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This created tension, as if white men were having sex with black women because they were more lustful, this meant black men would lust after white women in the same way, this threatened the white male dominance that was apparent at the time, increasing the fear of interracial interactions.There are a few potential reasons as to why such strong ideas on interracial sex developed.
The Reconstruction Era following the Civil War started to disassemble traditional aspects of Southern society.
The Southerners who were used to being dominant were now no longer legally allowed to run their farms using slavery.
The famous case of Emmett Till who was lynched at the age of fourteen for supposedly whistling at a white women shows the prominence of white male anxiety in the 1950s.
When the Jim Crow laws were eventually overturned, it took years for the court to resolve the numerous acts of discrimination.
This was not just senseless violence, but an attempt to preserve 'whiteness' and prevent racial blur, the whites wanted to remain dominant and make sure there was no interracial sexual activity.
For example, mixed race couples that chose to live together were sought out and lynched by the KKK.Once married, the pair returned to Virginia, however in the same year were both arrested in their home for the infringement of the Racial Integrity Act, and each sentenced to a year in prison.Before the laws were officially abolished in 2000, the couple attempted to quash the charges, however were met with an ultimatum that led to their short-term relocation to avoid further prejudice.Uncontrollable lust threatened the purity of the nation, which increased white anxiety about interracial sex.This can be described through Montesquieu's climatic theory in his book the Spirit of the Laws, which explains how people from different climates have different temperaments, "The inhabitants of warm countries are, like old men, timorous; the people in cold countries are, like young men, brave." This idea stemmed from the first encounters between European men and African women.This particular example indicates sexual racism on a large state-wide scale, such that at this time there was increased discrimination against interracial couples, based upon the attitudes that the laws created.Around a similar time was the controversy surrounding Seretse and Ruth Khama.The origins of sexual racism can be explained by looking at its history, especially in the US, where the abolition of slavery and the Reconstruction Era had significant impacts on interracial mixing.Attitudes towards interracial relationships, and indeed marriage, have increased in positivity in the last 50 years.It is the discrimination between potential sexual or romantic partners on the basis of perceived racial identity.However, not everyone agrees that this should be classified as racism, some argue that distinguishing among partners on the basis of perceived race is not racism at all but a justifiable personal preference.