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There was an increase in the sense of white dominance and sexual racism among the Southern people.There were general heightened tensions following the end of the failed civil war in 1865, and this increased the sexual anxiety in the population.Although discrimination among partners based on this perceived racial identity is characterized by some as a form of racism, it is presented as a matter of preference by others.The origins of sexual racism can be explained by looking at its history, especially in the US, where the abolition of slavery and the Reconstruction Era had significant impacts on interracial mixing.Races did not want to mix, the whites were feeling inadequate and wanted to take back control.
The Reconstruction Era following the Civil War started to disassemble traditional aspects of Southern society.
Seretse was the chief of an eminent Botswanan tribe, and Ruth an English student.
The pair married in 1948 but experienced frequent discrimination from the onset of the relationship, including Seretse's removal from his tribal responsibilities as chief.
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.