How do certain elite groups use force and propoganda to enforce people to accept their orders and rules? Please explain in detail. Thank you!
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If you take the American South after Reconstruction you can see many examples of an "elitist" group forcing African Americans to accept their orders and rules. Jim Crow Laws and social pressures resulted in forced segregation of almost all public places including transportation and education, disfranchisement for all blacks in the South, revocation of constitutional rights such as the right to a fair trial, and many other forms of discrimination that affected every facet of African Americans lives.
How did Southern whites create this type of society? There were many methods used to force Southern blacks into becoming second class citizens. One major factor was controlling the political and legal institutions. Once Reconstruction ended, Southern state governments enacted legislation to prevent blacks from voting which completely ended any political clout gained by African Americans during Radical Reconstruction. Jim Crow laws followed which as I said earlier took away rights and opportunities.
Once legislation was enacted, it allowed law enforcement to legally punish blacks for drinking from the wrong water fountain, sitting in the front of a bus, or looking at a white person a certain way. Whether or not a black person did actually violate a law didn't matter because a white person's word was always taken above a black person's. There were also no blacks on juries, so all white juries convicted blacks with no evidence frequently. Thus blacks gained a reputation as "dangerous" and "criminal."
A clear use of propaganda can be seen in how the South interpreted the Civil War in the decades following the Crisis. The Lost Cause interpretation presented the South as an honorable society that respected constitutional rights of states, while labeling the North as aggressive and despotic. The War in this view was fought for states' rights and freedom from the usurpation of Northern aggression. The institution of slavery was underplayed as a factor for the war, but was also presented as a more humane and fair system than the free labor system of the North where factory workers were experiencing terrible conditions and little pay. Slavery was thus presented as a system that helped African Americans. Many whites argued that blacks needed guidance from slave owners and that they were incapable of equalling the status of the white race.
These types of attitudes were only heightened after the South lost the Civil War and was under military occupation during Reconstruction. Therefore, once Reconstruction ended, a white backlash against the freemen, who now had equal constitutional rights, led to horrific conditions for blacks. A sense of white "southern manhood" developed in which racial discrimination became a badge of honor.
Finally, once a group has been stripped of equal opportunities and has been treated as lesser humans, their failures and problems serve as evidence for the elitist group that they are indeed inferior. The reputation that develops can blind outsiders (like Northerners) from seeing the injustices and allows the elitist group to go unchallenged.
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