posts 1 - 15 of 26
freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 205

Readings:

Equal Justice Initiative report on lynching (see details below)


Video viewing:

Uprooted, a short film created by the Equal Justice Initiative, [6:44]



You’ve seen some horrific images today. It’s difficult to imagine a society where such images were commonplace and were used as postcard images to be sent to friends.


If you are interested in looking at the archive of lynching photographs, assembled as part of the exhibition (and accompanying book) Without Sanctuary: Photographs and Postcards of Lynching in America that toured American museums in 2000, you may spend some time visiting this site: http://withoutsanctuary.org/A warning: these photographs, like the ones we saw in class, are highly disturbing. And at the end of the day, what I hope you will focus on is not the tortured bodies of the victims but on the facial and body language that suggest the attitudes and behaviors of the bystanders/perpetrators.


You also saw the faces of the onlookers, the writings of the witnesses sending “mementos” to their friends and families. Try to imagine what was inside the heads of these people. Note: there were men, women, and children present at many of these lynchings.


There were folks who objected to lynchings and who tried to do something about it. Click here for an example of Ida B. Wells-Barnett’s crusading journalism and her steadfast advocacy that something had to be done to stop these lynchings. That same document contains Eleanor Roosevelt’s response and her description of FDR’s suggestion as to what to do about it. You heard Billie Holiday’s vocalizing the lyrics of Abel Meeropol’s song, Strange Fruit.


There were efforts to outlaw lynchings. Believe it or not, in the US Congress, Senators Kamala Harris (then D-California), Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), and Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) introduced the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act in June 2018. (Yes, you read that date correctly.) That legislation passed the Senate in December 2018 but the bill died because it was not passed by the House before its session ended in January 2019. To revive the bill in the next Congress, Representative Bobby Rush (D-Illinois) introduced the Emmett Till Antilynching Act (HR 35) on January 3, 2019. The House of Representatives passed the bill on February 26, 2020. (Yes, you read that date correctly too.)


However, the law has not passed the Senate and therefore has not been enacted, thanks to Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), who blocked the bill contending that someone could receive a 10-year sentence for … “minor bruising.” So Congress failed to pass an anti-lynching act.


The person who has done more than anyone else in this nation to shine a spotlight on the need to confront and reckon with this horrific history is attorney Bryan Stevenson, whose book you might have read this summer (Just Mercy) or who was the focus of a recent movie based on the book (same title, Just Mercy). His Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) built a memorial—called the National Memorial to Peace and Justice—in Montgomery, Alabama that has preserved the stories and memorialized the victims of lynchings nationwide. His organization issued a report on lynching that I’d like you to read for this assignment. It’s long, so I’m asking you to take on portions of it, rather than the entire text.


The report is linked here.

  1. Everyone should read the introduction and its key findings.
  2. Then each of you should do the following:

Read 1 of the 3 sections from this list (each section is marked by a red header):

  • Option 1: Read section II “Back to Brutality: Restoring Racial Hierarchy through Terror and Violence”
  • Option 2: Read section III: Lynching in America: From ‘Popular Justice’ to Racial Terror”
  • Option 3: Read section IV: Enabling an Era of Lynching: Retreat, Resistance, and Refuge

AND Read 1 of the 2 from this list (again each section is marked by a red header):

  • Option 1: Read section V: Confronting Lynching
  • Option 2: Read section VI: Trauma and Legacy of Lynching

And after you’ve done that, you will have a deeper understanding of this terrible history. And now it’s your turn. You are to post on the following:


  1. What was the message behind these lynchings? What do they tell you about white supremacy, the creation of a climate of fear, the issue of whether everyone in this country could count on and/or be protected by the judicial system and law enforcement?

  1. What, constructively, could have been done to address and to stop the act of lynching in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries? Remember that lynching did not end until the 1960s. One could argue that it has continued well into the 1990s in the cases of James Byrd in Jasper, Texas (who was attached by a chain to the back of a pickup truck and dragged for miles until his body disintegrated and he died—see https://www.nytimes.com/1998/06/10/us/black-man-fatally-dragged-in-a-possible-racial-killing.html), and Matthew Shepard (hog-tied to a fence in sub-zero temperatures) in Laramie, Wyoming (you may remember our school’s production of The Laramie Project and for more info, https://www.nytimes.com/1998/10/13/us/gay-man-dies-from-attack-fanning-outrage-and-debate.html) .

  1. Imagine if you were alive and living in communities where lynchings took place. What would you have done, assuming your goal was to end lynching? What would you have done about it back at the time? What would you do about it now?


thesnackthatsmilesback
brighton, ma, US
Posts: 21

Overturning an Embedded System

When I was studying of the SAT this weekend there was an article that i had to read about the opposing views of women’s influence to the abolition of slavery movement. One thing that sticks out to me is the line “why get rid of a system that works?” After reading Back to Brutality, it really speak volumes to the South’s sentiment over the end of slavery. Slavery in no means was a necessity, yet it was a system that brought the south enormous amount of wealth. I think as a whole the south interprets that due to the labor intensive work that they have put on these people, the impact that Black Americans would have on the government would contradict their own. That sentiment carries on to stand the width of time as seen in the Sumner’s Civil Rights act and then in the Plessy vs. Ferguson case. I think that many people are inherently selfish and due to the manner of human beings, we are heard by others the loudest when we use force. Or in other words it is harder to be heard through peaceful protest. This is seen in President Grant's reluctance to intervene in the south in order to escape trouble, and the south’s lynchings.


Lynchings were used in order to show the inherent force of White Americans. It is used to show that the hierarchy still exists. Even seen in some of the images throughout the website, the white man is usually depicted as a larger character or seen higher on the drawing than the black man. With the now fleeting image of slavery, in order to take ultimate control and live in a society that would benefit the average white man, Black Americans were now targetted through convictions or the separation from the “white man society.” A quote that really stook out to me was from Confronting Lynching, “ perhaps the most important reason that lynching declined is that it was replaced by a more palatable form of violence.” It is unmistakably true. The idea of immigrants controlling newer immigrants in order to have a better standing is truly ironic. I think that lynchings are a true testament to the fear of change. Slavery was abolished, yet there is now a sharecropping system that is as controlling as slavery itself. Black Americans are now able to vote, they are now seen as uneducated and criminals. White Americans were able to twist the story in order to implement at least a fraction of the past where they were able to have overarching power into the present. I think that it is human nature to be afraid of something new especially when it does not benefit oneself. The judicial system and law enforcement are a representation of the people and therefore, the white supremacy and fear of change that is within the people will be reflected on to the government. What is embedded into our individual minds will be reflected and therefore the government will protect a fraction of the population.


I have a really hard time addressing the second question, because in order to address and to stop the act of lynching it requires the overall public to switch their mindset that is deeply embedded into the country. Frankly in that time period with the amount of propaganda used, would heavily sway the opinion of the people. It’s one unconstructive thing to say “limit use of propaganda, educate people to understand the lives of African Americans, have government control citizen induced riots,” yet in the past year, we have seen the sheer power of the people. Riots have broken out, people have been educating themselves, there is still propaganda. It is really unsettling to understand that history repeats itself. I think it all goes back to the point that “lynching declined due to finding a replacement.” Relating back to the reading, the last picture in Confronting Lyncing is a picture of this man whipping a man’s bare back. In the picture white man stands all around watching the man repeatedly get whipped. Although on the left hand side there is a small black boy who instead of looking at the person being beat looks at the person giving the beating instead. I found that to be a great representation of the climate of the country. We have either the people who benefit from the and those who are oppressed and look up for the people in charge, whether that is the government, the person physically doing the action, or other oppressors, and they feel powerless. In order to construct any change, it is necessary for everyone to see African Americans as people who should be respected, without that mindset, they will continue to watch on the sidelines because there isn’t enough resilience against the majority in power.


If I was alive during these times, it would be very unlikely that I would personally have a say. I am a woman and a woman of color and therefore my opinion most likely would not be valued. If I was given the opportunity, I would write articles or pamphlets recording the other side, the families of the victims and record the amount of deaths. What was really surprising was the inaccuracies for the history of lynching. In order to understand the stories of these people and for future generations, the first step is to have the evidence and to have these oral accounts. By printing these stories, it allows people to at least consider the other side and not fall into the propaganda at their feet. One thing mentioned on the website was that these sites were not marked. The history is covered in many ways, therefore in the present, I would conduct research for these sites in order for them to be marked. It is important to show both the good and bad history, we have the Bunker Hill Monument here in Boston, it marks a loss in American history, which is rare. However it gives a lasting memory on the past which is crucial to what we do in the present and how we carry on.



Noodles
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 21

The Horrible Power of Fear

Lynchings were used as a way to maintain white supremacy and control black Americans through fear and terror. White supremacy gets its power by placing fear in those who might oppose them. Without any fear of legal consequences from the judicial system, white supremacists continued to lynch black Americans who tried to challenge white control. And when white supremists controlled the Southern government and the courts, black Americans had no protections from the violence. The violence even placed fear in Northerners, as President Grant refused to send federal troops to uphold the democratic voting process hoping that a peace agreement might be made to quell the violence, but this only seemed to show the white southerners that they could control the government.


But it seems the lynchings were also perpetrated out of fear of perceived end of white control in the South. With black politicians inside of the government and the abolition of slavery, there was no clear social distinctions between white and black Americans as there was with slavery. No matter how poor a white Southerner may have been, they could always feel superior to African Americans as slavery blatantly empowered anyone who was white. Without slavery, poor white Southerners remained poor, but no longer could look down upon African Americans as an inferior race in order to feel a sense of power. With all their power seemingly gone, the idea that white control was threatened by black Americans incited the fear within white supremists which led to many of these lynchings. It is inconceivable to think that a person could be fine with lynching another human being, and the only possible reason that may explain their motives and actions are out of this fear. But this in no means excuses their actions.


Governmental action to stop the violence instead of try to make peace agreements with the Southern white supremist could have been just one way to address and stop the act of lynching. This would have been through President Grant sending down the federal forces to enforce the 14th amendment and allow black Americans to vote. The government also should not have ended reconstruction nor passed the Amnesty act. While learning about the era of reconstruction in history class, it always confused me how the government seemed to double back on so much of the progress that they were making in such a short duration of time. It seems they may have just given up after the white Southerners refused to stop causing violence, yet the government never took hard actions against their violence in the first place.


But, as always, it's easier to look upon the past and call out mistakes than it is to call out mistakes in the present. If I were alive back then in a community where lynching occur, I severely hope I would be one of those who were adamantly in opposition of lynching, white supremacy, Jim Crow, and slavery. But I would take into account the power that a mob mentality has, especially for those less educated or knowledgeable about a certain topic. For this reason, I would probably work on educating the general public about the truth of lynchings, especially to those in the North who may be oblivious to the violence and terror that is white supremacy. I would also document these events through photography in a way that shows the brutality of lynchings. Photography was able to show police brutality against non violent civil rights protesters, and led to public outrage. This is why I would document the lynchings, for it becomes harder to hide and rewrite history when there are photographs that prove what really happened.

yvesIKB
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 26

Uncovering the Continual Oppression in Lynchings

Mentions of lynchings appear so rarely and briefly in our school textbooks, our media, and our community memorials that it is not uncommon for the average American to believe that brutality and inhumane treatment of Black people in America ended when slavery did. In Alexandra Pelosi’s American Selfie: One Nation Shoots Itself, documenting the polarization of America before and during the pandemic, as well as following the murder of George Floyd, I distinctly remember a scene of several white men, pressing a Black man as they denied the current mistreatment of Black people in this country because, after all, slavery ended a long time ago. The notion that slavery didn’t leave scars, that Jim Crow and lynching were insignificant, that the abuse of Black Americans halted after slavery, is completely false. Reading the Equal Justice Initiative’s report on lynchings in America has been eye-opening in many ways, and it shows that, if anything, we have a lot more to learn about American history, and our denial in the present day exists as a most pernicious, continual form of oppression.


While lynchings began in the South as a way to protect slavery and the economic advantages which it brought, it is clear that these lynchings quickly turned into a way to terrorize Black Americans and assert white supremacy. Reading Section III: Lynching in America: From ‘Popular Justice’ to Racial Terror, it is clear that even a Black person employing human rights, or exercising their ability to live as an equal human being, was considered a high offense against white society. The message of these lynchings, many of them conducted like a public spectacle where food was brought or souvenirs (which could be body parts, photos, fragments of ropes used to bind the victim of lynching) sold, was that Black people are not equal, not Human. According to this passage, public lynchings “sent a clear message that African Americans were less than human, their subjugation was to be achieved through any means necessary, and whites who undertook the duty of carrying out lynchings would face no legal repercussions.” The fact that law enforcement was so complicit in these lynchings in so that white people would face no repercussions and Black people didn’t deserve even a trial before the law. A quote contained in this passage, said by a police officer when a white mob was exacting punishment against Owen Flemming, is “‘I’m busy, just go ahead and lynch him.’” There are so many implications in this — that justice and fair trial are not applicable to Black men, that white people are always “in the right” and have the authority of punishing in whichever way they deem fit, that law enforcement will not protect Black people. What is more, Black people are still given little reason to believe in equal treatment by the law today. In Section VI: Trauma and Legacy of Lynching, it was pointed out that state officials behaving indifferently to crimes committed against Black people have created “enduring national and institutional wounds that we have not yet confronted or begun to heal,” compounded the trauma in the Black community, and subsequently deeping distrust.


What is more, I think another implicit message in these lynchings is that akin to the ideals of white patriarchy. In Section III, it is revealed that “of the 4084 African American lynching victims EJI documented, nearly 25 percent were accused of sexual assault,” showing that the aggressors were enforcing, and capitalizing, off the mythical image of Black men being dangerous to white women. I am reminded of the section on sexual anxiety from Jason Stanley’s How Fascim Works and now associate the motives behind the lynchings of Black people with facist ideals — white men must be protectors of the family, and the wild, barbaric people of color in America are a threat to white women. Reading Section VI, I was struck again by prominent patriarchal values are in the minds of these white supremacists as it was described how their children were expected to not only witness these lynchings as a spectacle and reinforcement of white power, but that young boys were expected to participate. In a Kentucky lynching, white children between ages six and ten “brought wood and tended to the fire in which the victim was burned,” and were raised in this practice until, “as young adults, they took on a direct role in the torture and murder.” It seems like these young boys are taught that Black people are subhuman and that it is their role to punish and protect; it is completely horrifying that this is treated like a tradition in the same way that fathers might teach their sons to fish or hunt, a natural part of (white) culture and tradition (a “ civic duty of white Southern men that brought praise rather than sanctions from community elders and institutions'') which was necessary for honoring the principles of family. Moreover, young white girls are not uninvolved with this; they have been taught to carry out their roles in the patriarchy, to accuse Black men of rape, and are not punished when these are proved false. Because of this, even today many white women can assume that they will not face repercussions and, therefore, can abuse their power, exemplified by how Amy Cooper called the cops on a civilian, saying he is African-American and threatening her, when it clearly was not the case. In Section VI, it is stated that white men assert their masculinity and sense of community with these lynchings, and Black men, on the other hand, were forced to witness these acts which ultimately “undermined Black manhood and ensured that ‘Black men who defended Black womanhood were likely to lose their lives in the effort.’”


I’m not entirely sure what could’ve been done to stop these lynchings. As @thesnackthatsmilesback points out, the mindset that Black people are dangerous or less-than-human has been ingrained in Americans, and propaganda still exists to support this. I think that to stop lynching in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, there would’ve needed to be an elimination of the justifications by the media and law enforcements for lynchings. The propagandic messages I mentioned earlier had a place in the media as lynchings were made to be justified by newspapers, and when Ida B. Wells in 1892 published an editorial challenging their claim that lynchings were to punish Black men endangering white women, she was called a “black scoundrel” and threatened. I think that if more newspapers and media denounced the practices of lynchings, specifically white allies in the South, these public lynchings might not have been seen anymore as an acceptable action. I also completely agree with @Noodles, who said that a course of action to stop lynchings could have been “governmental action to stop the violence instead of try[ing] to make peace agreements with the Southern white supremist.” As I mentioned before, the complicity of law enforcements said that white people were superior to Black people and that they would not protect them. I think that overall, Black people have not been treated by the government as American citizens because they have not been given protections by law enforcement. The media and law enforcement should’ve treated Black people as humans, not protecting white fragility and actions of white supremacy. They should’ve made it clear outright that lynchings are not normal, and it is those who take part in lynching who are unhumane.


If I were alive in those communities and my goal back then was to end lynchings, I would, again, employ the use of media to write about these crimes. Of course, it is not that simple to end lynchings, but it can go a long way. I think of William Lloyd Garrison who, in his column “The Black List,” reported the barbarities of slavery and was able to bring attention to these in his community. Garrison’s writings both recorded history and helped change it, which is something that the Equal Justice Project also does now with lynchings. It is an egregious crime that the significance of lynchings in American history is often overlooked or ignored, and to track and remember each victim now is such an important mission that should’ve started decades ago.


Right now, I think we need to spread this knowledge that the Equal Justice Initiative’s report gives us. I think we need to make sure it is taught and read in schools, especially since textbooks don’t tell us this. I think we need to make sure law enforcements and other government officials read this and understand how important it is to address lynchings in the law and to prioritize legislation. I think we need to hold our government officials accountable — it should not be a reality that an anti-lynching bill would take over a year to be passed. In addition, of course, these lynchings need to be marked and recognized around our country. Just as we marked sites around Boston on Google Maps, we have to mark these in real life and acknowledge that lynchings were and are undoubtedly horrible crimes. In Section VI, it is written that “erecting monuments and memorials to commemorate lynching can begin to correct our distorted national narrative about this period of racial terror in American history while directly addressing the harms borne by the African American community.” Silence only tells Black individuals in our community that “‘their pain does not matter.’” I hope that if we acknowledge and commemorate lynchings, we can all better understand the history of oppression in America, as well as understand each other and the pain we might carry in our communities. It is imperative that we subscribe to the teachings of the 1619 Project and the Equal Justice Initiative, and not the distorting and detrimental ideals espoused by the 1776 Commission and documents like this. This will give us a clearer understanding of America, and ways to move forward.

cherryblossom
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 25

Lynching: White Power, Black Pain

As horrific and disturbing these accounts of lynching are, we need to look at them and examine them to get a deeper understanding of our history. These lynchings, which were documented on postcards that white Americans sent to their families, demonstrated white power over Black people. Lynching also reinforced Jim Crow laws and racial segregation, allowing white southerners to go forward with their social agenda. Moreover, the inaction of the Republicans and Democrats to address the lynchings and racial violence gave white Americans the incentive to continue afflicting these acts of terror upon the Black population. In section IV of the report, Enabling an Era of Lynching, the passiveness of the government in the issue of lynching is made apparent as only 1% of white people were convicted for lynchings after 1900. Many southern officials justified the rejection of lynching legislation by stating that anti-lynching policies were racial “favoritism” because it would mostly protect Black people, who were most often the victims. Through this thought, white Americans distorted these injustices and victimized themselves rather than the Black community.


In addition, the white officials and public reasoned their participation in lynching by saying that they were merely ensuring their physical safety and acting upon their fear. From this mindset, they painted Black people as criminals and a threat to white women, a stereotype that has continued for the past few centuries. Furthermore, these impressions of Black people empowered the notion that white people needed to protect themselves, their family, and their way of life. When I saw the images of lynchings in class, I noticed that there were many white people gathered there. They were looking at the camera, smiling, and pointing as if the lynchings were entertainment, calling these events picnics and barbecues. Many lynchings were large-scale, targeting the whole Black population in a specific community. The sheer number of Black victims perpetuated the idea that they were subhuman and disposable. Oftentimes, African American were subjected to lynching because they “committed a social transgression” or because they resisted the oppression and fought for their fundamental rights. Black individuals were terrorized for taking any position of power, exemplified by Frazier Baker who was killed after accepting a position as the postmaster. This incident and many others demonstrate how white Americans asserted their power and brought fear upon the Black community.


To echo @thesnackthatsmilesback, even though we have entered the 21st century, racial violence and white power over the racial hierarchy still persist. The injustices against Black people convey the collective fear of change. After I read section V, Confronting Lynching, I can better recognize that racial terror manifested itself in different ways as lynching declined because it was perceived as “bad press” and barbaric. Capital punishment was one tactic to continue the dehumanization and humiliation of African Americans. Through this court order, Black people would get legal trials but these trials did not last long and most often consisted of an all-white jury and white judges. This factor paired with the legality of the death penalty made public executions more acceptable. However, I believe that capital punishment still holds the same meaning and intentions as lynching. It continues to demonstrate the white supremacy in our society and the view of Black people as non-human and expendable.


If I was living in a community where lynching took place, I would have helped produce editorials and articles in publications to warn the Black community about lynchings so that they could protect themselves, but I would also use this opportunity to broadcast and discusses the racial inequalities in order to stop lynching in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I recognize that educating people about racial and social injustices would have been extremely difficult at that time as we can see that this hatred and racism is deeply rooted. However, the efforts of the NAACP reveal that education and advocacy can bring change. It was one of the first American organizations where Black and white worked together to combat the violence and inequalities that people of color faced. As detailed in Confronting Lynching, the NAACP ‘s campaigns that condemned lynching and systemic racism would eventually give rise to the Association of Southern Women to Prevent Lynching, an organization established in 1930 with support from 40,000 white southerners. Like @Noodles, I would also try to document lynchings and disseminate these images to the public to show the brutality and inhumanity of these actions. As I have seen on social media today, pictures and footage of injustices have profound impacts and urge people to protest for human rights and social justice not only for themselves but for everyone in their community. To address injustices today, I would like to bring attention to the high rates of incarceration and execution of Black people, both of which are issues that are the descendants of lynching. Police and officials label Black people as criminals and arrest them. Thus, the government can use the incarnation of African Americans to take advantage of the 13th amendment’s exception and prevent Black individuals from being able to vote. This purposefully silences the voices of the Black community and hinders them from taking on high positions in government bodies. By recognizing these injustices and understanding where they stem from, I can play an active role in fighting against them and teach members of my community to do the same.


user1234
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 19

Lynchings were a way to keep the false notion that Black people were inferior and needed to stay that way. Lynchings were seen as a form of justice, but it was truly the complete opposite. White supremacists needed a way to control Black people even after the Civil War because they couldn’t stand the idea that Black were humans and deserved to have the same opportunity as white people. As a result of this ridiculous “fear” racist white people retaliated by instilling real fear in Black, so they would be scared to try to move up in society.

Hearing all these stories of Black people, specifically Black men who were killed for no real reason was heartbreaking and truly disgusting. Black men were often accused of raping or murdering white women, and most of the time there was no evidence against them because they didn’t do it, yet they were brutally murdered. It’s so horrifying to think that people were tortured by other humans who sat back and watched and enjoyed it. Most of the time the people who actually committed the horrible acts Black men were being accused of got away with it because Black people were seen as animals who couldn’t control themselves, so they killed them. It just shows how messed up and racist the justice system in this country has always been. One of the stories in the report talked about how a Black man was found innocent of a crime because there was no evidence, but when he left the jail he was lynched by a mob of white people. The governor was questioned for not intervening, but he said something along the lines of “those people are getting justice, and that man deserved to die.” The people that are supposed to protect you and your rights are failing Black people. If the justice system truly cared about Black people more than their reputations lynching would have been stopped much sooner than it was, or it wouldn’t have happened at all. So much could have been done to stop these lynchings of innocent people in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Lynching could have been made illegal, so people would stray away from doing them and if they did commit such acts they should have been punished. There should have been less bystanders, or more up standers, and it's terrifying to think that people were able to watch lynchings with their children and enjoy it.

If I were around back then I would try my hardest from stopping these lynchings from happening. I would have tried to talk to people and reason with them, and try to get them to understand that Black people are people that don’t deserve to be treated like animals. I would probably try to get the intention of the media to show the monstrosities that were happening in order to teach people how wrong they were. In present I would try my hardest to help those impacted by lynching find some healing. We should do this by having monuments and memorials that bring light to lynchings, so people know what happened and Black families don’t have to feel like what happened to them doesn’t matter. It also would help to have these conversations because a lot of people were and are psychologically messed up because of what happened. Taking down all the confederate monuments that propel racism and white supremacy because they are so disrespectful to all the people who were and are impacted by racism today. It is important to not forget what happened because people have to live with that pain and fear everyday.

Cookie Monster
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 22

The age of racial terrorism and lynching of black folk was a systemic step not only carried out by the people, but supported and abetted by both local and federal institutions. Our society weaponized this form of violence to uphold the societal and racial order and to stop those who defied that structure. Still to this day, the United States Congress has not passed a federal anti-lynching law that was proposed more than a decade ago. For years, false equivalencies have been made between "black-on-white rape" or an idea that an anti-lynching bill would create some form of favoritism for one group of people over the other. These fake justifications for leaving marginalized communities unprotected in law has been perpetuated throughout our society and many people are still spreading these claims to hide their own deeply held prejudices. Because we haven't yet fully addressed these issues that run rampant through our culture, many members of our communities shouldn't feel represented by our government and it is completely understandable why many are skeptical of its intentions. Today, we have seen the equivalent of what we can call lynchings to modern standards with the killings of many people of color at the hands of police. Very little of the people associated with acts of lynchings during the age of racial terrorism (which we can argue hasn't ended) were not held accountable, and today, police officers who commit such egregious acts aren't either due to protection by police unions and government institutions themselves. A just system works to be as equitable as possible in pursue of justice for all; when a system doesn't do that, we must hold it accountable and do everything in our power to make amends to the people it has hurt. Until we adequately take those steps, many groups within our society should not trust that the government will work for them.

In order to address or maybe even prevent the lynching that occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (these methods can be applied to the modern day as well), lynchers or people who worked to emboldened this activity throughout our country should've been held accountable. If these people were held accountable, the act of lynching would be in some ways stigmatized (as it should be) and many of the people who committed these murders would've feared the consequences. This would've meant that instead of posturing toward a political faction, the Republican Party could've fought for every American of which they are elected to serve. This would mean passing laws that created new felonies for hate crimes and developing punishments for local municipalities or state governments who refused to enforce the new policies. Facilitating an educational campaign in order to inform the population on the actual events of the time. Instead many government officials resorted to political rhetoric that motivated their bases and fed into the already existing social order that put white people on a pedestal over everybody else. On an individual level, if I was a member of a community where lynchings took place I would encourage the types of federal investigations into these incidents that rarely occurred, but with enough pressure, could take place. However, I do not think I would trust local law enforcement as much to deal with these issues because often times they were the fundamental reason lynchings were able to occur.

BLStudent
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 17

Facing Lynching

Lynching was and is used to create a climate of terror which attempts to maintain the caste system which we talked about previously and to prevent any sort of Black progress. Lynchings are acts of unjustifiable violence but they also are a symbol and a message from white supremacists to the black community that if you "step out of line" or "provoke us in any way" this is what will happen to you. Usually the things black people did to 'provoke' these lynch mobs were completely harmless but were still used to justify this violent terrorism. For example in the Uprooted video Tom Miles was arrested for handing a note to a white women then was released from jail through a back door into the custody of the mob who killed him. While the note was part of their justification its clear that part of the reason he was killed was because he owned a successful business and it was a warning to other black people about where their success would get them, because black people being successful is the biggest threat to the caste system and white supremacy. A very recent example of what can be considered a modern day lynching is the killing of George Floyd who's only crime was being suspected of paying with a fake $ 20 bill which the officers on seen was enough justification to kill him. Lynching certainly wasn't about justice and it isn't even about revenge but rather its about fear and control. Its used maintain political control of the south and to scare any black people into submission.

The reason large numbers of black people don't trust the government or the judicial system is because not only have they failed them time and time again but they also often play a direct role in maintaining white supremacy themselves. After all slavery was originally legal and once slavery was ended new Jim Crow laws and segregation were implemented to subjugate black people by the same government which was supposed to protect them. The police especially have never protected and served black people like they are supposed to whether they're handing them over to lynch mobs or doing the killing of innocent black people themselves as there is countless examples of.

The end of premature ending of reconstruction and removal of Northern federal troops from the south was a huge mistake. While it wasn't a perfect system the presence of Northern troops helped limit the violence against black people but when they left violence increased dramatically. Black voters were prevented from voting because of intimidation and violence. Local government rewrote laws for the sole purpose of oppressing black people as much as possible. The Federal government tried to 'make peace' with right supremacist groups rather than seeking to protect their citizens. When president Hayes pulled troops out of the south a black man in Louisiana said "The whole South—every state in the South—had got into the hands of the very men that held us as slaves". Leaders of the confederacy were barely punished and many went on to hold local office over the black citizens they had fought to keep enslaved. The governments job is to protect all of its citizens which is a promise that hasn't been upheld if the police aren't doing the job which they aren't there needs to be federal laws and protections appropriately provided.

I obviously believe that I would still have been against lynching even then as I think we all would but I dont know what I would be able to do or if I would be brave enough to do it. When the whole community and the local police are involved which often was the case what can you do, you cant try to convince them not to go through with it because they wont listen and you cant physically intervene in any way because you wont make any difference against an entire mob and youll just end up getting yourself killed so what then can you do against such strong hate. I feel like the only thing you could do is to try to educate those who think might listen and gradually change the minds of the community but that is easier said than done especially when theres such widespread and shared ignorance. I think I would also try to keep record of what I saw so that way if I cant influence any current events at least I can leave evidence behind and hopefully help educate future generations who might be more receptive to a message of progress. I think this applies to modern day too, a-lot of us dont have much impact to make change right now because were all still teenagers in school but i think we try to educate ourselves and those around us because that's the least we can do and however small it is us being educated does have some impact now and I think will in the near and distant future as well.



iluvcows
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 20

Revealing Our Horrible History

Lynching was a method used in order to reinforce the superiority of white people and inflict harm upon the black community. It generated a constantly fear filled environment where no black individual was safe. White people in the south fed off of the terror in order to hold control and illustrate their power. This time period revealed the flaws within the justice system and its incapability to fairly prosecute black people. They lynched black people for insignificant reasons such as the one described in the video where he was lynched for passing a note to a white woman. It was really impactful to me to hear this story and to see the hardships the family struggled with in response to this horrible event. Listening to the girl talking about her difficulty in finding her family tree really demonstrates the abundance of lynching and abuse black people have endured throughout our history. To this day we still see evidence of racial discrimination frequently within our society. The police abuse and harassment we see today resembles the lynching of African Americans solely based upon their skin color in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The government and political leaders have continued to ignore these issues and neglect to act on them.


Slavery was followed by decades of racial discrimination and terrorism despite its abolishment. The south enacted a so called second slavery, determined to continue the opression of black people. Constitutions were rewritten in order to restrict them in all manners of life. Laws were put in place to control and regulate black citizens creating a deep rooted caste system. Convict leasing was used to circumvent the 13th amendment and make black individuals work in private leases. Leased black convicts had unsafe working conditions and horrific violence. Many lost their freedom and lives which normalized the abuse and harassment of African Americans. Jim Crow laws were created to allow white people to maintain control and power. They had strict segregation rules in all public places, forcing African Americans to use different exits or get a large fine. In some instances African Americans were entirely excluded in order to emphasize their inferiority.


The Civil rights movement fought against it but reconciliation didn't take place and the perpetrators were never held accountable. A quote that really stood out to me was “Mass incarceration, excessive penal punishment, disproportionate sentencing of racial minorities, and police abuse of people of color reveal problems in American society that were framed in the terror era.” This really reveals the access of blatant discrimination that took place during this time period. America has failed to recognize and address their racist past. There is an immense lack of monuments and documentation of what took place within our society not that long ago. Many of this is hidden and concealed in the education system preventing children from learning about the past in order to work on present issues.


In order to stop the lynching in the late 19th to 20th century those responsible should have faced reporcussions. If society witnessed these punishments it would serve as a wake up call to the true dreadfulness of the act. Those who participated in the mass lynchings during this time would see the penalization similar people faced and fear receiving the same retributions. If I were living during the time of these lynchings I would attempt to spread information about the horror of these murders. Educating those in society would help reveal the harsh discrimination and threats African Americans face daily. It could convince individuals to stand up to those involved in the lynchings and fight to end it. Additionally, I would document as much as I could and attempt to broadcast it. Recording details of these events would provide evidence of the racial inequalities present at the time.



squirrelluver123
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 20

Confronting the Past

After reading parts of the 1619 project, watching Driving While Black, and learning about the history of lynching in class, although not surprising, it was very interesting to learn how slavery has impacted basically every aspect of our lives. From things we know a lot about and in the news often such as police brutality, to things we rarely think about such as where highways are built, or how African Americans are treated differently in hospitals, everything in our lives has been touched by slavery and the racism that came with it.

Even after slavery was abolished officially in 1865, it remained “unofficially” in many other ways. Like @iluvcows stated, the white people in power found new ways to assert their power over black people, enacting a "second slavery" through other means of farming such as sharecropping, brutality in law enforcement and inequality in the justice system. And later Jim Crow laws which legally kept white people and black people separate in most aspects of life. The government was always creating new ways to keep white supremacy and their control over people of color. Just as black people start to gain economic success or demand better treatment.


The message of lynching was to instill fear in black people, to control them, and to assert white supremacy. After slavery was abolshed, black people could have jobs and could own land and build lives for themselves and their families. The reading on lynching states that “Lynch mobs intended to instill fear in all African Americans, to enforce submission and racial subordination, and to ‘emphasize the limits of Black freedom.’” They were “conducted as celebratory acts of racial control and domination” for white people to maintain their ideas of white supremacy.


If I were alive in a time when lynchings like this took place, I would anything I was able to to fight against lynching and tell people I knew why it was wrong. I would reach out to people who lived in other parts of the county where these events were less common or didn't happen to make them aware of lynchings. I would not attend public lynchings surrounded by people who celebrated them and viewed them as entertainment. I would teach my children why this was wrong and what they could do to stop it. Now, I would make sure that people are taught this history.


As hard as it may be, we now have to confront the real history of slavery and lynching in this country to make real change and move forward. We can not change the past, but we can give justice to African Americans currently living in the country. We can make sure people understand the real history of these lynchings, how they stem from racism and slavery, and how they still affect the judicial system and law enforcement’s treatment of black people to this day. Many people still believe myths of white supremacy and are actively fighting against the rights of people of color. It was upsetting to learn that in the states with the highest number of lynchings, there was an “absence of any effort to acknowledge, discuss, or address lynching.” Many states have confederate statues and holidays in which they “celebrate and honor the architects of racial subordination and political leaders known for their belief in white supremacy.” Although it is important to recognize the history of the Confederacy and the Civil War, more effort needs to be given to acknowledge the impact that lynching has had on communities all over the country. There has been no significant effort to confront white supremacy in the south or especially in the government, and that needs to change. People who believe these things are in power and more people who don't believe them need to speak out. Black people and other people of color need to be listened to and have greater representation in the government and a greater voice in decision making.

ithinkitscauseofme
Roslindale, MA, US
Posts: 19

Lynching: A Lesson in Repetition

From what I have read and watched, the point of these lynchings was to reinforce, time and time again, the inferiority of Black people. The fact that white women were not thought to be able to be attracted to black men, that all interaction between the two groups must have been non-consensual, enforced this supposed inferiority. The fact that lynching happened frequently and endlessly enforced this supposed inferiority. The fact that those guilty for the murders were almost never held accountable or faced any kind of punishment enforced this supposed inferiority. And the casualty with which lynching was faced, the fact that photos of lynchings were used as postcards, that the events themselves were attended by children, enforced this supposed inferiority.

This shows that white supremacy was not merely a terrible, but sincerely held belief, it was something white people enjoyed and had fun with. It was not merely “I am better than any Black person,” but also “any Black person deserves to die a painful death.”

This shows that white people used fear to prevent Black people from being able to lead a life with any true sense of normalcy. To prevent Black people from carrying out reasonable human interaction with White people. To prevent Black people from ever believing that their lives were ever valued as anything other than a source of labor by their non-Black communities and governments.

And this shows that the Black people of America could not count on their government to protect them. That the Black people of America could not count on their government to avenge them. That the Black people of America could not even count on their government to respect them.


I am truly not sure that very much could have realistically been done to address and to stop the act of lynching in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This white supremacy and outright hatred of Black people was so far ingrained that it is hard to imagine anything that could have actually been carried out to prevent these murders, but I shall do my best. I believe that there is a world in which the white peers of lynchers could have deeply shamed their criminal neighbors until they were too ashamed to participate. Maybe there is a world where government officials passed laws prohibiting lynchings and those laws were actually carried out. And, the most probable way of at least lessening the number of lynchings would have been for the lawyers representing the victims to have done a better job picking their jurors. Although many lynching cases were never even brought to court, this would have hopefully meant a higher level of repercussions for those that were, which may have given pause to those who were inclined to murder.


Had I been living at a time when lynching was commonplace, I would have completely avoided the members of my community who participated. As a white person, my boycotting of businesses owned by people involved in lynchings may have actually had a small impact on their incomes, and presuming I had at least some connections in my communities, I would have spread rumors about those involved in lynchings that were more repugnant to the general public than the involvement itself, and destroyed their reputations and careers. I also would have worked to make my home a safe place to hide for those who feared lynching, and, although not probable because of my gender, would have tried to help represent the victims of lynchings and their families in court. Nowadays, I would call on my connections in law and government (I have multiple family members who are successful lawyers) to help victims of lynching. I would also spend my money on mutual aid and other, more direct ways of helping the victims. And I would make my views loud and clear.

ernest.
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 25

As EJI report states repeatedly, lynchings were a form of asserting dominance over Black people and keeping them perpetually in fear in order to keep them down. They sent a message that Black lives were expendable, and were a method of social control that supplemented racist laws that already removed Black people from their dignity and kept them in poverty and dependence. The participation, or at the very least the tolerance, of law enforcement was a clear signal that the government and other institutions agreed with the white public’s assessment of Black lives as expendable and that they had a stake in it. This reinforced that white social control did not just happen on the mob level, informally through social tactics of the common white people, but also through government itself—not only through the most patently racist Jim Crow laws, but through a plethora of indirect policy as well.

A distinction that struck me, however, as I was writing this, was that, unlike Jews in Nazi Germany, whose lives were not only depicted as expendable, but indeed as a burden- Black lives were not automatically portrayed as the latter. This is because exploitation of Black labor (as well as of Black culture and other areas of their life) was integral to maintaining a functioning American society; therefore, lynchings are notably distinguishable from other systems of oppression linked to ethnic cleansings and similar atrocities, because lynchings served not to rid towns of Black people, but rather to do only enough harm to keep Black people afraid, and therefore neutralize the threat to established systems of power that any search for equality might prove. This better situates the true meaning of racial terrorism, especially as opposed ethnic cleansing and similar atrocities that might be confused with it.

So what could have been done about lynchings at the time? As a preface, we should note that due to the great extent of lynchings’ popularity and support, it’s difficult to imagine implementing any kind of meaningful initiative to combat lynchings, unless it was from the federal level, and even then, just think about the resistance that school integration faced to consider how herculean any effort to combat lynching would need to be. Beyond this, as @thesnackthatsmilesback so interestingly pointed out, one of the only reasons lynching died out in the first place was not that people became disillusioned with the motives for performing them, but that other forms of racial violence replaced them. Thus, both the craving for racial violence and the necessity of racial control would need to be removed. Given that killing the institutional factors which supported and demanded racial control to keep society functioning were unlikely to have been broken down, the best method in my mind is, without question, proper education. The people committing lynchings were deluded with outright lies, not the least of which was the role and glory of the Confederacy, as the EJI report reiterates at several points. Helping to either expose those lies, or to prevent them from being told in the first place in classrooms, would be instrumental in beginning to breaking down the literally suffocating racism which infused every element of life in lynching-prone areas. Integration and media representation would be two other areas that might help. Segregation, by severely limiting interaction between Black and white people, also decreased white people’s ability to empathize with Black people as human beings. The result occurs from a lack of any, or a lack of accurate representation in film, television, and so on. Getting white people to see their Black compatriots are full human beings, a skill which was evidently lacking in the past, would also help drastically cut down on hate-fueled violence.

Thinking about what I personally would have done in those places and at that time, it’s difficult to say. To begin with, can I really say that I would be resistant to racism, essential and inextricable from everyday life? We all like to think we would be upstanders in the most horrifying circumstances of the past, and if we were somehow transported from the present to the past into those worst moments, that would probably be the case. But what about if we were raised from childhood onward to hate a certain group, with our family, friends, government, entertainment, and news all reinforcing that ideology? It seems arrogant to assert we know for sure we would not succumb to buying into racism if that instead were the case. Assuming I was able to resist those forces, however, I am dubious of whether I could make a difference anyway. Movements, not individuals,create the kind of change necessary to stop lynchings and racial hatred. So again, I hesitantly resort to education, integration, and media representation. Even in terms of stopping one lynching as it was occurring, what difference can one individual in the face of a crazed mob make? Especially if law enforcement was on their side. Violence would likely be the only way to protect a potential victim, which I shudder to think about.

speedyninja
BOSTON, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 17

Perhaps as disturbing as the lynchings themselves was the failure of the United States to do something about it. As we know, the end of slavery did not mean that blatant racism and racial discrimination ceased to exist. Instead, they found new ways to manifest, for example through segregation, Jim Crow, and lynchings. While these practices were off course unacceptable, it should not have been unexpected that white supremacy and the oppression of African Americans continued in some way, though the brutality and inhumanity displayed by the lynch mobs and the “audiences'' will always be shocking. To me however, it was more of a surprise and letdown to hear about the inaction of our government. As stated in the EJI report, “Northern and federal officials who failed to act as Black people were terrorized and murdered enabled this campaign of racial terrorism.”


I believe the lynchings themselves paired with the inaction of government officials created a very clear message: that Black Americans still had no power or control over their lives and nobody was going to do anything about it. Lynchings clearly showed that despite slavery no longer existing in the United States, Black Americans still did not have control over their own lives, and not even over their ability to live. As explained in the Uprooted video, Tom Miles was a Black man accused of sending a note to a white woman. There was not enough evidence so he was released from jail. However, a mob awaited his release, and he was subsequently lynched. Miles was acquitted for an obviously ridiculous crime, leaving him as a regular citizen who had done nothing wrong. Yet as with so many other victims of lynchings, who were targeted in any circumstances and times, he was murdered at no fault of his own. This clearly indicates the powerlessness of African American at the time, and the fact that they could not even control their own survival. I also think that the fear this situation of helplessness instilled in African Americans was a goal of white supremacists, crucial to their desire for complete control with no pushback. Just as the fear of being whipped, branded, shackled, burned or punished in another form deterred slaves from trying to run away or revolt, the threat of being lynched deterred Black Americans from even looking at a white woman or challenging the power of white Americans in any way.


Furthermore, the fact that the government essentially ignored lynchings and neglected to prevent them or punish murderers and the accessories sent a clear message that Black Americans would not be helped and were still not equal under the law. As @yvesIKB mentioned, white supremacists who participated in lynchings rarely received any repercussions and there was no justice for victims of lynchings. Unfortunately, this pattern of inadequate criminal justice continues with the numerous failures to punish law enforcement guilty of excessive force, brutality, and even murder. As said in the intro of the EJI report, “The administration of criminal justice in particular is tangled with the history of lynching in profound and important ways that continue to contaminate the integrity and fairness of the justice system.” Not only was the criminal justice system's failure to address lynchings horrific at the time, but it has had lasting effects to this day, resulting in more tragedy and inadequate justice. As @Noodles explained, it was also unfortunate that government policy was not more harsh on racial violence around the country and especially in the south. This inaction truly did enable white supremacists to continue freely carrying out acts of terrorism, stalling a lot of racial progress that could have been made.


I think that stopping lynchings as a whole would have been very difficult. Many white Americans, especially in the south, were going to attack Black Americans and I think this was unavoidable as racism and racial prejudices were so deeply ingrained in society as @ithinkitscauseofme pointed out. However, more definitely could have been done by law enforcement and the government to deter and punish these crimes. First of all, in the few instances where perpetrators of lynchings were punished, they were usually convicted of a much less serious crime such as arson or rioting. They obviously instead should have been convicted of murder and sent to prison for life. Lynchings should also have been investigated much more seriously to bring more justice and deter these horrific actions. Government should have also created policy abolishing lynchings and deterring any racial violence. Instead they often excused and even encouraged it. According to the EJI report, “The dominant political narrative blamed lynching on its victims, insisting that brutal mob violence was the only appropriate response to the growing scourge of Black men raping white women.” Instead, the political narrative should have been that lynchings are unacceptable and illegal. Besides law enforcement and the government attempting to deter lynchings, I think the only other thing to do would have been to try to dismantle prejudices and blatant racism that existed. Of course, nobody knows how exactly to do this as the problem exists to this day, but I think education reversing the beliefs of Black men being a threat to white women, Black people being less intelligent, and other falsehoods would have been a good place to start.


As many others have expressed, considering what I would have done while living in a community where lynchings took place is a very difficult question. First of all, if possible I would move away to somewhere where this would not happen. I do not think I could feel comfortable or safe in a place lynchings were occurring. Then I think I could much more freely advocate against race related violence and lynchings. The next step I believe would be to try and make, through writing articles like the report we just read public, a more truthful narrative of lynchings: that they were unjust killings of African Americans for no purpose other than to support and uphold white supremacy. I would also challenge law enforcement and the government to address lynchings, trying to convince anyone that people carrying out lynchings are simply murderers and no excuse can be made for them.


Finally, I think the overarching issue behind lynchings was the belief many people still had that Black people were not and should not be equal and therefore I would try to dismantle these beliefs although it would be quite challenging as they were so deeply ingrained in people's beliefs. For example, I would try to debunk “scientific racism”, which the EJI report explains was the theory that Black people were biologically inferior. Despite these actions being the only things I can think of to do, I am not sure what impact they would have had, as many others tried doing these things but lynching continued long after. Ultimately, I think eliminating lynchings was unfortunately going to take a long time no matter what, just as slavery persisted or police brutality persists now.

bebe
Posts: 17

It is impossible to deny the immense white supremacy present in our country when reading and learning about the not so far off history of lynchings. It is one of the most blatant examples of the caste system we have in our society. Lynching went on with almost no consequeces for almost a century, encouraged by half of the country and ignored by the other. It was used as a way to maintain white authority through fear and intimidation.


America’s entire government and judicial system was set up in a way that excused the lynching of black people. According to Bryan Stevenson’s equal justice initiative, Black Americans were portrayed as “beasts” and less human. There was a message being promoted that Black men wanted to rape white women to advance their own race’s status. And apparently, “the greatest existing cause of lynching is the perpetration, especially by Black men, of the hideous crime of rape,” according the President Theodore Roosevelt.

With this message being promoted by all Southern government officials, and even the nation’s own president, it made it nearly impossible for activists like Ida B. Wells or groups like the NAACP to try to push ant-lynching legistlation. White supremacy was so extreme that Black people were viewed as actual scary threats, and in turn they did not need to have any sort of protection under the law. In fact, the law made exceptions to what was normally considered extremely illegal, murder, and excused it when in the form of lynching.


The government was presented with many opportunities to sign and promote bills to illegalize lynching, and nothing ever went through. If there had been more federal intervention, especially driven by the north, I believe that lynchings could have been immensely decreased. If the fourteenth amendment had fully been enforced, it would have been much more clear that lynching was not only morally wrong, but also illegal. Like @cookiemonster said, having clear punishments to hold people accountable for lynching would undoubtedly make this acts much less socially acceptable.


If I were living in a community where lynching took place, I would hope that I would have the same awareness that I have today, although I do understand that much of what I believe has been influenced by my education. This is an education that would not have been possible to attain at the time and in the places were lynching took place. However, at my core, I know myself to be someone who understands inequity. If I did have that same awareness, I would not sit back as a bystander. I would use my privilege and my voice to fight for justice, whether that be through writing or public speaking. I would directly try to target other white women to recognize the prejudice and oppression lynching exposed, hoping that I could frame it in a lense of the struggle women also had just to get the right to vote.


It is impossible to know and speculate what would have happened if I were alive in a community with active lynchings, but it is very possible to actually continue to make change today. Projects like the equal justice initiative are so important, because they educate in such a clear and undeniable way, that most people would not otherwise understand. Today, I think it is important to learn as much as I can, so that I know how to talk to other people about the history of lynching and continue to spread awareness.



babypluto9
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 19

Lynching in America

The message behind these lynchings were to instill fear and dominance into the black population. The image of seeing a dead body hanging from a tree is truly horrifying, even when it is through pictures. The population during this time knowing that they were the ones directly targeted instilled a even greater fear since they knew the reason they were being killed was something they could not change. These lynchings tell us that white supremacy was a accepted and regular concept in society then and even now. For somebody to be murdered and the murderer to not face any consequences, shows that this was apart of the society. The fear that lynching created made an atmosphere that restricted black people from living naturally and restricted their expanding rights. They were not able to do things in fear of death, even the basic things such as being in a certain area or looking at somebody. As shown in the pre-reading, black people cannot trust the system. A issue that start hundreds of years ago and still has some happenings today, has only been outlawed and illegal last year. When the issue is murder and it has taken hundreds of years ago, black people and people of color cannot trust the system, especially when people are fighting against banning lynching.

During the late 19th and 20th century, the cultural and societal landscape was completely different. In my opinion only in the last few years has the world and society come closer to progressiveness and back in the late 19th and 20th century, racism and discrimination was still widely prominent. Because of this I would suggest to riot. I believe the south had a large black population as well during these times so protesting, either peacefully or not, as well as urging lawyers to fight for them would help the situation. Constant protest and civil unrest will help as not only black people knew and saw what was wrong with lynching. As news of it was distributed and civil unrest persisted, I believe there would be some improvement.

Back then I would go at this issue in two ways. Either going north and playing the long game or protesting. The long game would be going north were there was more equality and opportunity, and become a lawyer to help ban lynching as well as gain more rights for black people. I would also protest as historically it has lead to change. Now, I would do the same thing. The same issues are consistent and the new form of white supremacy today would be police and over policing. Over policing in black neighborhoods results in false stereotypes and a culture of fear and distrust. Police are murdering people of color just like white supremacist did and I believe if people were to constantly protest and push for new regulations and bills, real change will occur, either socially or legally.

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