We MUST Understand: Lynching Ain’t Dead!

Lynching was a severe and inhumane treatment imposed on African-Americans during the enslavement period of the Black race in America, and even continuing thereafter. According to a report recently released by the Equal Justice Institute it was found that even more Blacks were lynched than mentioned during previous years.

During the years of 1877 and 1950, nearly 4,000 Black people were lynched in the Southern part of the United States, and this element is only a representation of known facts. The photo included within this editorial may appear to be graphic. But, one of the main reasons that I wanted to attach it here was so that our readers can get the visual image of what the actual form of lynching looked like when it was at it’s peak.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made an assumption some years ago in reference to lynching. In it, he stated that “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”

While one would expect for his sentiments to be true, here it is in 2015, and we Africans living in America can see that the law is much of a protective suit and shield for African-Americans the way that our ancestors and forefathers anticipated that it would be.

Not that this element is one that is new to members of our community, but last year we presented several young Black men who lost their lives at the hands of those who were sworn in to serve and protect them. Not only did these men lose their lives, but no real justice was ever met for their actions, either as decided upon by grand juries who are not friendly to us and other avenues.

The following quoted text is an excerpt from Willie Lynch, who was a slave owner in 1712. Some people have debated the validity of its claim and have tried to imply that it is a fictional speech. Nevertheless, the message that it suggests has proven to be one that has worked on both sides of the fence. I state this according to the effects that implementing the contents of it into our cultural society has left on Blacks and Whites alike, from generations ago and even until now.

“My method is simple. Any member of your family or your overseer can use it. I have outlined a number of differences among the slaves; and I take these differences and make them bigger. I use fear; distrust and envy for control purposes. These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies and it will work throughout the South. Take this simple little list of differences, and think about them.

On top of my list is ‘age,’ the second is ‘color’ or shade. There is intelligence, size, sex of plantations, status on plantation, attitude of owners, whether the slaves live in the valley, on hill, Easr, West, North, South, have fine hair or coarse hair, is tall or short. Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you an outline of action — but before that I shall assure you that distrust is stronger than adulation; respect or admiration.

The Black slave after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self re-fueling and self-generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands. Don’t forget you must pitch the old Black versus the young Black male, and the young Black male against the old Black male. You must use the dark skin slave vs. the light skin slaves and the light skin slaves vs. the dark skin slaves. You must use the female vs. the male, and the male vs. the female.

You must also have your White servants and overseers distrust all Blacks, but it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us. They must love, respect and trust only us. Gentlemen, these Kits are your Keys to control. Use them. Have your wives and children use them, never miss opportunity. If used intensely for one year, the slaves themselves will remain perpetually distrustful.”

So, at the end of the day, even though lynching has been the death of many Black people’s lives, the truth of the matter is that lynching itself really isn’t dead. Now this statement is not just meant by the hands of our White counterparts only, because there are some members within the Black community that chose to lynch each other all the time. So lynching really hasn’t gone anywhere at all.

We MUST Understand that things just evolve and change, but not all that much. Literally, there is not a tree with a rope knotted up in the form of a noose anymore, but even more so, there are legalized forms of nooses that have been the cause of Black lives across these United States on a large scale.