That black men, women, and children were routinely lynched by white men who had no fear of arrest, much less prosecution, well into the 1950s is well known. What is less well known because it is well documented is that black women were routinely raped by white men throughout most of American history. The really sad part of this contemptuous affair is that for much of American history, especially in the South, the rape of a black woman by a white man was not even considered a crime. A Governor of one of the most backward states in the union, South Carolina, named Coleman Blease famously issued these utterly unbelievable words: “I am of the opinion as I have always been, and have very serious doubts as to whether the crime of rape can be committed upon a negro.” Were these words, so ignorant as to make one suspect Coleman Blease suffered some sort of brain disease, spoken in 1830? 1850? 1870? No, in fact, Coleman Blease was Governor of the backward state of South Carolina in 1913.
It is this uncommonly nonsensical approach to how racists viewed African-Americans that led to systematic denial of the criminal element at work in the violation of black woman by white men. The worst thing is that there is simply no way of knowing just how many black women were raped. Estimates typically place the occurrence of rape anywhere from five to ten times as often as actual lynchings and even the number of lynchings that took place will never be fully known. One thing is certain, of course. The rape of black women and the lynching of black men was about control and fear. Racists always know deep inside that they are inferior to everyone and it is exactly that acknowledgment of inferiority that leads them to pump up their feelings of superiority to a degree of delusion. It has been said often enough that rape is not about sex, but about power and that certainty is multiplied in the cases of inferior white racists pathetically acting out those delusions of being more powerful than they are by violating a defenseless black woman. Another thing is also known: the cases of gang rape by white men tended to take place at least as often as a lone rape. This should not be surprising, since members of the KKK and other white supremacists are notoriously too cowardly to approach a black person one on one.
Black men knew that rape was not considered a crime when it was white on black and there was in the South, as well as certain areas in the North, a built-in resistance to allowing a wife or daughter to ever be alone in the company of white men. This even extended to working as maids or cooks whenever men would be present in the house. And if a black man happened to come upon a rape taking place and moved to protect the women, woe be to him. It was hardly uncommon for a black man attempting to save a black woman to have suffered the ultimate penalty or at least to have his tongue cut out. Apparently, racists are too stupid to realize that a man need not have a tongue to identify a cowardly assailant. Not that many of these sub-human racists really needed to fear being identified.
The system was such that white men had no fear of raping black men because the idiotic contention of a brain dead bag of Carolina skin like Coleman Blease was not just the lunatic ravings of a single man. The law enforcement system throughout the South looked the other way and therefore the only recourse was for black men to come to the aid of their wives and daughters and sisters, but if they did then they would suffer the consequences. And killers of black men had just as little to fear as rapers of black women.