Category Archives: Perspective

Black-on-Black & Lynching

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.

Common Sense

By Ronald Court

It never ceases to amaze me how Booker T’s down-to-earth approach to practical living continues to be so relevant, even 90 years after he has passed on.
I went in for my semi-annual teeth cleaning this afternoon. (Well, OK. My last visit really was two years ago.) During one of those, “Rinse. Now” breaks, I suggested to the dental hygenist that she tell me about herself while she picked away. As I lay there, mouth wide open and finger-full, she volunteered that she had a college degree in English… “But after I graduated, I realized I needed to make a living, so I went back to school and became a dental hygenist.”

Booker T. spent his whole life trying to get us to use common sense in the choices we make. And his work is still not done.

Who Do You See?

By Ronald Court

The differing perspectives of WEB duBois and Dr. Washington got me to thinking. In this picture below, what do you see?

witch or lady?

Do you see an ugly witch? … or a beautiful lady? Look harder. Can you see the other image also … the lady or the witch?

It’s about perspective. Booker T and WEB clearly saw life differently. For a hundred years, “Duboisians” and “Bookerites” have opposed one another.

I’m a staunch Bookerite, and though the BTW Society is a do tank, make no mistake. Bookerites think as well as do. We can see and understand (as Booker T. did) the view from the other side. However, to understand is not necessarily to agree.

Duboisians over the years have misled people into believing that Booker T.’s view or approach to living, was a “compromise”.

We aim to fix that misperception.

Are you a Bookerite or a Duboisian? This inquiring mind wants to know.