“Like writing history with lightning” a quote from President Woodrow Wilson after watching the movie The Birth of a Nation. After an extremely optimistic attempt to repair a fragmented nation, not even the President of the United states is able to refute the atrocities of the malignant plague at the time called racism and endorsed the grossly racist movie. The Reconstruction era after the United States had a tragic and horrible civil war, did an extremely shoddy and patch work job at getting the torn country back together and especially, their attempt at integrating newly freed blacks to a dreadfully racist society.
The acclimation of blacks into a xenophobic society obviously had glaring problems that was almost painfully obvious to see yet the leaders of the such an abysmal plan completely and utterly failed to notice such a thing. Racism was already a curse upon society yet they did very little to prevent it. Discrimination was still coursing through the white supremist veins like its their very own lifeblood yet it’s almost like they ignored the fact. The people after the Reconstruction did absolutely everything they could to make certain that the newly abolished slaves and their contemporary counterparts that served in the war did not get the freedom they most definitely earned. Their disdain and scornful outlook on blacks were so palpable that they even used the very system that created their beloved nation against the poor blacks.
Loopholes where everywhere within the system upon the creation of the amendments that granted freed slaves citizenship and suffrage and whatnot. Granted that the leaders after the Reconstruction fixed most of them but that was almost a century after this plight was in happening. To stop black citizens from one of their most predominant rights, multiple roadblocks stood in the way of them of even trying to attempt to vote. Poll taxes and literacy tests disenfranchised blacks from voting due to having to pay up front with money or having to pass a test to try and vote for their own representatives. Obviously though, the whites set up a system to make them wholly bypass these barriers by creating the Grandfather Clause to let them vote if their ancestors have voted once before.
It was common sense that the white supremacists who just finished losing one of the most bloody conflicts in American history would reject the very conception of integrating blacks into their uptight society. Yet, these leaders have neglected this dilemma and very little to give freed African Americans protection in both the laws and physical protection. These white supremacists seized this opportunity that was created from the central governments ignorance and concocted the “Black Codes”. These appalling set of rules restricted their citizenship to the point where an individual would be hard pressed to even call them citizens. As if having a vice grip over their citizenship wasn’t sufficient enough for them, their abhorrence for the blacks resulted them in partaking in fear tactics and violence to continue the pressure over the happles black people. These included but were not limited to intimidating, burning of crosses on their property, kidnapping and even hanging of innocent black lives.
All in all, the leaders of the reconstruction operated in a naive and overly optimistic fashion to include blacks into their currently crippled country. I do not deny the fact that they did indeed repair america to an extent despite being under immense pressure from just concluding a war with heavy casualties. Nor do I deny that they created the Freedmen’s Bureau to help blacks get on their feet. I just personally feel like a large amount of predicaments that arose from the reconstruction and black citizenship could have been easily prevented with a little bit more thought and foresight.