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Recently an LA Times article dated 21300 reviewed a new book entitled Without Sanctuary a collection of photographs from lynchings throughout America During the course of the article the author Benjamin Schwarz outlined some very interesting and disturbing facts related to this gruesome act of violence Between 1882 and 1930 more than 3000 people were lynched in the US with approximately 80 of them taking place in the South Though most people think only African Americans were victims of lynchings during those years about 25 were white Data indicates that mobs in the West lynched 447 whites and 38 blacks in the Midwest there were 181 white victims and 79 black and in the South people lynched 291 whites and 2462 African AmericansThough most people believe lynchings were just the manifestation of racial hatred the author indicates that 20 of Southern lynching victims were killed by mobs of their own race In addition other societies such as Ancient Rome and Greece Germany China Nigeria and East Africa lynched their own It is for this reason that Mr Schwarz believes lynchings cannot be explained only in terms of racism and paranoid white psyche To find the true reason we must consider a different point of view According to Mr Schwarz in the late 19th century there arose in the South a large proportion of transient black men who as their labor became expendable in an increasingly industrial and commercial economy adopted a life of crime In the article Mr Schwarz writes There loosened from the traditional controls of the black family and community many led a roaming reckless and often violent existence The theory goes as these African American men moved from city to city they became easy targets for Southern whites and some blacks who took it upon themselves to punish lawless citizens To support his theory Mr Schwarz refers to data that shows Most lynchings took place precisely in those areas in the South
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