White Violence and Black Response: From Reconstruction to Montgomery

By Herbert Shapiro | Go to book overview

NOTES

Introduction
1. See Richard Hofstadter, "Reflections on Violence in the United States," in Richard Hofstadter and Michael Wallace, eds., American Violence ( New York: Vintage Books, 1971), pp. 5, 7. There was some ambiguity in Hofstadter's emphasis upon the American tradition of violence. He wrote that what must be observed "is the circumscribed character and the small scale of the typical violent incident." Setting aside the unique instance of the Civil War, Hofstadter wrote of the United States that "its riots and massacres and other spontaneous outbursts of savagery do not otherwise loom inordinately large when projected against the backdrop of history." But he also reported the findings of the experts of the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, which "confirm our sense that the United States is far from being the most peaceful among the Western or other industrial nations with which comparison seems most appropriate."
2. The National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence states that probably "all nations are given to a kind of historical amnesia or selective recollection that masks unpleasant traumas of the past. Certainly, Americans since the Puritans have historically regarded themselves as a latter-day 'Chosen People' sent on a holy errand to the wilderness, there to create a New Jerusalem. One beneficent side effect of our current turmoil may be to force a harder and more candid look at our past." See To Establish Justice, to Insure Domestic Tranquillity: Final Report of the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence ( Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1969), p. 16.
3. See Hofstadter, "Reflections on Violence", p. 30. Hofstadter writes here: "And even in our day, I think it should be emphasized, the growing acceptance of violence has been unwittingly fostered from the top of society. The model for violence, which has rapidly eroded the effectiveness of appeals to non-violent procedures, has been the hideous and gratuitous official violence in Vietnam."
4. Mary Frances Berry, Black Resistance/White Law: A History of Constitutional Racism in America ( New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1971), p. 238.
5. Regarding the significance of environment in mental retardation, see Roger L. Hurley, Poverty and Mental Retardation ( Trenton: New Jersey Department of Institutions and Agencies, 1968).
6. See James H. Jones, Bad Blood ( New York: Free Press, 1981).
7. See Herbert Aptheker, American Negro Slave Revolts ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1943); Raymond A. Bauer and Alice H. Bauer, "Day to Day Resistance to Slavery", Journal of Negro History, October 1942, pp.: 388-419. A somewhat different perspective is found in Eugene D. Genovese, From Rebellion to Revolution: Afro-American Slave Revolts in the Making of the Modern World ( Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979). Genovese finds a "low incidence" of slave revolts in the United States during

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