Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I just wrote this at Raising Kane, and I thought I would post the unedited version over here. The material that was edited out will be in italics.

Mob beating in South Carolina called lynching

This is an interesting story that has some relevance to Milwaukee's history of mob-beatings.

Although I'm using it primarily to show that occasionally, white people engage in "lynchings" too, in case we have forgotten.

According to this story five white teens who beat a black man were charged with lynching due to a South Carolina law that defines lynching as a mob attack against an individual where the victim survives.

What an odd choice of language for South Carolina. It's like they are attempting to soften the image of lynchings. But that is the kind of thinking that you get in the racist south.

Although the convicted teens were white and the victim was black, apparently the "lynching" designation doesn't require victims and assailants to be of different races.

Everyone knows that this is silly. Only white people can lynch black people. Just as only white people can be racists.

It's interesting because in Milwaukee, the beatings of Frank Jude Jr and Samuel McClain and other victims who survived a mob attack were never described as lynchings.

Correctly, of course. Lynchings require some racial motivation. These were likely troubled youths lashing out against extreme poverty and utter hopelessness.

Neither was the word "lynching" used when the victim died, like Charles Young Jr. and David Rutledge, black men who were beat by all-black mobs.

These are more serious, of course, but they are still not lynchings. We need a different word for crimes like this. Maybe something like "povercides." Something that conveys the underlying social causes.

It's a curious use of language for the South Carolina legal system to adopt. Particularly because, decades ago in the Deep South, when a black man was lynched he usually didn't survive.

South Carolina is clearly creating an incentive for hicks to murder black people, because if they do so, they will avoid the emotionally charged "lynching" accusation.

Racists, all of them.


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