Tag Archives: lynching

Lynching…Not Just Black Folks

Mobs in the South also occasionally lynched Jews. The most infamous case being that of Leo Frank, who was lynched purportedly for murdering a 13 year old white girl at the Factory which he managed. Didn’t really matter whether Frank was guilty…He was different.

A century after Jewish man’s lynching, Georgia town unsettled

Down past the Big Chicken, the 56-foot-high, steel-beaked beacon of extra crispy that may be this town’s most prized landmark, the wedge of dirt hard by Interstate 75 is notable only for its lack of notability. Stopping here, Rabbi Steven Lebow leaves the engine running and car door open.

Nearly ever since the South Florida native came to this Atlanta suburb three decades ago, this spot – or, more specifically, the tale of murder and vengeance that has stained its ground and local history for 100 years – has weighed on him.

But with transportation crews readying to build over the place where Marietta’s leading citizens lynched a Jewish factory superintendent namedLeo Frank a century ago, Lebow talks only of what’s worth preserving.

“There’s nothing to see here,” Lebow says. “That’s why we need to be the memory.”

As this community prepares to revisit that tale, though, there are reminders that it remains unsettled as well as unsettling.

In 1913, Frank was convicted of murdering 13-year-old Mary Phagan, who worked in his Atlanta factory. The case, charged with race, religion, sex and class, exploded in a national media frenzy. When Georgia’s governor commuted Frank’s death sentence, citizens took matters in their own hands.

The case established the Anti-Defamation League as the country’s most outspoken opponent of anti-Semitism. It also fueled the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan.

Until ADL lawyers pressed officials to posthumously pardon Frank in the 1980s, the case was hushed in Atlanta’s synagogues, the homes of Old Marietta, and among Phagan’s descendants.

Though granted, the pardon was less than conclusive. Now, in a summer that has seen Southerners wrangle with the best-known symbol of the region’s embattled past, Lebow and others want to re-open a chapter some would prefer to let be.

But their effort to right history, as they see it, has renewed charges that, in doing so, they are unfairly trying to rewrite it…

Frank, raised in New York, ran a factory in industrializing Atlanta. In 1913, Phagan, her hair in bows, stopped to collect her pay.

That night, a watchman found her bloodied body in the basement. Police arrested several men before settling on Frank, who proclaimed his innocence. His conviction rested on the testimony of a custodian, Jim Conley, a rare case of a black man’s word used against a white defendant.

Frank’s lawyers appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that a climate of anti-Semitism had resulted in an unfair trial. The court upheld the verdict, 7-2. In 1915, Gov. John Slaton commuted Frank’s sentence to life. A furious crowd hanged the politician in effigy.

Months later, a group of Marietta men took Frank from prison. On Aug. 17, they hanged him outside town. Nobody was ever charged.

“The Frank case was like a lightning strike,” says Steve Oney, who wrote “And the Dead Shall Rise,” a 2002 book on the case. “Everything in the South stood briefly in relief and then it was dark again.”… More


Posted by on August 17, 2015 in Domestic terrorism


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Ida B. Wells

Google’s search art was in tribute to Ida B. Wells. If you had gone to the search page, you will see this image –

Fearless Journalist And All-Round Badass Ida B. Wells Honored With Google Doodle

Doodle celebrates the civil rights activist’s 153rd birthday.

When Ida B. Wells was 22, she was asked by a conductor of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company to give up her seat on the train to a white man. She refused, and the conductor attempted to forcibly drag her out of her seat.

Wells wouldn’t budge.

“The moment he caught hold of my arm I fastened my teeth in the back of his hand,” shewrote in her autobiography. “I had braced my feet against the seat in front and was holding to the back, and as he had already been badly bitten he didn’t try it again by himself. He went forward and got the baggageman and another man to help him and of course they succeeded in dragging me out.”

The year was 1884 — about 70 years before Rosa Parks would refuse to give up her seat on an Alabama bus.

Ida B. Wells from the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery

Wells’ life was full of such moments of courage and principle. Born into slavery in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862, Wells was a vocal civil rights activist, suffragist and journalist who dedicated her life to fighting inequality.

On July 16, Wells’ 153rd birthday, Google honored the “fearless and uncompromising” woman with a Doodle of her typing away on typewriter, a piece of luggage by her side.

“She was a fierce opponent of segregation and wrote prolifically on the civil injustices that beleaguered her world. By twenty-five she was editor of the Memphis-based Free Speech and Headlight, and continued to publicly decry inequality even after her printing press was destroyed by a mob of locals who opposed her message,” Google wrote in tribute of Wells.

The journalist would go on to work for Chicago’s Daily Inter Ocean and the Chicago Conservator, one of the oldest African-American newspapers in the country. As Google notes, she “also travelled and lectured widely, bringing her fiery and impassioned rhetoric all over the world.”

Wells married Chicago attorney Ferdinand Barrett in 1895. She insisted on keeping her own name, becoming Ida Wells-Barnett — a radical move for the time. The couple had four children.

Wells died in Chicago of kidney failure in 1931. She was 68.

Every year around her birthday, Holly Springs celebrates Wells’ life with a weekend festival. Mayor Kelvin Buck said at this year’s event that people often overlook “the historic significance of Ida B. Wells in the history of the civil rights struggle in the United States,” per the South Reporter.

The South is brutalized to a degree not realized by its own inhabitants, and the very foundation of government, law and order, are imperilled.

“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”
Ida B. Wells-Barnett




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Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Black History, Giant Negros


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Theologian James Cone

James Cone is America’s best know black Theologian. He was the inspiration behind folks like Reverend Jeremiah Wright and the “black liberation theology” – which gives a lot of folks on the right side of the spectrum heartburn. Never one to back down to an injustice – Cone continues his work.

America’s ‘angriest’ theologian faces lynching tree

When he was boy growing up in rural Arkansas, James Cone would often stand at his window at night, looking for a sign that his father was still alive.

Cone had reason to worry. He lived in a small, segregated town in the age of Jim Crow. And his father, Charlie Cone, was a marked man.

Charlie Cone wouldn’t answer to any white man who called him “boy.” He only worked for himself, he told his sons, because a black man couldn’t work for a white man and keep his manhood at the same time.

Once, when he was warned that a lynch mob was coming to run him out of his home, he grabbed a shotgun and waited, saying, “Let them come, because some of them will die with me.”

James Cone knew the risks his father took. So when his father didn’t come home at his usual time in the evenings, he’d stand sentry, looking for the lights from his father’s pickup truck.

“I had heard too much about white people killing black people,” Cone recalled. “When my father would finally make it home safely, I would run and jump into his arms, happy as I could be.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Domestic terrorism, Giant Negros


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Gloria Cain to Stand By Her Man…and…Let Cain be Cain

Unlike most candidates, Herman Cain has kept his family firmly out of the limelight. Considering the current political tone – that may, or may not prove to be a good idea. In any event, having her show up on Faux on the Susteren show should (hopefully) be a safe bet, with Greta lobbing softballs.

Cain’s Wife to Break Silence on Fox

America will get its first good look at Gloria Cain soon: The campaign, beset bysexual harassment allegations, is setting up a debut interview for her with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News later this week, a source tellsPolitico. Until now, Mrs. Cain’s been conspicuously absent from the campaign—prompting occasional media questions. “You will meet my wife publicly in an exclusive interview that we are currently planning and anticipating,” Herman told Fox News. “But you won’t see my family out on the campaign trail on a day-to-day basis.”

The campaign has repeatedly denied requests to interview Gloria Cain, CNN notes, but those close to her describe her as an avid church-goer who’s intensely devoted to her husband. She stayed home to raise the kids while Cain was CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, but has been a teacher and librarian as well. “They know each other instinctively to the point they don’t need to double-check with each other,” one friend said. “They’re a united front.”

In the meantime, Eugene Robinson, over as WasPo eviscerates Cain –

Let Herman be gone

Let Herman be Herman...Indeed.

…Cain’s policy positions range from the ignorant to the unworkable to the just plain goofy — and yet he is running first or second in most polls for the Republican presidential nomination. He trumpets his utter lack of government experience as a selling point and boasts of not knowing foreign leaders’ names. If through some bizarre series of events he were actually elected president, the result would surely be an unmitigated disaster.

It’s not yet clear whether this remote possibility has been made even more unlikely by reports — first published Sunday night by Politico — that Cain faced allegations of sexual harassment from two female employees when he headed the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

After some initial fumbling by Cain’s campaign, in which aides attempted to issue non-denial denials, the candidate himself went on Fox News to declare that “I have never sexually harassed anyone.” He acknowledged having been “falsely accused” of harassment when he was at the restaurant association, but he said the accusations were “totally baseless and totally false.”

He did not specifically deny the Politico story, however, which reported that the two women both left the association after being given financial settlements and signing agreements not to discuss their allegations. “If the restaurant association did a settlement, I wasn’t even aware of it,” Cain said Monday on Fox.

Nor has Cain, to this point, dealt with the reported substance of the allegations. According to Politico, this includes language that the women felt was inappropriate and made them uncomfortable; and, in one instance, a purported suggestion that one of the women accompany Cain to his hotel suite.

Far-right blowhards immediately played the race card. “Liberals are terrified of Herman Cain,” pundit Ann Coulter said. “He is a strong, conservative black man. . . . They are terrified of strong, conservative black men.” Rush Limbaugh said Cain was being sullied by attackers wielding the “ugliest racial stereotypes.”

Interesting to hear those two acknowledging the powerful role that race still plays in our society — the first step, intellectually, toward concluding that there’s a continuing need for race-based affirmative action. That’s what they meant, right?

Um, no. I’m quite sure that the far right’s quickness to compare Cain to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas — and to call Cain’s present difficulties a second“high-tech lynching” — is just another salvo in the intraparty war Republicans are having…

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Posted by on November 1, 2011 in Black Conservatives


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On Lynching and the Execution of Troy Davis

The execution of Troy Davis in Georgia has ignited a firestorm of outrage. Davis’ last words were that he was “innocent”.

Not surprising Cash and Carry Uncle Tommie Clarence led the Supreme Court’s decision not to intervene… Proving once again a black defendant can’t get a fair trial or consideration in the courts, whether it is due to racism, politics – or in the case of Thomas…

A need to re-establish his Lawn Ornament bonafides with the conservative people who own him. I am not arguing that Troy Davis’ execution would have been stopped by the court…

Only that were not the Supreme Court corrupt, at least he would have gotten a fair hearing.

The Execution of Troy Davis Provides Another ‘Haunting Reminder of Once Prevalent Southern Lynchings’

“I am innocent,” said Troy Davis, moments before the the state of Georgia put him to death.

The state-sanctioned slaying, which former President Jammy Carter characterized as “a grave miscarriage of justice,” was completed at 11:08 pm EST.

Before the execution, the man whose case inspired an international outcry against not just the death penalty but a dysfunctional “justice” system told the witnesses at the Georgia Diagnostic Prison facility: “The incident that night was not my fault. I did not have a gun.”

Addressing the family of, Mark MacPhail, the off-duty Savannah police officer he was accused of killing, Davis said he was sorry for their loss. Then, he said: “I did not personally kill your son, father and brother. I am innocent.”

To those who battled to save his life, Davis urged continued investigation, inquiry and struggle for justice. “All I can ask… is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth,” he said moments before the execution.

The killing of Davis took place after US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, a Georgia native, led the High Court in rejecting a plea that the killing be blocked. There were no dissents from the other justices on the current Court.

But it is important to underline the word “current.”

Former Justice John Paul Stevens, who left the High Court last year, has argued in recent statements and interviews that the death penalty is “unconstitutional.”

In particular, he cited evidence confirming that African-Americans who are charged with murder (such as Troy Davis) are dramatically more likely than whites to be executed.

The General Accounting Office has concluded that “in 82 percent of the studies [reviewed], race of the victim was found to influence the likelihood of being charged with capital murder or receiving the death penalty, i.e. those who murdered whites were more likely to be sentenced to death than those who murdered blacks,” while former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, the long-time chair of the Constutution Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Commitee, has said that: “We simply cannot say we live in a country that offers equal justice to all Americans when racial disparities plague the system by which our society imposes the ultimate punishment.”

The American Civil Liberties Union notes that  “systemic racial bias in the application of the death penalty exists at both the state and federal level,” and it notes historic patterns of discrimination in particular states such as Georgia—highlighting the classic work of University of Iowa law professor David Baldus, who found that during the 1980s prosecutors in Georgia sought the death penalty for 70 percent of African-American defendants with white victims, but for only 15 percent of white defendants with black victims. (Troy Davis’ case traces back to an incident in 1989.)

The patterns of discrimination, noted Justice Stevens, “provides a haunting reminder of once prevalent Southern lynchings.“


Posted by on September 22, 2011 in American Genocide, Domestic terrorism


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Van Jones and Shirley Sherrod…

This is a great op-ed piece in the NYT be Van Jones. What he is saying is what a lot of Washington insiders and business people in the Washington area are saying – that the Obama Administration has allowed itself to be paralyzed by the threat of the right-wing noise machine.

The unwillingness, or inability of the Obama Administration to stand up for their people has impacted everything in every crevice and recess of the Federal Government. Your day to day, Civil Service workers are afraid to do their jobs, because they know they could be the next Van Jones or Shirley Sherrod. They can’t afford to fight back by themselves, and to pay lawyers tens of thousands of dollars to defend them. And the Administration is utterly chickenshit and wiling to throw anyone under the bus at the simple whiff of an accusation from the right…

No matter how specious.

This administration caves to media blackmail, which the right wing knows is effective anytime they add the vector of race.

Some analysts have concluded that the problem is that the Obama White House is too white. Ergo, had this White House had ANYONE at the staff level who was black, and old enough to be  familiar with history – they would have known who Shirley Sherrod was. Further, the administration could assemble an effective counter strategy beyond just turning tail and running every time right wing bullies played the race card. My feeling about Obama since the Primaries has been he just doesn’t have that “killer instinct”. As many dollars as CEOs of major corporations spend to convince the outside world that they are “nice guys” – not one of those guys got there without carrying an metaphorical razor in the hip pocket for the throats of the opposition who can’t be “made to see reason” by other means. The only real difference between organized crime and business leadership is business leaders use lawyers and MBA types, instead of big guys with baseball bats and guns to “make you an offer you can’t refuse”.

That is what is missing in this President, that is what is missing in his staff – and that is crippling his Administration’s ability to fulfill their promises.

The New Lynching, Brought to America By The Same People As The Old Lynching. The New Government, Just Like the Old Government - Which Looked the Other Way.

Shirley Sherrod and Me

I UNDERSTAND how Shirley Sherrod, the Agriculture Department official who was forced to resign last week, must have felt.

Last year I, too, resigned from an administration job, after I uttered some ill-chosen words about the Republican Party and was accused — falsely — of signing my name to a petition being passed around by 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Partisan Web sites and pundits pounced, and I, too, saw my name go from obscurity to national infamy within hours.

Our situations aren’t exactly the same. Ms. Sherrod’s comments, in which she, a black woman, appeared to admit to racial discrimination against a white couple, were taken far out of context, while I truly did use a vulgarity.

But the way we were treated is strikingly similar, and it reveals a lot about the venal nature of Washington politics in the Internet era. In my case, the media rushed to judgment so quickly that I was never able to make clear that the group put my name on its Web site without my permission. The group finally admitted that it never had my signature, but by then it was too late.

Fortunately, Ms. Sherrod has been offered a new job. But our stories offer cautionary tales to anyone interested in taking a job in national politics. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 27, 2010 in Faux News, Stupid Democrat Tricks


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Racism, the Right – and Hate Crimes

Found this garbage over at the DC Examiner. Since they are very unlikely to let my response to Mr Kane go though – I’ll post it here.

Ex Baltimore Sun Columnist Gregory Kane

First, Mr. Kane’s Uncle Tommery diatribe:

Gregory Kane: Hate crime laws attempt to criminalize thoughts
By: Gregory Kane
Examiner Staff Writer
December 7, 2009

This story comes to us from Broward County, Fla. Teah Wimberly, 16, is charged with murdering Amanda Coll, a friend and classmate at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale. Both girls were 15 at the time of the shooting.

According to police, Ms. Wimberly wanted more than just a friendship with Collette, whom she’d known since childhood. Wimberly wanted a lesbian relationship with Collette, who rebuffed the idea, news reports indicate. On Nov. 12 of last year, police say, Wimberly took a .22-caliber handgun to school and fatally shot Collette.

Wimberly’s trial started last week and is expected to continue this week. This may be the first time you’ve read about the case, unlike when Matthew Shepard was murdered in Wyoming or when James Byrd was dragged to death in Jasper, Texas. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on December 8, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life


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