By Ronald Court
OK. so this is a really touchy subject, but the 3 execution-style murders (4 attempted) of high school students in Newark NJ this week got to me. We don’t know whether the murderer(s) were white or black. To me, it doesn’t matter. They were horrific crimes.
It got me thinking about lynching. We know and feel how horrific even the thought of lynching is today. But how many were lynched? Where? Over what period of time?
Booker T. Washington was there and kept records. I’ll post his chart when I have time later. The results may surprise you, but I’ll summarize here.
Over a 40 plus year period, the murder-by-mob (which is what lynching is including burning, etc) total averaged out to about 50 per year. One person a week. Most (but not all) were black.
My guess is you think it was way more than fifty murder-by-mob annually across ten Southern states. But there you have it. Five lynchings per state per year. A wonton disregard of (mostly) blacks by white mobs per year.
What about today? How wanton is the disregard of the lives of blacks by black mobs today? I happened on a website reporting on black-on-black crime (click here) in just one Arkansas county.
Look at those numbers. Where’s the outrage? they seem to suggest that it’s really not about color (eg: white vs black) but about mobs and a breakdown in law and order. So why the continued stirring up of blacks vs whites (hear me, Al Sharpton) when the focus should be on, dare I say it… law and order?
Booker T. Washington spoke up for law and order. Even when applied unfairly (eg: segregation), he believed that the way… the only way.. was through lawful redress, no matter how long it may take.
Booker T. spoke and wrote against lynchings. Read his remarks here. He knew, in a way his detractors never understood, that violence against even unjust laws would in time, breed disregard for any law. If only more had followed his lead then and since, perhaps the execution of four innocent teenagers in Newark this week would not have happened.