Is White Supremacy and Lynching People Racist?

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Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith got all titillated the other day when she thought about sitting in the front row of a public hanging. In the context of her race to be Senator of Mississippi. Which is the state in which the most recent well known lynchings took place, and that probably had more lynchings per capita than any other state. Her opponent, Mike Epsy, is a black man.

Hyde-Smith has a 100% Trumpian voting record, and she is in fact the only Republican Senator with a perfect record. She is a strong NRA supporter, and the ACLU gives her a zero rating.

Here is the public hanging remark:

Answer to the question: Yes.

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33 thoughts on “Is White Supremacy and Lynching People Racist?

  1. She’s out there spinning it.

    But even if you could somehow run some sort of Fourier algorithm on it to remove the sick over tones of Mississippi’s history, it would still be an incredibly trashy and psychopathic thing to say.

    This is where we are in 2018.

    1. Re oa: “This is where we are in 2018.”

      Yep, another lap down in the downward spiral of GOP/Trump supporters’ increasingly open disdain for civilized behavior or even simple human decency.

  2. .. And Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith was applauded for saying that too it seems here. That’s seriously disturbing as well.

    No one called her out or said “What the ..” or reacted negatively. I know there’s peer pressure and, maybe those applauding where clapping for something else or didn’t hear or, no wait, I’m rather certain they did hear and very likely did agree and that should be condemned as complicity and enabling too.

    1. Yeah, I think it takes less energy to normalize something than it does to wrap your head around it; more so when it involves bucking the group.

      Result, entropy, and catching some falling bricks from a collapsing building and hastily trying to toss them back into some semblance of architecture.

      Wakey, wakey America. It’s not just your physical infrastructure that’s failing.

  3. IMO, in the end she will probably pick up the votes of the eliminated candidates and win handily. I wish it were otherwise. We can be dismayed by her Southern-ness, and the Southern-ness of the people to whom she is appealing, but we might want to recognize that the deep South is what it is. People have adapted to their Southern circumstances with the survival tools that their immigrant forebears brought to the party and that they have subsequently honed over the centuries. Those tools IMO include group cohesion, demonizing of pretty much everybody not part of their group, religiosity, authoritarianism, cruelty, barbarity, and elitism, The comprehension of the fact that this has led to an insularity that makes them the look backward and inbred to people outside of their realm is apparently beyond them or of no importance to them. They are still fighting for the right to abuse/kick/exploit and Lord it over black people, and Hyde-Smith’s hanging statement is a reflection of this. In time, I expect that this culture will diminish as people smarten out of it. But I also expect that there will be pockets where it may last for centuries to come. IMO.

    1. That this type of thought or behavior is accepted shows us that the American Education is broken.

      Nope, not at all.

  4. Sorry – I don’t get it. A public hanging is not a lynching. Her turn of phrase seems to me to be loathful of having to see a public hanging – that it would be something horrible, but she would do it for the guy who just praised her because she likes him.

    Not every thing a creepy Republican says is racist, and interpreting every statement of an opponent in the most ungenerous way possible is ugly politics.

    1. True, but I’d make one other question: Why would someone want to attend a public hanging for any reason? It seems like an odd thing on which to demonstrate friendship.

    2. Well, there’s context. A public hanging could most certainly be a lynching out at somebody’s ranch. And such a hanging would more likely than not be of a black person. Keep in mind that lynchings could also be incredibly brutal acts of terrorism, while simultaneously being sadistic occasions of entertainment and celebration for white people.

      So, her opponent is African-American. In Mississippi. The most generous thing you can say about her comment might be that it came out in a moment of tone deaf frivolity: forgetting why it would be particularly offensive racially. But she refuses to apologize for misspeaking, if that indeed was what it was.

      Myself, I’m just not very impressed by arguments from personal incredulity, or of normalizing FUD word games, nor overly sympathetic to ahistorical views of society. Hyde-Smith was born (1959) and raised in Mississippi and has been involved in Mississippi politics for close to 20 years. She absolutely should have known better.

      Now she’s surgically sown her lips to Trump’s backside. But hey, you know: “fake news” “enemy of the people” “fake news” “enemy of the people” “fake news” “enemy of the people”… phrases that served the likes of Stalin and Hitler well enough through repetition. Why would anyone suspect that there might be something amiss here?

  5. “Well, there’s context. A public hanging could most certainly be a lynching out at somebody’s ranch.”

    A lynching, it seems to me, is the very definition of a private hanging, not a public one. In my lexicon, at least, the term “public hanging” refers to an official proceeding of the state, and was often carried out on the street or public square specifically for public viewing. A people came to see this. Heck, they were supposedly well-attended.

    Another thing – this sounds to me like a local turn of phrase. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a Southern idiom that is not used much in other places, akin to “I wouldn’t be caught dead in their shoes”; the morbid nature of the event (public hanging) in deliberate contrast to the warmth of feeling of the speaker for the person being referenced. Which was NOT the black Democratic candidate.

  6. Given the blindingly obvious problem with wittering about ‘public hangings’ in the Deep South, C H-S reveals herself to be a fuckwit. And fuckwits should not seek nor be elected to public office.

    Standing apologist for fuckwits is similarly inadvisable on the basis that you may be mistaken for one yourself.

  7. oa

    Your incredibility is not an argument. Nor is Rick A’s agreement.

    Yes, I have heard of lynchings, strangely enough. I have also heard of public hangings. I argue there is a difference, and your article and your repeated O-M-G’s do absolutely nothing to disprove that.

    I am left of left-wing, in case it matters. But the Left is not always correct, in fact, there is a reason so many on the Right mistrust anything a liberal says. And it is bullshit like this that loses the Left’s credibility.

    Her statement:

    “Hyde-Smith issued a statement Sunday explaining — but not apologizing for — her comments.

    “I referred to accepting an invitation to a speaking engagement,” said Hyde-Smith, who is also a cattle rancher, in a statement Sunday. “In referencing the one who invited me, I used an exaggerated expression of regard, and any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous.””

    makes sense to me. I would not vote for her in a million years – but that would be based on her positions and policies, not because of hysterical innuendo.

    1. A distinction without a difference.

      It doesn’t sound like you read the article:

      Among the most unsettling realities of lynching is the degree to which white Americans embraced it, not as an uncomfortable necessity or a way of maintaining order, but as a joyous moment of wholesome celebration.

      “Whole families came together, mothers and fathers, bringing even their youngest children. It was the show of the countryside – a very popular show,” read a 1930 editorial in the Raleigh News and Observer. “Men joked loudly at the sight of the bleeding body … girls giggled as the flies fed on the blood that dripped from the Negro’s nose.”

      Adding to the macabre nature of the scene, lynching victims were typically dismembered into pieces of human trophy for mob members.

      In his autobiography, WEB Du Bois writes of the 1899 lynching of Sam Hose in Georgia. He reports that the knuckles of the victim were on display at a local store on Mitchell Street in Atlanta and that a piece of the man’s heart and liver was presented to the state’s governor.

      In the 1931 Maryville, Missouri, lynching of Raymond Gunn, the crowd estimated at 2,000 to 4,000 was at least a quarter women, and included hundreds of children. One woman “held her little girl up so she could get a better view of the naked Negro blazing on the roof”, wrote Arthur Raper in The Tragedy of Lynching.

      After the fire was out, hundreds poked about in his ashes for souvenirs. “The charred remains of the victim were divided piece by piece,” wrote Raper.

      Re: Sam Hose

      Same Hose, sometimes also referred to as Sam Holt, was killed in front of a crowd of 2,000 white spectators, many of whom had traveled from Atlanta for the occasion…

      …the mob decided that the execution needed to take place immediately and within minutes, Sam Hose was hanging from a tree.

      (I left out the gruesome details, which are horrific.)

      So hanging was one way of lynching and;
      lynching + hanging + in public = call it what you will.

      And the way Hyde-Smith spun it does not make sense one way or the other without context. It makes more sense under the circumstances that she would dissemble, and not appologize

      Clear enough?

    2. Roger:

      Sorry I endorsed your comment – that brings out the mob here.

      However, I absolutely agree with your previous comment and this one.

      A lynching is a crime, while a public hanging (a public execution) is a government punishment carried out after due process (a trial and all appeals have been exhausted). They are not the same thing.

      The fact that people here confuse the two is unfortunate.

      Thank you for setting them straight.

  8. Roger

    Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you are broadly correct.

    Does it matter? At this point should anybody be making any allowances or apologies whatsoever for these people?

    What purpose does it serve?

    Given that nine times out of ten the perp is in fact guilty as charged, if once in a while one of this crew is merely stupid and insensitive, why cut any slack? Do you honestly think they would return the favour if the situation were reversed? Based on their track record of empathy, compassion and honesty?

    1. I hope you read the article quoted by oa above.

      The claim that there is a distinction between a lynching and a public hanging is obviously specious.

      You will have noticed that our friendly local bigot has emerged from beneath its rock again, so perhaps it is time to let this one drop before you encourage it any further.

    2. “perhaps it is time to let this one drop”

      Yeah, I agree. At this point, I’m much more interested in Roger’s photography and would like to see a gallery of his work if one is available.

      Also I’m curious about the deal with GingerBaker, an homage or…? Made me think of when I first heard Fresh Cream.

    3. A lynching is a crime, while a public hanging (a public execution) is a government punishment carried out after due process (a trial and all appeals have been exhausted).

      In a textbook, yes. In reality — nope.

      The deeper questions are why people would support executions in general, and who would think attending one is a frivolous decision.

    4. dean says “The deeper questions are why people would support executions in general, and who would think attending one is a frivolous decision.”

      As Roger points out, the context of the quote is that she likes this person so much that she would go to a public hanging if invited, and even sit in the front row. See, the public hanging would be distasteful, but if invited by this person, who she likes, she would force herself to do it. That is the context of the quote. So it would not be a frivolous decision.

      As to why people support executions (not public anymore) – well that is because some people deserve to die. At least that is what some people think in some states in the USA. People who commit horrific crimes.

      Obviously reasonable minds can differ – and they do. But it is the law of the land in 30 states, and the Federal government (including the military).

      It is interesting how some people are against the death penalty, for a person who has had due process and been convicted of a crime – and yet are also pro choice, resulting in the death of a person who has not actually convicted any crime and did not receive due process. Weird. Oh well, that is what makes America great – people get to disagree.

  9. Oh boy. First we wave away the foul smell of ‘joking’ about lynching in Mississippi with specious arguments, then we slip in a bit of that religious slime about how women who want control over their own bodies are murderers. The old ‘pro life’ lie.

    And meanwhile, despite getting caught out peddling lies about Antifa and then educated about the real menace of rightwing terrorism, Ricky STILL won’t disavow rightwing terrorism. Which results in actual murders of American citizens as opposed to lying rhetoric aimed at demonising women for refusing to allow (rightwing, ‘Christian’ men) to control their bodies.

    What a piece of work you are, RIcky.

    1. “resulting in the death of a person who has not actually convicted any crime and did not receive due process.”

      Well no, it doesn’t, but now we know you are as astoundingly ignorant of biology as you are science, ethics, decency, honesty, …

  10. So RickA, I assume that you would include many in your government who have partaken in serial crimes against humanity in their foreign policy as ‘deserving to die’. Glad to know that you think the death sentence should apply to the neocons in the last Bush government who knowingly committed the ‘supreme international crime’ that violated the UN Charter, the Nuremburg Code and the US Constitution when they illegally invaded Iraq, essentially destroying the country and resulting in over a million deaths there. Its heartening to know that you believe the death penalty should also apply to corporate cronies whose actions knowingly lead to the death of innocents in the pursuit of private profit. As a compassionate lawyer I am sure that you are fighting your corrupt system every day, seeking justice for the poor, the helpless and the destitute.

    1. “As a compassionate lawyer …”

      The only conclusion one can make is this: if he really is a lawyer, he graduated from a law school where the only hurdle to jump prior to getting a degree was having a check clear.

    2. Jeff:

      You are talking about people who have not yet been convicted of a crime or sentenced to die, while I was referring to people who have already been convicted, were sentenced to die and have exhausted their appeals. You are looking forward and I am looking backward.

      But – sure. If some neocon gets charged with a crime, convicted and sentenced to die and exhausts their appeals, I will not be out protesting the death penalty. I was pretty happy Timothy McVeigh decided not to appeal and expedited his execution. I thought his crime was pretty heinous and he certainly deserved to die (in my opinion). He apparently agreed.

      As for the compassionate lawyer stuff – I am a patent attorney and so most of my clients are smart inventors with money – a lot of corporations. Not many poor, helpless destitute people get patents. Not many social justice warriors go into patent law. YMMV.

  11. RickA, well of course you are a corporate lawyer. It explains your patently stupid conservative views and profound ignorance of science when it comes to climate change. There are four types of climate change deniers and you fit snugly into the second group, the idealogues. Your kindergarten-level understanding of science is clear to me, a scientist, but you are forced to engage in it to camouflage your far right political views which underpin your opposition to the overwhelming empirical evidence and broad consensus. The world unfortunately is filled with laymen like you who question the science not because of any knowledge but because of indoctrinated ideology. If it involved some element of politics and economics that recognizing the shape of the Earth was broadly round would mean the imposition of regulations that limit corporate profits , you would support flat Earth theory. You would do so even if delaying the imposition of these regulations imposed potentially serious consequences for nature and humanity.

    Of course what McVeigh did was an horrendous crime, but successive US Presidents and their administrations commit serial crimes and are exempt from the consequenes of them. In fact, criminals like Paul Wolfowitz, Michael Ledeen, Richard Perle, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Tony Blair et al. are still regularly interviewed as ‘statesmen’ on radio and television when it comes to international policy relating to Syria, Iran etc. Our own political classes can commit mass murder in the full knowledge that they are exempt from prosecution. In the very few number of cases where ‘our’ crimes are exposed, the only ones who are taken to court are the low ranking members of the military who were involved, and usually these cases go nowhere. In effect, ‘our side’ can commit crimes against humanity with impunity and have been doing so for the past 70 years. Trump is no different. He is fully embedded in the corporate state and as I said in another thread he is taking your country from a plutocracy into a kleptocracy. As Sheldon Wolin and others have elegantly explained, the US is an inverted totalitarian state. The citizenry there has been largely rendered impotent. The general population are miles to the left of their government on issues like health care, social security and the environment but they have little choice when living under a veritable corporate dictatorship. The most ironic thing about Trump is that he is shafting a significant number of his electoral base, but by using populist rhetoric he can get them to support him no matter how brazenly he redistributes wealth towards the ruling elite.

    1. RickA, well of course you are a corporate lawyer.

      Oh, he’s much more than that.

      Add in the endless years of relentless online climate change denial, the ‘Christianity’ and misogynistic denial of women’s reproductive rights and it’s a nasty picture indeed.

      IMO we’re all cutting this POS far too much slack. Still

  12. “Also I’m curious about the deal with GingerBaker, an homage or…? Made me think of when I first heard Fresh Cream.”

    When I first got on the internet, I had to dream up a user name. My stepfather had just made his trademark ginger cheesecake. I am also a drummer, was in a garage band at the time, and Ginger Baker is one of my many drumming idols, so it just popped into my head. If the real Ginger Baker spends much time on the internet, he is probably rather annoyed with me by now, as I have made at least ten thousand comments over the years! 🙂

    Sorry, I do not have a decent portfolio of my photos on-line right now. 🙂

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