Books: The Rule Of Lawlessness

Two chilling books shed light on the brutality that was essential to America's old racial caste system

Sometimes the act of forgetting is accomplished through the simple passage of time. Sometimes you have to help it along with a pair of scissors. In the archives of the Tulsa Tribune, a now defunct Oklahoma newspaper, two pages from May 31, 1921, have been clipped away. Researchers believe they contained an inflammatory news story and an editorial--"To Lynch a Negro Tonight"--that egged on the men who set off that year's Tulsa riot, one of the worst episodes of racial violence in American history. When students of the event went looking for those pages, what they found was a blank space....

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