The American Spectator's Mistaken History

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As if there already wasen't enough self-inflicted damage from last week's Shirley Sherrod affair to go around, The American Spectator manages yet more this morning, posting a shameless, ignorant column by Jeffrey Lord.

Lord insinuates that Sherrod is a liar for using the word "lynch" to describe a 1940s murder in Baker County, Georgia. Bobby Hall, a relative of Sherrod, was beaten to death by sheriff's deputies who had come to arrest him for stealing a tire. Lord says Sherrod's characterization of the beating as lynching is dishonest and inflammatory.

It's possible that Ms. Sherrod simply doesn't know the truth…

It's also possible that she knew the truth and chose to embellish it, changing a brutal and fatal beating to a lynching. Anyone who has lived in the American South (as my family once did) and is familiar with American history knows well the dread behind stories of lynch mobs and the Klan. What difference is there between a savage murder by fist and blackjack—and by dangling rope? Obviously, in the practical sense, none. But in the heyday—a very long time—of the Klan, there were frequent (and failed) attempts to pass federal anti-lynching laws. None to pass federal "anti-black jack" or "anti-fisticuffs" laws. Lynching had a peculiar, one is tempted to say grotesque, solitary status as part of the romantic image of the Klan, of the crazed racist. The image stirred by the image of the noosed rope in the hands of a racist lynch mob was, to say the least, frighteningly chilling. Did Ms. Sherrod deliberately concoct this story in search of a piece of that ugly romance to add "glamour" to a family story that is gut-wrenchingly horrendous already?

Again, I have no idea.

There is also a third possibility for what appears to be a straight-out fabrication. Having watched Ms. Sherrod's speech and read the transcript, I think it's abundantly clear that she is a liberal or progressive political activist.

Lord also has no idea . . . what he's talking about. The term lynching refers to a mob execution unsanctioned by law. It's often associated with hanging, but there are dozens of documented, racially-motivated lynchings in American history that had nothing to do with hanging. (The murder of Emmit Till is probably the most famous example.) Lord is also flat wrong about federal anti-lynching legislation. These bills sought to punish local governments for sanctioning or refusing to prevent all forms of lynching, not just hanging. Here's the text of the Dwyer bill, the first piece of federal anti-lynching legislation, introduced in 1918:

…the phrase "mob or riotous assemblage," when used in this act, shall mean an assemblage composed of three or more persons acting in concert for the purpose of depriving any person of his life without authority of law as a punishment for or to prevent the commission of some actual or supposed public offense.

The bill never uses any form of the word hang. The more famous Costigan-Wagner anti-lynching bill also made no distinction about a lynch mob's chosen method of execution. Had either bill passed, they would have held local law enforcement responsible for failing to prevent extrajudicial mob murders of any kind, including murder by black jacks and fisticuffs.

But Lord isn't finished. Sherrod mentions in her speech that Hall's murder made it to the Supreme Court, which overturned the civil rights conviction of Sheriff Claude Screws by a 5-4 vote. Lord next criticizes Sherrod for not telling her audience that one of the justices who overturned the conviction (Hugo Black) was not only a member of the Ku Klux Klan, but also an FDR appointee, New Deal supporter, and a "committed liberal activist," just like Sherrod. How conniving of her!

It gets even better. Lord also helpfully informs us that….

Hugo Black was, of course, a lawyer. His law partner? That would be a man named Crampton Harris. Mr. Harris was the Klan "Cyclops" of the Birmingham Klavern. Does this weird term ring a recent bell? It should. "Exalted Cyclops" was the Klan post held in a later time in West Virginia—by another prominent future Democratic Senator named Robert Byrd.

It goes on like that. There's no question that there's a long, ugly history of racism in the progressive movement, and that today's left glosses over that history. But it's more than a little absurd to suggest Sherrod was being dishonest for not drawing all sorts of connections between progressives and racism simply because a New Dealer sat on the Supreme Court that denied her relative justice.

But that is Jeffrey Lord's charge. So black people, take note. If you're ever giving a speech in which you recount a racially-motivated injustice, be sure you're thoroughly familiar with and relay to your audience not only any subsequent legal action related to the case, but also the political affiliations of any and all judges who presided over those legal proceedings, both at trial and on appeal, and whether or not they or any of their business partners (and presumably family members, friends, or golfing buddies) were racist. Also, and most importantly, never, ever, ever talk about any historical racial injustice without also mentioning that the late Sen. Robert Byrd, a Democrat (be sure to mention this part, it's important!), was once an Exalted Cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan.

Anything less would be dishonest.

UPDATE: On The American Spectator's blog, John Tabin and Phil Klein both take issue with Lord's article. Good to see. Klein does object that my headline to this post implies that Lord's article reflects an institutional position at The American Spectator. Though I do think the publication as a whole deserves some scorn for publishing the piece in the first place, Klein's point is is still well-taken. His and Tabin's posts show that not all the staff agrees with Lord or with the decision to publish the article.

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  1. Shameless and ignorant are not words I associate with Mr. Lord. Robert Stacey McCain usually handles the chumming for AmSpec.

  2. He is wrong about some of the things you point out. But he is right about this:

    There is also a third possibility for what appears to be a straight-out fabrication. Having watched Ms. Sherrod’s speech and read the transcript, I think it’s abundantly clear that she is a liberal or progressive political activist.

    She is a bigot too, keeps proving it whenever she speaks.

    1. Should have chopped that first sentence from the quote. I don’t think she fabricated that part.

      1. So she’s an activist. Big whoop. So what, specifically, makes her a “bigot”? The fact that she has a less than grateful attitude about her family members getting murdered by white supremacists?

        You people make me sick.

  3. I think when your brother gets beaten to death for stealing a tire, you are free to call it whatever the hell you want.

    Sherod has said some pretty stupid things. But this was not one of them. Another reason not to read the American Spectator.

  4. Sherrod sees everything through race colored glasses. But I give her a pass because of all the crap the Man has put her through.

  5. This story gets dumber and dumber every fucking day.

    1. That about sums it up. And every writer/pundit who touches it justs to the mountain of assholery.

    2. Could the Obamanations have had the foresight and quick thinking required to fire her, knowing that it would damage Breitbart, who had proved effective in poking holes in the official line?

      1. Or did Breitbart want that to happen sot that the next scandal he exposes will not be dealt with and instead be a long slow boil just in time for the elections?

        1. Karl Rove seems conspicuously absent in this affair.

      2. If they were that competent and far thinking, they would do a better job on other things. And damaging Breitbart is something you do if you are some other journalist. It is not something you do if you are the President. Fighting with Breitbart is a no win game for the Whitehouse. At best you get a draw and people saying like Warty does above “can this story get any stupider?” That doesn’t help you if you are the Whitehouse.

        1. Thatt’s true. The Obama administration – for the most part – has also been fairly good about letting their minions in the press and NGO sector do their dirty work (e.g., scream “racism”) while they remain “above the fray”.

          I think the Sherrod thing was knee jerk reaction, followed by a knee jerk retraction. In this case, however, the retraction was correct, as Breitbart was caught looking like an ass who edited a video with the express purpose of destroying context. The Am Spec piling on – long after it should be clear that there is no story here – is pure stupidity.

          1. He didn’t “edit” the video. He played the video he had. He was never given the complete video. The NAACP had the whole video and didn’t give it up until later.

            It is funny how casual lies become accepted truth.

            1. Yes, funny that.

              1. Considering that it is your entire purpose in life Tony; to spread lies and misinformation in furtherance of your cause, it is good of you to find your work funny.

            2. It was perhaps not clear from the way I phrased it, but my meaning was that Breitbart appeared to be someone who deliberately edited a video to destroy context. The best thing for anyone to do would be to say “well, you should have checked your sources further.”

              While he may deserve the benefit of the doubt, Am Spec does not – their comments are stupid and pointless.

              1. You are right. American spectator lost it benefit of the doubt a long time ago.

            3. Your are not correct. Ben Jealous and the national NAACP did not have the tape; a local affilliate had it. Locals are separately chartered organizations, distinct from the national organization. Besides — even if they had it, how does that excuse Breitbart releasing the defamatory edited version? It doesn’t. And his new excuse, that he released the defamatory edited version to change the subject to the “really racist” NAACP from the “not racist at all” teabaggers, also makes no sense . . . especially when the teabaggers had just kicked out Mark Williams, a leader of the movement, for [drumroll] writing a racist article about the NAACP! It is a clusterfcuk of Mongolian proportions. And it could not have happened to nicer guys, either.

            4. Right, it is the NAACP’s fault. They had the video and they didn’t give it up. I am sure Breitbart contacted them and asked for the whole video. Even though he is fully versed in how the multimedia works, he still could not tell he had an edited video. Folks are expecting way too much from him.

            5. Given Mr. Breitbart’s historically loose relationship with the “truth” I wonder why it is that I should believe his claims that he wasn’t the one who edited it? Simply because he claims that is the case?

        2. Just a little Monday Morning conspiracy theory. I really shouldn’t chum for crazies, though.

            1. Don’t distract us away from the threat of manbearpig.

              1. “Boob bait for the Bubbas.”

              2. Did Al touch you, too, Suki? What a beast he is!

    3. Until they come up with a new, incredibly dumb story, this will be the incredibly dumb story that you will have to live with each day.

      TEAM RED TEAM BLUE slapfights are so tedious as to almost be an acquired taste in a hedonistic way. If I can just savor the tedium, I will win.

      1. Yes, why actually develop an opinion on the treatment of race of public discourse. It’s all a tedious slapfight between different teams! None of these issues touch on matters of consequence to actual human beings! How pleasant to gaze down on the riffraff from on high this mountaintop.

        Although his opinions aren’t the most noxious on this message board, I must say Episiarch does somehow manage to come across as the douche-iest. He’s an acquired taste. If I can just savor it, I get to win every thread.

  6. The term lynching refers to a mob execution unsanctioned by law.

    I did not know that.

    1. So you can lynch white people, too?

      1. The lynched person must be innocent, so no you can’t lynch whitey.

        1. Actually, innocence is not the criterion to determine whether the victim is lynched. Lynching generally refers to mob violence carried out without state sanction.

          No one believes that Henry Plummer and his gang were innocent, but they were still lynched.

          1. You are using old, pre-Sharptonian definitions.

        2. Um, completely false. Whites were lynched, particularly those who fought for civil rights.

      2. The original victims of Lynching were white. Please see – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Lynch_(jurist)

        1. Impossible! Revisionist! Racist! Sending this to the NAACP and I refuse to read it!

  7. Doesn’t anyone at Reason see the inconguity of Ms Sherrod having a family member killed by police brutality and using that as a reason for more statism.

    1. Not yet. They are still busy cracking the whip on strays leaving the media herd.

      1. Reason is increasing becoming indistinguishable from NBC, Newsweek or the NYT. They really should relocate to Nashville, Wichita or Boise before it’s irreversible.

        1. For what it’s worth, the post you’re replying to was written in Nashville.

          1. Slumming?

            1. Did you miss all the chatter when he was moving from Jim Webb country to middle America?

              1. Did you miss all the chatter when he was moving from Jim Webb country to middle America?

                Yes I did.

                Hopefully we’ll see less of this type of story in the future.

            2. Radley, I know you think you live in Nashville, but you have to remember:

              1. There are only two conceivable worldviews: absolute fealty to the MSM and absolute fealty to the Red Team.

              2. If you disagree with in any way with the Red Team party line, you are therefore indistinguishable from the MSM.

              3. The MSM is based in Washington, New York, and Los Angeles.

              4. Therefore, if you differ in any way from one of the right-wing memes of the hour, you must live in Washington, New York, or Los Angeles.

              QED.

        2. True. You would think they had full NYT access, but they don’t seem to have a subscription.

        3. It wouldn’t do any good. They are all journalists. And they would love nothing better than to move on to a gig at one of the major networks or the Washington Post or the New York Times. So they never get too radical. They don’t ever want to burn too many bridges with the liberals who run the media.

          Dave Weigal is probably a lot more typical than they would ever admit. I used to think the solution was to move them out of Washington. That wouldn’t help. They only thing that would help would be to hire people who are not journalists and have no interest in ever working for the major media. And that would be pretty hard to do.

          1. The bankruptcy and disapperance of those MSM stalwarts could eliminate that dynamic.

            1. Yes it would among other wise and wonderful things.

              1. I can’t believe that rightarded myth of the “liberal media” is popping up in “Reason”. It’s as if FOX news weren’t out there.

                Oh right. They’re not really a news organization, are they?

                Nevermind.

      2. Except for Weigel. They left him hanging.

        1. They lynched him??

          1. Gibbeted. See below.

    2. As I said below, it makes sense in the context of the civil rights era. Much of the breakdown of the institutional racism of the South during the civil rights era came from the federal government. States rights was frequently simply just a cover to allow the local government to continue to support racist policies.

      For example, the federal judge and national guard troops that forced Wallace to integrate the University of Alabama. Also, frequently the only places one could get justice when local juries refused to convict murders was the federal courts.

      I no longer think that this is necessary, but the historical context isn’t as contradictory as you would make it seem.

      1. For example, the federal judge and national guard troops that forced Wallace to integrate the University of Alabama. Also, frequently the only places one could get justice when local juries refused to convict murders was the federal courts.

        I no longer think that this is necessary, but the historical context isn’t as contradictory as you would make it seem.

        Forcing the integration of the University of Alabama was a legitimate use of federal power, as it was directly related to the Fourteenth Amendment.

    3. Um, seriously? Do you know anything about the history of this country? Like, a single thing?

      You realize that in living memory the U.S. was an apartheid state with a large politically disenfranchised minority whose rights had to be guaranteed (and then only poorly) by federal intervention? Lynching wasn’t “police brutality.” It was part of a system of systematic political and economic terrorism against an entire class of people.

      I know it’s hard to have empathy with people who are different than you. As a thought experiment, try to imagine how you would feel if your state judicial system took away the right to vote from douchebags. You’d be pretty cheesed off, right? Well, that’s probably how Sherrod’s relative felt while he was being beaten to death.

  8. How could Sherrod want bigger government after government killed a family member and – way before that – was responsible for the institutionalization and legalization of slavery?

    Does she hate herself or what?

    1. A great many blacks suffer from internalized racism. That’s what gangs are all about. Whitey ain’t making them shoot each other in the street. It’s self-inflicted.

      1. If whitey didn’t put the guns in their hands and stir-up trouble between them, then who did?

        1. Before you two embarrass yourselves further, let’s remember that gang activity is a product of poverty more than anything else.

          1. Forget about gangs.

            Why does the victim of statism want more of it?

            Is it the triumph of “education” over rational self interest?

            1. Whatever the role of the state in institutionalized racism, it was also the state that has worked to end it. There is nothing inherently racist about a state.

              1. Then they need to stop making racist quota laws and stop hiring people who discriminate on the basis of race.

              2. You people just don’t get it.

            2. Josh, the police were not acting on states’ orders when they lynched the man. Why you think otherwise is beyond me.

              1. The state and local governments official and unofficial policies promoted this kind of behavior. The Jim Crow laws did say it was illegal to do certain things but the “death” penalty by beating or hanging was not officially the law but the policies were enforced by those in power who were often in the Klan or just did not like people “gettin uppity”. Governments do not have to be racist but the more laws there are and the more power the police have the more dangerous the state becomes. So the point some have made about statism is valid.

          2. Where would you rather live, Camden, NJ or Gaza?

            1. What a horrific choice. I’ve been to Camden, NJ. Not sure if Gaza isn’t better.

              1. Gaza has better resorts along the watter, but girls can’t smoke the water pipes.

                1. I meant along the seashore, not that mess of a word I typed.

          3. Bull. Fucking. Shit.

            I work with gang kids. Go fuck yourself.

            1. Now you did it. He will be calling you a Jew any moment.

            2. Then you’re the expert. What would you say is the primary cause of gang activity?

              1. Fatherless, pubescent males with shitty role models.

          4. I figgered it was a product of the war on drugs and the fact that the only option for some of the folks to make money in those neighborhoods is through gang-related activity. But poverty by itself is an easier explanation and doesn’t make you question how policies supported by your team might be involved. So go with poverty since it won’t make you think.

            1. UIG,

              That fatherlessness is a byproduct of the war on poverty.

              1. ^THIS

                and the shitty role models are a product of Big N*****.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suge_Knight

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_Combs

          5. Before you two embarrass yourselves further, let’s remember that gang activity is a product of poverty more than anything else.

            Define poverty.

            Does it mean not being able to afford food and shelter?

            Other people have different definitions of poverty .

            For those without knowledge of basic economics, poverty is not defined in terms of absolutes. It has nothing to do with absolute measures of subsistence, or health, or quality of clothing or standards of living. It is simply based on income percentiles; if you rank financially in the bottom third of the population, then you are below the poverty line (the exact placement of the poverty line may vary from country to country).

            To put this concept in stark relief, consider this: if everybody in North America experiences a tenfold increase in wealth over the next 30 days, the number of people living below the poverty line won’t change one iota. The “poor” grocery store clerks might have 6000 square foot homes and Porsches, but the “rich” people would have 30,000 square foot homes and McLarens (insert whatever ostentatious displays of wealth you prefer, if you’re not into cars).

            In other words, a general increase in the standard of living cannot possibly eliminate poverty, no matter how high that increase is. It’s all relative, so even the most comfortable country in the world must have poverty … unless the government forces everyone’s standard of living to be the same.

            1. In other words, a general increase in the standard of living cannot possibly eliminate poverty, no matter how high that increase is.

              And what does that tell us? That tells us that the famous “war on poverty” was and is an effort to equalize everyone’s standard of living. Equalizing it doesn’t necessarily mean improving it.

            2. The saddest thing about viewing poverty in this manner manner is that the war on poverty may already have been ‘won’, but they’ve ginned the definition so it, and the statist measures it supports, are eternal.

      2. Please do not simplify the reasoning behind gang violence to this. You know not of what you speak! The reasons young African American and Hispanic men join gangs are varied and complex, not the least of which is there need for belonging, and a feeling of power in a world where they often feel powerless.

        1. The reasons young African American and Hispanic men join gangs are varied and complex

          So are the reasons that white men join gangs one-dimensional and simple? What about women?

    2. Because much of the breakdown of the institutional racism of the South during the civil rights era came from the federal government.

      For example, the federal judge and national guard troops that forced Wallace to integrate the University of Alabama.

    3. How could Sherrod want bigger government after government killed a family member

      The government didn’t kill her family member. Go back and read the story again, this time without your partisan glasses on.

      1. Really?

        a relative of Sherrod, was beaten to death by sheriff’s deputies who had come to arrest him for stealing a tire.

        Yeah, just some random good ol boys.

        1. Tulpa’s case of the morons comes out erratically, like Tourette’s.

        2. If the sentence read, “…who had come to kill him for stealing a tire” then you would have had a point.

          Their pretext for being there was a legitimate state action. Their actions while there were not.

          1. But we don’t know that. Perhaps he resisted arrest.

            1. It’s not a tragedy until some cop shoots a dog.

            2. No one beats a man to death for resisting arrest. Please…..

        3. Josh, the officers weren’t acting on directives from the government when they beat the man to death! Why can’t you understand this! If a cop does something that the governement expressly forbids him to do, it’s not logical to blame the government when the cop does it anyway. Got it?

    4. Jack, the reason many African-Americans support big government (spec. big federal government) is precisely because of cases like this. For generations of blacks, the legacy of Jim Crow is states having the power to sunder the individual rights of blacks. From Lincoln to the Civil Rights/Voting Rights acts of the 1960s, blacks saw the federal government as being the primary resort against the power of state’s rights. It’s certainly fair now to question and oppose the overreaching power of the federal government, but the historical record provides ample proof why blacks see the feds as a necessary bulwark against the power overreaching (individual) state power.

    5. Government did not kill her uncle. The officer was not acting as a vessel of the state at the time of the lynching.

  9. Story: Writer at American Spectator doesn’t realize that lynch is not synonymous with hanging. As a writer , he should probably know (or look it up if there’s any doubt).

    I had always thought the same, but I don’t write on the subject, either.

    1. Would any legislature ever call their LEO part of an exta-legal mob?

      Somehow I doubt it.

    2. It wasn’t just that the writer didn’t know, it was that he wrote an entire article calling the woman a liar based on the false premise.

  10. Lynching can even mean attacking soldiers engaged in a raid.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/di…..s-1.293089

  11. As someone who lives in the same area as Sherrod (my wife’s family is VERY well known in Baker County as a matter of fact), I can attest that “lynching” is most definitely the correct term.

    The Sheriff during that time period was notorious. Once, they drug a black man wrapped in chains from the river. The Sheriff’s response? “just like a nigger to steal more chain than he could swim with.” THAT was the world that Shirley Sherrod’s relative was killed in.

    I have no love for the Sherrod family, but lynching was common in Baker County. Make no mistake.

  12. I’ve forgotten where, but i read some years ago that in most cases the cause of death in lynchings was not hanging*, but shooting. IIRC the next most common cause was beating.

    In fact, when the victim was hanged it was commonly done after death. IOW, rather than a hanging as we know it, it was a gibbeting.

    Since the purpose of most odf the mob violence against blacks was intended as a terror tactic to cow them into submission to their subservient status. It is not surprising that bodies were hung for public view this way as a warning to others even moreso than being a punishment for a supposed miscreant.

    *The most common cause of death in informal hangings is by strangulation which is slow and lingering. In a formal modern hanging death is caused by making two of the cervical vertebrae slip over one another to sever the spinal cord. It takes quite a bit of training and knowledge to accomplish this.

    1. It means less every time they use it.

      1. In this case, Dean insisted that FOX was the cause of the firing and had to be told by Chris Wallace the fact that she was not even mentioned on FOX news until after she was fired. FOX has the video up and there are related videos at the blog in my name.

        1. “In this case, Dean insisted that FOX was the cause of the firing and had to be told by Chris Wallace the fact that she was not even mentioned on FOX news until after she was fired. ”

          Maybe. But how many FOX News weasels were calling legislators and the Obama administration all day?

          They didn’t get the chance to ramp up the on-air coverage, but you can bet they were calling people all over Washington all day, in preparation for the usual full-court press.

          Wallace’s response is just a non-denial denial.

      2. Dean even called the Black Panther Party videos a bunch of nonsense, or something like that.

      3. Geez, what would the Left do for an argument, if everyone was the same race?

        1. I remember when the left pointed out that race was an empty non scientific concept.

          Now they can’t live without it.

        2. That is not possible. Ya see, progressives have got stars upon thars. They are far better than those who have not.

          1. Hmmm……CONSERVATIVE FRIENDS…… Would we have TEA PARTY ACTIVISTS if we had a white president???? Just a thought. Many claim it’s their fear of scary, scary government takeover and possible socialism. I am quite sure it is a fear and hatred of something much deeper than that.

    2. Well, you know what Breitbart says. “If you get hit, punch back twice as hard.”

      No, wait. That’s the White House. My mistake.

      1. What about showing the pistol hidden under the t-shirt?

    3. That’s because you’re racist. QED.

  13. Go Team Red!
    Go Team Blue!

    Intelligent rational discourse is not required when you play sports bar politics.

  14. I saw Exhaulted Cyclops and the Riotous Assembledge at Roseland once…

  15. Reason is increasing becoming indistinguishable from NBC, Newsweek or the NYT.

    Close enough.

    Prosit!

  16. Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.

  17. I’m a Racist, he’s a Racist,
    She’s a Racist, we’re a Racist,
    Wouldn’t you like to be a Racist, too?
    Be a Racist. Drink Dr Racist

  18. I’m just wondering where the substantial fraction of the H&R commentariat who consider lynch mobs to be a superior tool for administering justice have vanished to. I urge all my anarcho-free-enterprise friends to come defend their principles!

    1. ARFARFARFTHROWTHESTICKARFARFARF

    2. Lynchmobs don’t require any evidence to convict. I think the anarchos would require some sort or arbitration which would presumably present evidence.

      1. I’m smellin’ an awful lotta “if” comin’ off this plan.

        </jayne>

        Not to mention the fact that no one in an anarcho system can require anything, since that would be a quasi-governmental action.

      2. I think the anarchos would require some sort or arbitration which would presumably present evidence.

        Like a court?

    3. What? you mean those of us who understand that some people just need killin’? Or those of us who understand that some people just need killing?

      With anarchy justice* would be swift–and it would consist of the wronged parties hunting down those who’d done them wrong. No cops, no judges. No system.

      *and let’s all remember that justice is just a polite word for vengeance.

  19. Here’s a question for *you* Tulpa:

    Would the fact that lynch mob A was composed of (and/or protected by) state-sanctioned actors like the local sheriff have an effect on the “balance of power”? The state authority you love only works if it is impartially administered.

    Since the sheriff apparently refused to do his job, I would shed no tears if lynch mob B had chained an anvil to the sheriff’s feet and given him a swimming lesson.

    Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    1. P Brooks–since it was Federal Government usurping repressive state and local governments that changed these practices, was the Federal Government wrong to usurp local authority? How does this fit with your weird world view that revolution would solve the problem? In the real world, repressed minorities generally lose in revolutions and simply provide an excuse for more repression.

      1. Jim Crow wouldn’t have gotten very far if blacks hadn’t been disarmed in the 1880s.

        1. Minorities generally lose in violent armed conflicts. The assertion that if blacks had been better armed the outcome would be different is not based on history.

          1. Going to need a little citation here.

            1. Okay, let’s go through the last decade:
              -Sri Lanka (Tamils lost and faced massive repression)
              -Chechnya
              -Non-Pashtuns in Afghanistan were on the verge of defeat before the US entered the conflict
              -Arabs and other minorities in Iran
              Name some cases where repressed minorities were able to win against local majorities. Somewhat successful revolutions generally need a base area where they are the local population. Now your turn, come up with a counter-example:

              1. I wanted citations more so from the blanket generalization and my personal ignorance and laziness than any perceived wrongness of your statement. Even having the same quality of advanced weaponry will most likely result in the larger-sized population being the winner.

                Even Haiti probably had a larger population of Africans than French/whites.

                1. Zoltan,
                  Okay, I get what your saying. I think the general problem is that people here assume revolutions stop repression. Revolutions can stop repression of the majority. If a minority launches a revolution, it generally results in increased repression.

              2. Iraq ruled by the Sunni minority

                Afghanistan ruled by the Taliban minority

                South Africa ruled by the Boers

                etc.

                1. The Taliban represented the majority ethnic group. The point, that you’re missing, is that revolutions my minorities generally lose because of the numbers game. The whites in SA and Sunni’s in Iraq ruled partly as a result of outside colonial influence. Minorities can maintain power with a qualitative advantage, but revolutionary movements generally lack a qualitative advantage.

          2. Blacks being armed would have made it very difficult for whites to oppress them without explicitly using the power of the state. You would have wound up with a full-blown race war, rather than just some “local color” that the local sheriff could ignore. Even the most racist federal administrations (lookin at you, Woodrow) would not have been able to ignore such things.

            1. How was this lynching (see article above) not using the explicit powers of the state?

              1. Officially, the killing was done by individuals who happened to be wearing badges. It was not a state-sanctioned execution. (that’s what I mean by “explicit”)

                If blacks were armed, a bunch of drunk guys in sheets running around in the middle of the night (with the willfull ignorance of the state) would not have been able to oppress them. You would have needed the state to act officially.

                1. Lynch mobs often functioned as in this case–the police would arrest and disarm the person, then the mob would seize them and kill them. The police were a key part of the system.

                2. If blacks were armed, a bunch of drunk guys in sheets running around in the middle of the night (with the willfull ignorance of the state) would not have been able to oppress them.
                  I find this to be naive. Many, if not most, rural blacks had guns, law or not. Gun were essentially farm implements at the time. And there are instances where black people did successfully use or brandish guns in self defense from lynch mobs.

                  However, you’re talking about situations where often people were attacked at night by a numerically superior armed force. You could fight back, but you were outnumbered and your wife and children were in the firing line. You have to look at it from the perspective of the individual under attack – yeah, you could be lynched, but odds are your family would come out of it alive. If you fought back, everyone could be killed in retribution. And the raiders were masked, so how could you organize a response?

                  Your alternatives were pretty limited – build castles, I suppose, or race war, neither of which is appealing or practical.

            2. You would have wound up with a full-blown race war, rather than just some “local color” that the local sheriff could ignore.

              Would a full-blown race war have been much worse than how things actually occurred?

              1. Would a full-blown race war have been much worse than how things actually occurred?

                I’m going to go out on a very short, sturdy limb and say “no.”

      2. P Brooks–since it was Federal Government usurping repressive state and local governments that changed these practices, was the Federal Government wrong to usurp local authority?

        It depends on if the Constritution permitted them to do so.

        How does this fit with your weird world view that revolution would solve the problem? In the real world, repressed minorities generally lose in revolutions and simply provide an excuse for more repression.

        But is it not true that guerillas win by not losing?

        Because in discussions about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I kept reading about how the guerillas are destined to win, simply by the tactics they used.

        1. You’re not talking about natives fighting an occupying force, which is generally more a matter of holding out until the occupiers go home.

          You’re talking about two native elements fighting over their joint homeland – civil war.

    2. There are going to be power imbalances in an anarcho-free-enterprise system too. People who are customers of the most powerful security force are going to wield the same kind of power as people who had governments in their pockets back in those dark days of statism.

      …causing even more people to flock to the most powerful security force, making it even more powerful and its competitors less powerful. Rinse, lather, repeat, and you are now the proud denizen of a state! And this is assuming that the powerful security force goes along with the pretense of operating in a market rather than just grabbing full coercive power once it is more powerful than all its competitors combined.

  20. How does this fit with your weird world view that revolution would solve the problem?

    If the government itself is lawless, its authority is illegitimate. Sometimes self-service justice *is* justified.

    1. How does a minority win such a revolution? The sheriff, more than likely, represented the local majority. Minorities (see Sri Lanka) generally lose in a revolution and provide the majority a reason for repression. Please explain how such a revolution could win.

      1. How does a minority win such a revolution? The sheriff, more than likely, represented the local majority. Minorities (see Sri Lanka) generally lose in a revolution and provide the majority a reason for repression. Please explain how such a revolution could win.

        By attacking the infrastructure that the majority relies on.

        Destroy grain storehouses.

        Poison wells.

        Blow up bridges and railroads.

        1. And then the state has justification to deploy the National Guard, mass repression, collective punishment. Your road leads to the minority facing more, not less, repression.

          1. And then the state has justification to deploy the National Guard, mass repression, collective punishment. Your road leads to the minority facing more, not less, repression.

            As long as guerrillas keep forces in the field, they will not lose.

            And think about it.

            If the grain storehouses are destroyed, how will people eat?

            If the wells are poisoned, how will people drink?

            If the banks are blown up, how will National Guard troops get paid?

            1. So, basically, you’re asserting that an anarchic civilization deals with social problems by resorting to mass starvation and endless warfare.

              1. So, basically, you’re asserting that an anarchic civilization deals with social problems by resorting to mass starvation and endless warfare.

                If mass starvation and endless warfare took down Jim Crow, would that have been a bad thing?

  21. Suki, Suki, Suki…who mistreated you so badly when you were a child? Did your daddy have a black boss that actually held him accountable? Did you have a black teacher that forced you to do terrible things like finish your work? You’re so bitter–I can only imagine you grew up in a world where those nasty black boogeymen had their way with you. You’re so brave to have survived and thrived well enough to actually have your very own blog!!

    You’re clearly a victim, and you want me to feel sorry for you…so I do. You most certainly have my pity–feel better now?

    Now–get back to scouring the Internet for drivel that fits neatly in your narrow little mind…your followers (pathetic victims, too, I’m sure) need to hear from you!

    Good luck and God speed, Suki.

    1. The problem with Suki is that it is an advanced age man with poor writing skills and a penchant for posing as a mediocre-looking Asian woman.

    2. The Suki thing is so stupid and annoying I usually ignore it, but sometimes I need to voice how stupid and annoying it really is.

      The man behind Suki is a true space cadet, though. Bravo.

  22. Radley, why do you hate white people?

  23. So black people, take note. If you’re ever giving a speech in which you recount a racially-motivated injustice, be sure you tell your audience that the person who committed the injustice, the law who ignored it, and/or the courts who let the racists get away with it were all members of the party to which you, and they, have devoted their lives.

  24. Doesn’t the American Spectator have a single editor or proofreader? Where is the retraction?

    1. The sight is poorly administered at the best of times. Not too long ago they had a massive hit piece on Sean Hannity that slipped through! By the time the dust settled they had run multiple apologies and several fluff pieces on Sean.
      If you criticize or antagonize them,you find yourself caught in the spam filter and unable to post.

  25. So much fail in the post and subsequent comments.

    The term lynching refers to a mob execution unsanctioned by law.
    Correct

    (The murder of Emmit(sic) Till is probably the most famous example.)

    Till was murdered by 2 men. There was no “mob” involved.

    1. 2 men were tried for the murder of emmitt till, but it is by no means clear that only 2 were involved. the only witness at the trial who gave direct evidence of the actual beating (a brave man named willie reed) testified that there were 7 people involved (if memory serves — more than 2 in any event). please get your facts straight if you are going to accuse others of “fail”.

  26. The GOP continues to push the envelope. Not content to alienate blacks enough to ensure we don’t vote Republican for the next twenty years, they have to go for a full century of not getting our vote.

    We despise the Republican party and all the Jeffrey Lords and Andrew Breitbarts who are part of it.

  27. Even if you assume his premise it’s unfathomable that the meaningless distinction between lynching and racially motivated murder justifies calling someone a liar.

  28. Here’s the comment to Lord’s article that I posted over at the TAS website: “Funny you should talk of ‘frequent (and failed) attempts to pass federal anti-lynching laws.’ Did you, by any chance, review the text of any of those proposed laws? I suspect not, because if you had (see, e.g., this one: http://naacp.com/about/history…../index.htm), you’d have seen a couple of things. One, three men could indeed, for the purpose of the proposed statute, constitute a ‘mob or riotous assembly.’ Second, that just as the bill doesn’t say anything about ‘a savage murder by fist and blackjack, it similarly says nothing about murder ‘by dangling rope.’ What it does say is prisoners being ‘put to death.’ Finally, the anti-lynching law I have cited would clearly have applied to the murder of Bobby Hall, indicating that that murder indeed *did* fall within the meaning of the term ‘lynching’ as it was understood back when the anti-lynching laws you refer to were under consideration.”

  29. BS. The AS published the article, let them take him down.

  30. Look up lynch in the dictionary idiot.

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