Uncomfortable Violence

Lynching is an ugly stain on the fabric of America. It’s one of those ugly truths about our history that many people want to forget or ignore. Totals differ depending on the sources, but the estimates are that between 4 and 5 thousand people were lynched in the US after the Civil War and up to the Civil Rights Era.

Lynching was mob violence condoned by the government. Most often, the violence was carried out by the Ku Klux Klan, but there were many instances of regular everyday white citizens forming a mob to lynch someone. These mobs acted with little to no fear of law enforcement. Some mobs even took on a party-like atmosphere.

I’ve often wondered why the counts end with the Civil Rights Era when lynching didn’t end during that time frame. I was born after the Civil Rights time, and the last verified lynching by a member of the KKK occurred during my lifetime. In fact, I remember it because of the significance of the case which I’ll point out later.

His name was Michael Donald. He was lynched on March 21, 1981 in Mobile, Alabama. Some remember his case because this is the one former Senator and US Attorney General Jeff Sessions refers to when he wrongfully claims to have bankrupted the KKK. Sessions name is on the case because he was the Alabama AG at the time this case was prosecuted.

Donald’s case was almost just another lynching like the thousands before that would have gone unsolved and not prosecuted if it were not for the actions of the Figures brothers. It was Thomas Figures who was the Assistant U.S. Attorney in Mobile that got the DoJ to take a second look into the case when the FBI was going to close it. Thomas’ brother Michael, a civil rights activist and state senator, served as a lawyer for Donald’s mother Beulah Mae Donald.

Donald’s case is significant for two reasons. First, one of the KKK members who participated in the killing was sentenced to death and executed by electrocution in Alabama’s electric chair known as “Big Yellow Mama”. Henry Francis Hays is the only known KKK member who was convicted and executed for the murder of a Black man in the entirety of the 20th Century.

Also, Donald’s case is significant because a civil suit filed on behalf of his mother resulted in the bankruptcy of the United Klans of America. Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is the lawyer responsible for bankrupting the Klan, not Sessions.

So, whenever you see the history signs marking notable lynching incidents being destroyed, remember this. Only one KKK member was ever executed for lynching a Black man in America, and most lynching went unpunished. We don’t even punish folks for damaging the historical markers. I guess having signs around makes people feel uncomfortable about the murders their families got away with.

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159 thoughts on “Uncomfortable Violence

  1. I just seen that police video of the shooting in Minn..it’s horrible. The police snuck up on him..startled him awake and expect him to know it’s police with guns pointing at him…smh

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    • It’s awful. There’s really nothing they can say to make that situation right except to own up to their mistakes and quit trying to lie when mistakes are made.

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        • They won’t. That’s where the breakdown in communication forms. The brass will sometimes want to work things out with the community because it’s easier to solve crime when the community actively assists the police. The union will see any signs of trying to work with the community as throwing them under the bus. The majority of problems arise from unions refusing to own up to errors and make changes.

          Liked by 2 people

    • He wasn’t the suspect on the warrant..

      Liked by 2 people

      • Read how the police statement twisted what happened..”they encountered someone armed with a gun.” No mention that he was sleeping.

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        • They encountered an innocent man asleep. If Henry County ever made a mistake and entered my house with a no-knock warrant, it will be a bad day for everyone involved. If you enter my home unannounced and uninvited, the hollow point welcome committee will most definitely greet you at some time during the encounter.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. This is still happening, it’s just, that people now, use guns, knives, instead of, a rope, strung someone, onto that tree, and, beating them down, people had not, advanced, that far, from, where we used to, be, not as much as we like to believe we had, at least…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Truth there. The relaxing of self-defense laws also contributes to this. In several states, a person can stalk someone else, start an altercation, and then claim self-defense when they’re getting the crap beat put of them and resort to killing the other person to keep from getting completely beaten down.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Earlier (and ongoing on their comments’ page) on Fox Noose, they have Mike Pence:

    by
    the
    neck

    Pence is a lot late with his revelation – a public one at that.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. JFC, I had missed this. Another gang of LEOs who “feared for their lives” during a no-knock arrest, so, yeah.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/feb/04/amir-locke-police-minneapolis-no-knock-warrant

    In a news conference Wednesday, Huffman said the officers “loudly and repeatedly announced ‘police search warrant’ before crossing the threshold into the apartment.” But the footage released Thursday raised questions about that initial account, showing several officers rushing into the apartment at the same time that they announced their presence, giving Locke little time to react before he was shot.

    The raid took place just before 7 a.m. Wednesday, and the footage captures officers shining a bright light toward Locke, who appears to be lying on the couch in the dark apartment.

    As Locke sat up, his body wrapped in a blanket and a bright light shining in his face, a gun is seen in his hand, prompting one of the officers to fire at Locke three times. It’s not clear from the video whether the gun was pointed at officers, or if anyone ordered him to drop it before he was shot. The chaotic incident lasted less than 10 seconds.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. OMG.
    Not smothered. Not covered. Not chunked. Not diced. Not peppered. Not capped. Not topped. Not country.
    Plain ol scattered hash browns are not for the faint of heart at 10pm?
    GTFOH with that wimpy ass shit!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Might as well get this FNM out of my system. Kind of on-topic, inasmuch as it accounts for some of the mentality that guides a lot of poor, marginalized white folks.

    It was the first tune I’d ever heard from the Truckers, and it still gives chills.

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  7. About that Peach “Brandy”
    When i lived in Reynoldstown* there was a fella named Paris who made peach brandy. He carried it around in a repurposed Prestone antifreeze jug (i shit you not).
    Fortunately, he was a very amiable drunk. Never angry, never loud. Quite pleasant to hang out with actually.
    Except he always wanted to share his brandy.
    I would look at that jug and think about how there was a lady in Cobb County that murdered her husband with antifreeze and then look at the juandiced yellows of his eyes and say “i can’t handle the hard stuff” and offer him a beer.
    Eventually, realizing one taste wont kill me, i took a swig.
    Basically high proof corn liquor cut with syrup from canned peaches.
    Unless you trust the distiller’s methods, beware of peach brandy!

    *pre-gentrification (not exactly a highly sought after neighborhood when i lived there)

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Making my way through Blood at the Root, I admit I didn’t realize something Patrick Phillips pointed out: the KKK in America that did the majority of the harm, really didn’t exist until after Birth of A Nation’s release. That the film actually re-created the bloody organization.

    Not that an official organization made much of a difference in the ongoing reign of terror, it’s just that people conducting such coordinated attacks were called “night raiders” rather than simply “klansmen.”

    (the original Klan was, apparently, crushed/suppressed c. 1871, while the Army still occupied the south. BTW, thanks again, Republicans, for that awesome deal y’all worked out to withdraw the forces in 1877 in exchange for getting your guy in the White House. You’ve just been SO TRUSTWORTHY ever since.)

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Late to this.

    Just a personal note to start. Most here know that the Mrs. worked (through a position on a county board that helps recommend and facilitate such things) to ensure that a memorial to Charles Hale would be erected in Lawrenceville.

    I posted about the unveiling ceremony last month; here’s a link to a page the local Remembrance Society documenting the event.

    Unfortunately the only video available, linked on the page, is to a Facebook site so some might not be able to watch it. If you do see it, I’d recommend you skip ahead to the 27m30s mark, where Hale’s niece, Rev. Inger Williams, gives an impassioned speech, whose most memorable section addresses the sign the mob had left hanging on Hale’s corpse that read “PLEASE DON’T WAKE HIM.”

    Just a shame that the unveiling was, kind of at the last minute, switched from an in-person to a virtual event, so there were only a few people present to applaud their appreciation. It also received very little media coverage; here’s the only story I could find online.

    Liked by 2 people

      • In 1911, he was accused of rape, jailed at the Lawrenceville courthouse (which still stands in the town center), removed from his cell by a mob, shot and hung from a telegraph pole nearby.

        Unsurprisingly there was never a criminal investigation, nor even any autopsy or official medical report issued. His body was buried in a nearby pauper’s grave which is now privately owned land.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Rose Scott interviewed this awesome woman today. 1st black woman explorer to grace the cover of National Geographic. Her podcast chronicles her experiences as a diver. She is part of a group diving on the estimated 1,000 wrecked slave ships in the middle passage. Only 10 have been documented.
    She is helping to document black history in a very overlooked area.
    It is black history in the Americas, not just America.
    She is from Atlanta.
    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/podcasts/into-the-depths/article/episode-1-trusting

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Biden sets first-year record with 6.6 million jobs added

    Sleepy Joe, Papa is knocking it out of the ball park. LOL

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  12. Pence says Trump is ‘wrong’ to say then-vice president had the right to overturn 2020 election

    Wishy washy Pence say that. trump must be losing his grip on the Republicans.

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  13. New research reinforces the old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” when it comes to preventing future pandemics.
    With the world now entering its third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, a team of 20 experts have released a “blueprint” for stopping animal-borne pathogens from spilling over into humans. The study, led by Harvard University researchers and published in the journal Science Advances on Friday, finds that implementing just three pandemic prevention strategies — halting deforestation, improving disease monitoring and surveillance, and better managing the wildlife trade — would cost a fraction of the annual economic and human losses that result from emerging infectious diseases.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/pandemic-prevention-harvard-study_n_61fd5c39e4b05004242cd1d7

    Implementing those strategies is the hard part because wide spread poverty and greed will be our downfall.

    BTW since Dec 13 till yesterday we lost 100,000 souls. Now the total toll has surpassed 900,000.

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    • All I know izzat Johns Hopkins econ researchers proved that — before the vaxx was available, and before mask protocols that really weren’t followed — a lock down that really didn’t happen did nothing to stop the pandemic.

      Liked by 3 people

  14. Those Fox News vids about the jobs report are funny as fuck.

    This is the problem with editorializing the news. Fox News wants to tell you why *such and such* happened.
    OK, fine they gotz their opinion. But opinions ain’t news.
    Now, they are editorializing events that haven’t happened.
    They had to tell us why the jobs report WILL announce 300,000 job losses, and then make a tasteless joke about vaccinating against job losses.
    That didn’t happen.
    Epic. Faceplant.

    The news is who, what, when, where, and how.
    Anyone telling you *why*, has a narrative based agenda.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I see your point but imo if people can’t see that most cable infotainment is nothing but editorial commentary I can’t help them.
      So the whys in and of themselves aren’t good but don’t really bother me that much. You can do the whys via opinion without knowingly lying, taking things out of context, splicing videos to make it appear someone said something much different than what was said (I see you Fox News), spiking balls like this morning and on and on.
      The whys aren’t going anywhere but the lies could however they are here to stay just like the whys

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      • Agreed, the editorializing isn’t gonna stop, but I’m old enough to remember watching Cronkite and Huntley-Brinkley. It was dry as burnt toast, but back then they didn’t speculate on motivations.

        Mr, Smith killed his wife Mable Smith on the night of January 6th at their home in Massapequa with a .50 cal. sniper rifle.

        Unless they’re a trained psychologist with months of time treating Mr. Smith, no one can definitively say what motivated Mr. Smith to kill his wife. Even then it would be an educated guess by a trained professional.
        Mr. Smith might not know why he did it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Rand Paul told me all I need to know about him when he initially ran for the senate. He weakly tried to pass off his at minimum deeply seated bigotries, if not racism, by saying while the government shouldn’t be able to discriminate any business should have the right to do so.
      He has said a few good things about the Patriot Act but outside of that eff that bigot

      Liked by 3 people

    • In other words the RNC is essentially saying what the rw media tells their audiences day in and day out………. you are a victim. Of course they never say ‘victim’ but words like persecution and vilified more than send the message to the cultists. Then it comes out when a good many of the cultists are commenting on blogs / social media or just discussing politics person to person

      It’s almost cult like and as if many have been I dare say willfully programmed

      Liked by 1 person

  15. May I suggest that my good buddy send Spicer one her football helmets.
    Damn his head hit the concrete and had to have bounced up and then back down at least 5 times
    He is probably in some sort of concussion protocol this afternoon

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Check out the caption at the bottom of the screen.

    LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Good times as getalife use to say

    No the job gains wont continue at this rate nor will GDP keep roaring and the market is overvalued but damn it’s hilarious watching Fox spike the ball only for it to bounce up and hit them and their audience in the face

    #Love_It

    Liked by 7 people

  17. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Anti-lynching bills that would make lynching a federal crime have been bouncing around in Congress since 1918. The most recent was the Emmett Till Antilynching Act which passed in the House of Representatives in February 2020 but never made it through the U.S. Senate. This, my friends, is an abomination!!! Our friend Brosephus, continuing his series for Black History Month, tells us of the lynching of Michael Donald who was lynched on March 21st, 1981. The story is unique because … well, I’ll let Brosephus explain why …

    Liked by 2 people

  18. JB is pissed off, today
    Don’t go pokin’ the bear Jeffrey
    Just my $0.02

    Liked by 6 people

    • The RNC resolution also claims that Cheney and Kinzinger are “participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse”.

      So, according to the RNC

      – attacking the Capitol, assaulting police officers, placing pipe bombs, trashing offices = “legitimate political discourse”.

      – investigating armed insurrection = reason for expulsion

      Liked by 3 people

  19. In science, an unwillingness to revise your position is normally viewed as an intellectual weakness rather than a sign of moral strength.

    Found this little nugget while reading an article in Guardian. I learnt this little gem in grad school because when you do research you revise your position. Admitting you are wrong is a sign of strength and willing to make progress moving forward.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The only thing that I find amazing is this has to be dealt with over and over and over mainly on account of dumbasses conflating science with faith.
      Science is theory. That theory is then translated in to the language of known mathematics, and if that theory holds up, it is then published in peer review journals so others can take a look at it.
      If none of that happened, we would still be teaching phlogiston chemistry in schools

      Liked by 4 people

    • You’re allowed to carry concealed or open. There’s also more training required, 8 hours minimum vs 1 hour IIRC. There’s also a few other differences, but there’s nothing remotely near law enforcement equivalent.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. The US is now averaging 356,658 new Covid-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
    Cases are down 38% since last week. Cases are trending down in all but one state: Alabama.
    The US is now averaging 2,441 new deaths each day, according to JHU. This is 7% higher than a week ago, but it’s been holding steady over the past couple of days. The US will likely surpass 900,000 total Covid-19 deaths tonight or tomorrow.

    This from CNN. I am glad the report wasn’t from couple of econ dick heads.
    Seriously Bro do you have any idea why Alabama is trending in opposite direction? The spill over will affect us in GA.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I’m still reeling from the stench left over from yesterday’s “show” put on up in here by she-he-it. Why are these MAGAs so dang angry? I’ve witnessed & personally experienced the same livid attitudes and sheer hatefulness from the Buckhead City folks. If I had to go on record, I would have to say that the bottom line for their animosity is racism and loss of ‘control.’ Equality will always be “uncomfortable” for those in power.

    Good stuff, Bro.

    Liked by 4 people

    • One thing you can do to sooth your soul is ask Kam or Paul for a list of embalming fluid. Heck it is Friday. Later I’ll get couple of Belgium beers too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • My guess would be on loss of control as well. Losing the status as majority and seeing minorities in leadership roles is a lot for some people to handle. They feel left out like their needs aren’t being heard, but they never stop to consider that same thing about minorities when they’re making all the rules.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Why are these MAGAs so dang angry?

      Brainwashed by 40 some odd years of talk-radio, 20 odd years of that topped with the sweet deliciousness bitter shitsandwich that is Fox News.

      There’s a reason it’s called *programming*.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’d throw in a fear of losing their way of life, which would explain why Hillary telling people in Appalachia that the mining jobs aren’t coming back didn’t sit well. Granted, it was taken wildly out of context by the so called “liberal” media, and her actual message should have been applauded.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. Come to think of it trump’s call (in Texas 2 days ago) for protesting against 3 black DAs can be deemed as a call for lynching those people for doing their duty.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Seeing the employment numbers coming out of the Feds the last few months and how they were way under the payroll figures coming out of ADP had me wondering whether there were some Trumpers at BLS sabotaging the results.

    So, this morning we have a huge positive jobs report – 475k new jobs – and then we have this.

    A +700k revision! Someone has been sabotaging.
    If I missed a calculation by that much I’d have product blowing up all over New England.

    Liked by 5 people

    • When my brother did his military service, there was a calculation error of that magnitude once. Had they not been using … “inert” rounds, they would have literally blown up a tent with 10-15 troops in it. 155mm artillery shells can make a LOT of damage.

      Liked by 2 people

    • had me wondering whether there were some Trumpers at BLS sabotaging the results.

      “Is it irresponsible to speculate . . . .?
      — Thomas “Peggy ‘Our Lady of the Fentanyl Fugue’ Noonan” Jefferson

      Liked by 4 people

    • Yep. I try to remind folks that Trump’s not an anomaly. There are many within the government who share that same mindset. Trump is just very vocal about his stuff while others act in silence.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Initially, when I read the date of Donald’s lynching I was surprised, but that surprise didn’t last, because in hindsight, the conservatism we know a love today, had already taken root and grown.

    Although young, I did grow up in the civil rights era of the 60s. There was a lot going on — civil rights protests, Flower Power, long haired hippies running around nekkid on 14th Street, some guy named Dylan leading a folk song revolution — and I remember the words that were said by my white elders when JFK, RFK, and MLK were assassinated. Those words were not kind words.

    Then, along came the 70s. Malaise, melancholy, ennui are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my feeling of the 70s. I think that many people stopped and took a breath. Not the conservative movement, though. Reagan was already on the rise, and he tapped into that resentment my white elders had over the 60s era. Reagan barely lost to Ford in the 1976 primary, and his handlers managed to throttle Carter’s presidency by negotiating with the Iranian terrorists to delay the release of the hostages until 20 January 1981.

    The malaise had been swept aside and replaced with a burgeoning, self-righteous, WHITE, evangelical outrage.

    In the case of Michael Donald, there still enough residual civil rights conscience to bring Hays and the KKK down, but had this happened in 1983 or 1984, Hays might well have gotten away with it.

    Liked by 4 people

      • 😆

        Seriously, though — the seeds were planted when Goldwater was defeated. Fiscal conservatives quickly picked up on the fact that their economic policies alone weren’t gonna get traction with the basic b-flat US voter. They needed folks with fire in their bellies, folks who would faithfully go to the polls. The fiscal conservative had to give these voters a cause. The one cause that has done the most to ignite modern day conservatives is:

        Wait for it:

        WAIT. FOR. IT:

        abortion

        Liked by 2 people

    • Part of the delay with this post was I was trying to find a picture of Michael when he was alive. I found numerous photos of his body hanging from a tree and him in the casket. That image is about the best quality image of him alive that I could find online.

      It truly sucks. It also shows how bias injects itself into daily life.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yeah, I didn’t mean to criticize you, of course. At first, it looked like a newspaper clipping but it’s something else.
        I read an article a few years ago about this phenomenon where media uses mugshots in inappropriate ways. I can’t think of a good example but imagine an article using a picture like the one above where the headline is “Boy saves cat out of tree”. The article I read stated that this happens much more often when the subject is black. Another example is man vs boy, e.g. “16 year old black man sought in robbery case” vs “17 year old white boy thought to be witness in robbery”.

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Keep bringing it, Bro
    The awareness and reminders is good info for all especially those who would like to sweep certain things under the rug.

    Good job

    Liked by 2 people

    • James Byrd’s dragging death is sometimes labeled as a lynching. That’s why I specified KKK involvement. I don’t think the perpetrators in either of those two were self-avowed KKK members.

      Liked by 2 people

  26. If the GQP is successful in changing self-defense laws to make it a presumption to be rebutted by the prosecution rather than a defense to be proven by the accused, we are going to see a lot more black men murdered by racists. That change alone would have made for a different outcome in Brunswick.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. I still remember the lynching to this day and at that time I was in grad school deep in my studies. That lynching was so horrific it left a mark to this day.

    Like

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