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Sexual racism is the individual's sexual preference of specific races.It is an inclination towards potential sexual or romantic partners on the basis of perceived racial identity.There was a rise in lynch mob violence where many black men were accused of rape.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.This increased white anxiety about interracial sex, and has been 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.As the men were not used to the extremely hot climate they misinterpreted the women's lack of clothing for vulgarity.
This created tension, implying that white men were having sex with black women because they were more lustful, and in turn black men would lust after white women in the same way.
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 couple lived in Virginia yet had to marry outside the state due to the anti-miscegenation laws present in nearly half of the US states in 1958.
Once married, the pair returned to Virginia, and were both arrested in their home for the infringement of the Racial Integrity Act, and each sentenced to a year in prison.