Sunday, December 07, 2014

lynching in the 21st century

Police today have gone in many places (not all!) from protecting & serving to acting as an organized lynch mob.

The evidence for this is the growing number of victims. Most are black; some are Latinos, some are white. Most are male, & all are young (I know of only one exception to this).

In the past, the composition of lynch mobs varied from place to place, but usually were led by police or some other local authority (mayor, judge, etc). Prior to the "golden age" of lynching (1865-1955) killing negroes was usually an assertion of property rights, and slavery actually protected the lives of of blacks. Your property has to do something heinous for you to terminate it, especially considering that slaves in the ante-bellum south were more valuable than land. Free blacks in the north were in much more danger of being killed by racist whites than slaves in the south. 

Emmet Till, lynched in 1955, was tortured & killed by 2 men in Money, Mississippi, one of whom ws a local cop. The crime was typical at the time, but the response was not. Mamie Till wanted the world to see what had befallen her son, born & raised in Chicago, when he visited relaives back home. The photos of Emmet's face, scarcely recognizable as human, (I will never forget seeing them in LIfe magazine at age 9) spelled the end of lynching in the US. Until now.

Lynching in the US today is a privilege reserved to police departments in some parts of the country. It is unwritten & never spoken of, but even rookies soon learn how it works. If you're on the street & some whippersnapper starts jawing at you, you may shoot him IF U feel like it.

Nothing wil haopen 2 U.

Photo of Emmett Till: (not fo the faint-hearted or weak-stomached)

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