
  3. Under no circumstance was a black male to offer to light the cigarette of a white female -- that gesture implied intimacy.
  4. Blacks were not allowed to show public affection toward one another in public, especially kissing, because it offended whites.
  5. Jim Crow etiquette prescribed that blacks were introduced to whites, never whites to blacks. For example: "Mr. Peters (the white person), this is Charlie (the black person), that I spoke to you about."
  6. Whites did not use courtesy titles of respect when referring to blacks, for example, Mr., Mrs., Miss., Sir, or Ma'am. Instead, blacks were called by their first names. Blacks had to use courtesy titles when referring to whites, and were not allowed to call them by their first names.
  7. If a black person rode in a car driven by a white person, the black person sat in the back seat, or the back of a truck.
  8. White motorists had the right-of-way at all intersections.
In Conclusion, Jim Crow laws are still alive today.
We have a black President who is shown no respect and in the job market, which clearly shows that Jim Crow is alive.

The presidency is a position that “holds a sense of authority and governance over us all,” and that “even if you’re not in support of his policies, there needs to be a certain level of respect.”

In the job market, six of the seven occupations with the highest salaries are overrepresented by whites, while conversely, three of the six lowest-paid occupations are disproportionately represented by people of color, says the report. Additionally, one in six Blacks and one in eight Latinos are jobless, compared to one in 12 whites.


1 comment:

  1. Your granduncle's story is a tragic loss. One of the reasons this type of crime occurred was to terrorize African Americans. I hope Mr Bell receives justice, if not this life then the next.