The terrible crime of lynching
Lynching, as many, if not all of us, can agree, is a terrible crime for numerous reasons. It undermines the justice system, as a mob who believes a person committed a crime could drag them away and murder them, even if they were actually innocent, which was frequently the case. Also, just the act of murdering someone is wrong, even they believe that they are doing "justice". Murder is not justice, especially the murder of innocent people, who are accused solely due to their skin color. If people's view of justice is killing people of a certain race, then it becomes a racial genocide.
While watching the photos yesterday, a recurring theme, other than the skin color of the person being lynched and the lynchers, the innocence of the person being lynched, and the inhumanity of the lynchings, is that, in many cases, the person that was lynched was taken by a group of people from federal custody. They even grabbed a person from a train, which I presume was moving at high speeds, in order to lynch him. How were they able to do this? How could citizens manage to kidnap these people right under the noses of the police? And also, why did the police not stop these lynchings? As we learned in class, these events were planned, meaning that people likely knew and talked about them. How could the police not find out, and place more guards on those who were likely to be lynched?
In my opinion, there are three likely reasons for all of this: either the police in these areas were greatly understaffed and inequiped for this; they didn't care what happened to these people, since they were mostly black and were found accused/found guilty primarily due to the fact that they were black; or they were in on the lynchings. These last two reasons are much more likely, in my opinion, given what we know about race relations, and the fact that the police could request help from the government for either more funding or more manpower. But why is it important that I ask this question? Why do I bother talking about the sentiments of the police force?
The reason is that the police are supposed to protect the people abd uphold the law. If they are unable to do that, then they are mere figureheads.
In my opinion, stopping lynchings from occurring is a difficult, but not impossoble task. The first step is for the police to do their duty, and protect the citizens, even if they are convicted.
The next step is to arrest those who organized or plotted the lynching. It is impossible to arrest everyone who attends, due to their sheer number, but by arresting those who plan the crime, you dissuade other people from planning and committing the crime as well.
Another step that must be taken is to dissuade people from taking photos and making postcards or "souvenirs" of lynchings. This ensures that no one profits from these crimes, and further dissuades lynchings from occurring, as there is little to no business to be made any more from these murders.
Finally, I believe that both adults children should be educated about how terrible lynchings really are, and that it is wrong to take pleasure from watching a person be horribly mutilated and killed for no real reason other than their skin. After all, we learned previously that people are not born cold-hearted and sadistic. We are given a basis of morals to build on, and it is through what we experience in lofe that make us who we are. And if a child sees adults smiling and laughing while watching someone be hung or burned alive, then they learn that it is OK to do these heinous acts. That is why they must be taught that lynchings are wrong, and so should the adults.
If lynchings were going on today, I would do my best to discourage others through social media of attending or even starting a lynching, and if I learned about when and where a lynching was supposed to occur, I would inform authorities. I would also encourage my friends to do the same, to tell others that lynchings are wrong, but in a peaceful manner. It is hard for one person to stand up against what they know is wrong, but if no one does, then we are already doomed.