“KILLER” POLICE DURING USA RECONSTRUCTION (27)
Sometime after the European massive killings of Amerindians–and even while European convicts, prostitutes, religious dissidents, and the wayward continued to pour into the New World–certain New England settlers appointed Indian Constables to police Native Americans. Yet, all Amerindians, as with Enslaved Africans freed in 1865, were “ghettoized,” “terrorized,” and lynched after the Civil War. Only a few ex-Slaves were allowed the most menial and low paying jobs. Since the rest had no jobs available to them, many were arrested for loitering–thereafter spending the rest of their lives in the Convict Lease System. Nevertheless, the 14th Amendment to the USA Constitution (1868) defined some rights of the freed Slaves: no state may deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without Due Process of Law. This implied one had a right to be present, heard, and proof given before the tribunal which pronounces judgement upon the question of life, liberty, or property. It also granted equal protection of the laws to individuals and corporations + ensured the ‘police power’ of individual states to make laws to protect public safety, health, and morals. Still, ongoing and intensified Euro-American terrorism gave no relief to the chronic rage generated inside Black People. Terrorists were the KKK (Ku Klux Klan)—a later form of the ante-bellum pateroles. However, there were also post-Civil War patrols, as distinct from the Klan, as well as informal vigilante committees, guards, and “detectives” in every community. Their main goals were first, to keep Blacks on the plantations of their former slave owners. To these ends they used all types of intimidation, including threatening them loss of life if they disobeyed. Second, were “Stay-in-Your-Place messages to ensure Black People did not get “uppity” (i.e. act “White”). These messages, reinforced by horrendous racists hate, terrorism, and sadism on the part of Europeans, generated so much Emotional turmoil in Black victims that it was easier to live by them than go against them.
Passes were still required for Black People to do anything, especially after dark. Jayhawkers were highway Brutes who robbed, mainly stealing Black People. “Killer” policing was usually done between midnight and dawn so as to rob Black People of anything they had of value—e.g. money, horses, and weapons. Thus, many Blacks would kill their horses rather than let the Klan take them away. It also served as a diversion to indicate to the Klan that their homes had already been robbed. There were “Oreo” Blacks who would accompany the night-riding patrols—conforming to the Southern custom of the “loyal servant constantly attending his master” (Fry, Night Riders p162). Other “Oreos” served as informers, pointing out the residence of a “super-Black” and assisting in gaining entrance. The Klan began in Pulaski, Tennessee, where a group of school boys at home for the Christmas holidays in 1866 decided to amuse themselves by covering themselves with sheets and parading about the town at night. Superstitious Negroes who saw these “spooks” were terrified, and the effect was noticed by the Whites. Thus the idea of the fantastic disguises–some with removable heads, or false stomachs that could consume immense quantities of food and water, and horses with padded hoofs moving silently through the night–was adopted by the Klan as the proper regalia for impressing their superstitious victims, as well as for concealing the identity of its members.
The Ku Klux Movement is the term applied to that mode of opposition to Reconstruction that took the form of secret revolutionary societies. There were scores, perhaps hundreds, of secret revolutionary societies in the South, ranging from small bodies of neighborhood police which were common in 1865 and 1866, to great federated orders like the White Camelia covering the entire South and even extending into the North and West (Bailey, Sr., From Africa to Black Power). Reconstruction collapsed under the terrorism enacted by White Southern police, government officials, vigilante mobs, and the Ku Klux Klan—all often one and the same. Whereas the patroller was the source of derision and scorn and whom the Enslaved looked upon as “poor white trash”—sadistic and thrill-seeking, by causing pain, misery, and death–the image of the Klansman was that of a “shadowy,” evil figure who committed great wrongs (including stealing Black People) with brutality and viciousness. Both were blessed by Whites’ laws. jabaileymd.com