In "Dry September," William Faulkner explores the tensions around sexual assault, gender, age, and race in the Jim Crow South. Faulkner indicates that a white woman's accusation against a black man would have been believed by the white authorities who controlled the legal system and by the majority white population of the town. Furthermore, the community would take matters into their own hands to ensure that an African American man's life would be sacrificed, thus providing another example to show that white people had absolutely control.
What Faulkner portrays is domestic terrorism based in racism. What could be prosecuted today as racist hate crimes were widespread in Faulkner's Mississippi. As a white man writing in that time, he took responsibility not only to reveal such atrocities as lynching but also to show readers that vigilanteism was usually ignored.