Almost 80 years after a brutal castration in a Texas town, residents’ strident opinions show that race remains front and center. The 69-year-old white man with the goatee appeared agitated. “We don’t want you around here stirring up trouble with the Blacks,” he said, his voice getting louder. The man, who refused to give his name, and seven of his friends—several clad in Trump campaign shirts—were gathered for a coffee klatch at Herschel’s Restaurant in the small town of Pittsburg, Texas, 128 miles east of Dallas. I was there reporting a book on Texas history and wanted to learn more about Willie McNeeley, a Black man who recalled in a 1941 edition of The Dallas Express, an African-American newspaper, about being castrated by a white mob here. Outside of McNeeley’s chilling written account and a news story in The Dallas Express, little information exists about the incident. (…) The interviews suggest that the memory of what happened to McNeeley, and other Black citizens of the area, may be fading, but racial hostility—which had been seemingly subsiding for decades—is front and center in the age of President Donald Trump.The violent mob that attacked McNeeley provides one example of the scourge of racial violence that Black Americans, particularly in the South, have long understood. These brutal examples of racism color the history of towns such as Pittsburg; it simmers beneath the surface, even if present-day locals haven’t heard McNeeley’s name or don’t know the gruesome details. It’s a situation exploited by Trump, evinced in his defense of white nationalists, his calling African nations “shithole countries,” and aggression toward Black people at Trump rallies.

via vice: The Toxic, Hidden History of a Black Man Castrated in a Small Texas Town