Monday, February 16, 2015

Lynchings - #BlackLivesMatter

As we continue in this country to move forward and remind everyone that #BlackLivesMatter I saw a recent posting at the NY Times that reminded me why this is so important:

History of Lynchings in the South Documents Nearly 4,000 Names
Most Southern terror lynching victims were killed on sites that remain unmarked and unrecognized. The Southern landscape is cluttered with plaques, statues and monuments that record, celebrate and lionize generations of American defenders of white supremacy, including public officials and private citizens who perpetrated violent crimes against black citizens during the era of racial terror.
The point of the lynchings was never about justice.  It was about power and control, to make sure Jim Crow laws and racial segregation were maintained at all cost.

But why is this important for today?
It sees lynching as the precursor of modern-day racial bias in the criminal justice system. The researchers argue, for example, that lynching declined as a mechanism of social control as the Southern states shifted to a capital punishment strategy, in which blacks began more frequently to be executed after expedited trials. The legacy of lynching was apparent in that public executions were still being used to mollify mobs in the 1930s even after such executions were legally banned.
Taken from Lynching as Racial Terrorism

The memory of these lynchings have been lost from our civil memory but the terror they exacted upon African Americans is still with us today.  We need to mend the ties that are broken.  Read more here:

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