This piece is pregnant with a lot of stuff. I am exploring how attitudes and belief systems have crystallized a mindset that leads to sickness, that is, mental illness. Though we have been focused on the January 6 insurrection and the George Floyd lynching, lynching in America has been woven in the patriotic fabric of this great nation. Substitute Emmett Till, George Hughes, Jose Campos Torres or James Byrd and the equation does not change. Perhaps later we can explore how mob mentality cleared the path to kill Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy.
Sadism is defined as “the tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting pain, suffering or humiliation among others “.
“Lynching’s are not the work of men suddenly possessed of a strange madness: they are the logical issues of prejudice and a lack of respect for law and personality, plus a SADISTIC desire to participate in the excitement of mob trials and the brutalities of torture and murder.”
This is the conclusion from the researchers of the book “The Tragedy of Lynching “by Arthur Rapier”. This conclusion prompts us to explore the inner story of two mobs. Mob 1 is the cluster of mobs that perpetrated waves of mob violence on black and people of color for nearly 150 years in this so called “Christian” land.
Mob 2 is the January 6, 2021, insurrectionist mob that attacked and tried to overturn the legitimate election of President Joe Biden and take down the democracy. This mob constructed gallows to lynch Speaker Pelosi, Vice President Mike Pence and defenders of the John Lewis Voter Rights Act.
In understanding Mob 1 and Mob 2, history shows that mobs are not content with the death of their victims. During the Mob 1 litany of lynching’s, the mobbers were driven to burn and roast, mutilate and torture their victims. They were very sick men and women and often boys and girls. They were Catholics and Protestants, Baptists and Methodist. Many were anti-Semitic. They were educated and uneducated, entrepreneurs and businessmen. They were often police officers. The so-called Christians boasted of a connection to a Caucasian racial image of the divine.
Rapier concludes that “preachers and church leaders have their responsibilities for the eradication of lynching: in normal times, by instilling reverence for human life and personality; in an emergency, by cooperating with other exponents of law and order to keep the mob from its murderous goal. On account of their superiority and numbers, a heavier responsibility rests on Southern Baptists and Southern Methodists than on any other denomination”.
An anatomy of the composition of the January 6 mob at the capitol shows that law enforcement members and former and current military officers were leaders and participants in the criminal activity that led to the deaths of six persons. A high percentage of the mob were white supremacists that worshipped a racialized God.
Rapier concludes, “in terms of social pathology, the mob itself is a great tragedy…. The mobs of 1930 had about 75,000 members- men, women and children who went out to kill, or look sympathetically on while others killed. “
A deep change in public opinion is the ultimate deterrent to extremism and mob violence. This starts with a love and devotion toward THE TRUTH. – AANI