Southern Slavery and Willie Lynch

October 10, 2018

According to the Texas State Historical Association, the Black Codes were “Were laws passed by southern state legislatures to define the legal place of blacks in society after the Civil War.”  The 11th Legislature produced these codes in 1866 to make sure that the hard fought war for freedom from slavery was reversed. Under the codes blacks were not allowed to vote or hold office, serve on juries, and could only testify in a court of law if the testimony was against another black. “Interracial” marriage was against the law. The Black Codes also set up segregation on railroads and other public places; the Willie Lynch formula!

The codes would set up a labor system that still uses the terms “Master” and “Apprentice.” A master could require a black worker to work free in slave-like conditions. The master could pursue a worker that left a labor agreement in much the same way as a slave master could run down a chattel slave. The power to deduct wages for disobedience, absence, wasting time, and other work related offenses was strict, for it was designed to control African Americans in a slave relationship. This is also part of the reason why African Americans were kept out of labor unions and the skilled trades for so long, because African Americans could now expect the same things of white apprentices.  It would not be until the 1970s that the local unions in San Antonio would begin to hire blacks in the skilled trades. Many white union members would tell a racist jokes to simply get blacks to quit.

The Black Codes also set up a set vagrancy laws. This explains why African Americans always felt it better to flee from legal authority rather than surrender. Vagrancy laws were used to return former slaves to the plantations!  This method was employed in San Antonio as local law enforcement often acted as agents of the former plantation owners. This resulted in false arrests of many African Americans, and though there would not be any plantations available in the 1960s the charge of vagrancy was often employed to any group of blacks standing on a street corner that numbered more than two.  The SAPD often used this illegal tactic in the 1960s and early 1970s. 


If one were to look at the codes today from a historical perspective we can see the “Willie Lynch” letter take shape.  William Lynch was supposed to have written scripts that spelled out how to control African Americans in 1712.  Though the letter is perhaps a fake, the ideas contained in it are not.  This is when Willie Lynch becomes real!  The idea of controlling blacks for generations to come is not make believe.  This theory operates under the colonial formula of control. It was a real scheme of the Knights of the Golden Circle, the first Klan outfit, and later by their racist followers in the KKK.

The control and manipulation of African Americans has always been something that a racist society considers. America was built on racism, and thus the Willie Lynch formula has always operated. The next time someone says that the Willie Lynch letters were a fake the best response is that the racist methods described in the letters are not.  Life on a plantation was the way the Willie Lynch formula operated. The Civil War was totally about slavery and the horrid brutality that southern slave owners meted out was real. Slavery was a way to fool whites into thinking they were superior even when they did not own slaves. After the Civil War, Black Codes provided a reality to the Willie Lynch formula.


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