The White League was a paramilitary group that was allied with the Democratic Party in the South. In 1874 and 1875, the White League was responsible for widespread violence against black and white Republicans in Louisiana and Mississippi. The group’s platform from 1874 stated the following:
Disregarding all minor questions of principle or policy, and having solely in view the maintenance of our hereditary civilization and Christianity menaced by a stupid Africanization, we appeal to men of our race, of whatever language or nationality, to unite with us against that supreme danger. A league of whites is the inevitable result of that formidable, oath-bound, and blindly obedient league of the blacks, which, under the command of the most cunning and unscrupulous negroes in the State, may at any moment plunge us into a war of races . . . It is with some hope that a timely and proclaimed union of the whites as a race, and their efficient preparation for any emergency, may arrest the threatened horrors of social war, and teach the blacks to beware of further insolence and aggression, that we call upon the men of our race to leave in abeyance all lesser considerations; to forget all differences of opinions and all race prejudices of the past, and with no object in view but the common good of both races, to unite with us in an earnest effort to re-establish a white man’s government in the city and the State.1
1 Quoted in Glenn M. Linden, Voices from the Reconstruction Years, 1865–1877 (Harcourt Brace/Cengage, 1998), 205.
Students explore the potential negative impact of images through the social media protest #IfTheyGunnedMeDown and develop a decision-making process for choosing imagery to represent controversial events.
Students examine how identity and biases can impact how individuals interpret images and experience the challenge of selecting images to represent news events, particularly connected to sensitive issues.
Students establish a safe space for holding sensitive conversations, before introducing the events surrounding Ferguson, by acknowledging people's complicated feelings about race and creating a classroom contract.
Students explore the role of social media in Ferguson, apply information verification strategies to social media posts, and develop strategies for becoming critical consumers and sharers of social media.
Students evaluate the differences among news accounts about Ferguson, develop strategies for verifying news and information, and understand the challenges facing journalists as they cover complex, fast-moving events.
Help students become informed and effective civic participants in today's digital landscape. This unit is designed to develop students' critical thinking, news literacy, civic engagement, and social-emotional skills and competencies.
This mini-lesson invites students to synthesize their learning about the causes of racial injustice in policing and reflect on the implications these causes have on the individual and collective choices we make today.
Students identify the responsibilities of citizen watchdogs, summarize strategies for combatting confirmation bias and responsibly consuming and sharing news and information, and complete a culminating essay.