In 1968, 73% of US citizens disapproved of the right to marry inter-racially, whereas this figure dropped to 17% by 2007, this illustrating the reduction in discriminatory attitudes towards interracial dating.
The Reconstruction Era following the Civil War started to disassemble traditional aspects of Southern society.
The Southerners who were used to being dominant were now no longer legally allowed to run their farms using slavery.
This created tension, as if white men were having sex with black women because they were more lustful, this meant black men would lust after white women in the same way, this threatened the white male dominance that was apparent at the time, increasing the fear of interracial interactions.
There are a few potential reasons as to why such strong ideas on interracial sex developed.
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.