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cincinatti lynchings (trigger warning)
I need serious help from any of y’all if you can give it. A little over a month ago, my friend’s little brother was found hanging from a tree in the woods in Cincinnati, Ohio. The police barely did an investigation, and almost immediately ruled it a “suicide”; which: WHAT BLACK MAN HANGS HIMSELF FROM A TREE IN THE WOODS AS A MEANS TO COMMIT SUICIDE
And we knew we had to do something, but didn’t know what.
Now today I just got a text message from that same friend saying that ANOTHER black man was found the same way a few miles from where her brother was found. The police, once again, are calling it a “suicide”.
My friend is looking to get in contact with the other family, but in the meantime, if any of you have any resources or ideas or anything for fighting back against the Cincy PD, it would be greatly, greatly appreciated. Feel free to pass this around anywhere: blogs, Tumblr, wherever. If you can help, send an e-mail to my friend at email@example.com. I’m at a loss and so is she.
Please reblog or otherwise spread the word if you can. Heavy shit.
“A cousin of the late Emmett Till wonders if Lil Wayne understands just how damaging it was when he rapped a vulgar reference to the black U.S. teen whose death in 1955 became a significant moment in the civil rights movement. Airickca Gordon-Taylor says Till's family would like an apology from Lil Wayne for the brief but disturbing lyric on Future's "Karate Chop" remix. But more than that, she'd like the platinum-selling New Orleans rapper to understand how his comparison of a sex act to the 14-year-old Chicago native's torture death in Mississippi is hurtful to the black community. "It was a heinous murder," Gordon-Taylor said in a phone interview Thursday from Chicago. "He was brutally beaten and tortured, and he was shot, wrapped in barbed wire and tossed in the Tallahatchie River. The images that we're fortunate to have (of his open casket) that 'Jet' published, they demonstrate the ugliness of racism. So to compare a woman's anatomy — the gateway of life — to the ugly face of death, it just destroyed me. And then I had to call the elders in my family and explain to them before they heard it from some another source.”—
Is Lil’ Wayne wrong? Why or why not? — tanya b.
Black Women Were Lynched Too
In 1887, a Black woman named Gracy Blanton was lynched in Louisiana. The charge against her was theft. In 1895, a Black woman named Hannah Kearse was lynched in South Carolina. The charge against her was stealing a Bible. In 1898 a Black woman named Dora Baker was lynched in South Carolina. The charge against her was…”race prejudice?”
In 1906, a Black woman named Meta Hicks was lynched in Georgia. The charge against her…none. Her husband was charged with murder, and she was lynched by consequence. In 1911, a Black woman named Hattie Bowman was lynched in Florida. The charge against her was theft. In 1914, a Black woman named Jennie Collins was lynched in Mississippi. The charge against her was aiding in an escape. In 1918, a pregnant Black woman named Mary Turner was lynched in Georgia. The charge against her was just being “taught a lesson.” In 1923, Sarah Carrier and Lesty Gordon were lynched in Florida (Rosewood). The charge against them was “race prejudice.”
In 1946, a Black woman named Dorothy Malcolm was lynched in Georgia. The charge against her was being able to identify mob members. In 1956, a Black woman named Angenora Spencer was lynched in North Carolina. The charge against her was miscegenation, and a charge that predated the historic Loving v. Virginia ruling by barely over a decade.
Black women were lynched too. These are only some of the recorded cases. Recorded—in that not all were recorded.
In addition to all of the punishments via White supremacy and racist oppression meant specifically for Black women (i.e. rape as a tool of power, control, and capitalism), this punishment associated with Black men was also used against Black women.
While some will be quick to think of this as just “Southern racism” while the North was without racism, it would probably be best to read a NYT article, King Cotton’s Long Shadow and this quote by James Baldwin, as a start.
Republican Lynches Empty Chair in Racist Presidential Effigy in Northwest Austin
Today, Burnt Orange Report received the photo at right, taken in front of a home in Northwest Austin. The resident, a Republican, lynched an empty chair from a tree in his yard, which one can easily interpret to represent a racially motivated act of violence against the President.
Now, one could easily argue “it’s just a chair, what’s the big deal? That’s not racist!”
However, in light of Clint Eastwood’s speech at the Republican National Convention, in which he had a largely one-sided conversation with an empty chair he pretended was Barack Obama, this imagery is now associated with the President.
The image of the chair is associated with the President. Now, lynch that chair from a tree, and you’ve got a pretty awful racist sentiment calling for lynching the first African-American President!
Lynching was a horrific and commonplace act in Reconstruction-era Texas and continued until the mid-1940’s, spurred on by Ku Klux Klan groups. Texas is third amongst all states — behind Mississippi and Georgia — in the total number of lynching victims between 1885 and 1942. Of those 468 victims, an overwhelming number were African-American.
Perhaps the most well-known and horrific lynching in Texas occurred in 1916, when Jesse Washington was accused of raping and murdering a woman near Waco. He was sentenced to death, and lynched in front of a crowd of onlookers, after which members of the mob castrated him, cut off his fingers, and hung him over a bonfire. Pieces of his body were sold as souvenirs. The gruesome event became part of the NAACP’s anti-lynching movement.
Most recently, in 1998, James Byrd Jr. — for whom the Texas Hate Crimes Prevention Act is named — was lynched by being dragging behind a vehicle in East Texas.
We have a sad and awful history of white people lynching African-Americans in Texas, and this history is exactly what this Republican’s front yard display taps into.
There are folks who will claim that this isn’t “racist.” Republicans, especially the Tea Party types, like to claim that liberals think every attack on the President is racist. Folks like to claim that hanging a noose up as decoration is “honoring the past of the South,” blithely ignoring the context in which those same nooses were used during the pre-Civil War and Reconstruction eras — by white men to hang African-Americans. Some folks will undoubtedly point out the burning of Bush effigies throughout his administration, especially during anti-war protests.
This is different. This is the specific and deliberate use of a racially charged act of violence — lynching — perpetrated by white men against African-American men and women. When you add a Republican symbol for the first African-American President into the mix, you get a pretty awful picture — the one you see at right, and one that can be seen on a front lawn here in leafy, quiet Northwest Austin.
We’re a state that has a horrific history of hate crimes, and given the new context of the “empty chair” created by the Republican Party during their own convention gives this image of a chair hanging from a tree a decidedly sinister, and yes, racist, meaning.
It’s awful. Republicans should call out this imagery and the racist rhetoric that has come to pervade their party. But I’m not holding my breath.
Updated 6:28 p.m. I called the homeowner to ask about his display, citing my concerns as a fellow Austinite. He replied, and I quote, “I don’t really give a damn whether it disturbs you or not. You can take [your concerns] and go straight to hell and take Obama with you. I don’t give a shit. If you don’t like it, don’t come down my street.”
Ironically, the homeowner in question, Bud Johnson, won “Yard of the Month” in August 2010 from his Homeowners Association. I guess his display was a little different that month?
If you haven’t heard it yet, liberal Austin is a white-washed piece of shit. It has never been welcome or open to the POCs that support it.
“Rather than viewing lynching as a frenzied abnormality, historians in recent years have sought to understand it as a tradition, a systematized reign of terror that was used to keep Blacks fearful and to forestall Black progress and miscegenation. The effect of the peculiar institution of slavery on Black Americans is well documented, but the institution less so, yet it was for many decades an awesome destructive power, murderous to some, menacing to a great many, a constant source of intimidation to all Black Southerners young and old and a daily reminder of their defenselessness. Is it possible for white America to really understand Blacks' distrust of the legal system, their fears of racial profiling and the police, without understanding how cheap a Black life was for so long a time in our nation's history?”—
Philip Dray, At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America
not that a Black life is valued in the legal system still…
The Lynching of Persons of Mexican Origin or Descent in the United States, 1848 to 1928
The lynching of persons of Mexican origin or descent has been largely overlooked by historians of American mob violence. This essay offers the first attempt to construct a systematic set of data on the subject. The authors contend that between 1848 and 1928, mobs lynched at least 597 Mexicans. Traditional interpretations of western violence cannot account for this phenomenon. The actual causes of mob violence against Mexicans were several-fold: race and the legacy of Anglo American expansion, economic competition, and diplomatic tensions between Mexico and the United States. Throughout this era, Mexicans formulated numerous means of resistance against Anglo mobs. These included armed self-defense, public protest, the establishment of mutual defense organizations, and appeals for aid to the Mexican government. The central aim of this essay is to broaden the scholarly discourse on lynching by moving beyond the traditional limitations of the black/white paradigm. Placing the experience of Mexicans into the history of lynching expands our understanding of the causes of mob violence and the ways in which individuals and groups sought to resist lynching and vigilantism. The essay is based on numerous archival sources in both Spanish and English. These include diaries, letters, memoirs, folk culture, newspapers, government documents, and diplomatic correspondence.
[TW: Lynching, Violence] "A Sight That Every White Person in the World Should be Able to See."
“Brutally and dehumanizingly faced with death, I understood what it meant to be a black man in America. With the noose around my neck and death in my brains, I waited for the end…”
^The lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith. 2 Hang, but there was meant to be a 3rd.
I could hear the mob tramping up the jail stairs. In another moment, they would be at the door of my cell block. They would open the door, walk inside, and all hell would break out. Time was running out for me. Outside the door, the corridor was fast becoming jammed with violent men, ruthless men, black-people-hating white men. The leaders held back until they quieted down. The men carried ropes, shotguns, knives, clubs, swords, and rifles. One of the men held a submachine gun in the cradle of his arm. He acted like he knew how to use it. He was a big, burly, bushy-haired man with cold-looking gray eyes, glassy-looking, like he was high on some kind of a “fix.” It was frightening to look at him.
The men gathered around the door of my cell block They were the elite group of black intimidators. Their act now was to complete the path of destruction, death, and tyranny. While they were deciding on the kill, I closed my eyes for a moment to will my disappearance. I opened them again when I heard the eerie jangling of keys on the key ring. I was still in the cell block. There was no time to hide. There was no place to hide. Events happened so fast there was not even time to pray.