Prague Twin

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Insane Conservatives

We all know that conservatives have been crying foul over media bias, claiming to be the victims of an unitentional but deadly "left-wing bias", but sometimes they really go too far. Take this post I found in the Conservative Voice. (O.K., actually my Uncle sent it to me, but what the hell, I guess that means I found it).

The April 11, 2007 edition of Salon.com, a leading liberal website, contains an article by Earl Ofari Hutchinson, titled, The Politics of Lynching. What is most peculiar about the article is that not once does Hutchinson mention that lynching was essentially a political crime, perpetrated by Democrats and their terrorist auxiliary, the KKK, against Republicans, both black and white.

Tuskegee Institute records tell us that, between the years 1882 and 1951, some 3,437 blacks and 1,293 whites, nearly all Republicans, were lynched.

Are you as stunned as I am? I really didn't know where to start, so I started at the Tuskegee Institute, the source. I found the exact figures that the Conservative Voice had used. They were in a paper from the Yale-New Haven Teacher's institute (The Negro Holocaust: Lynching and Race Riots in the United States,1880-1950 by Robert A. Gibson). From the paper:

According to the Tuskegee Institute figures, between the years 1882 and 1951, 4,730 people were lynched in the United States: 3,437 Negro and 1,293 white.

Sounds like the same quote to me, and wouldn't you know, Mr. Gibson used a footnote! (Note to Conservative Voice: try it sometime).

Guzman, Jessie P., ed., 1952 Negro Yearbook (New York, 1952), pp. 275-279.

Unfortunately, this particlular book is not available online, but in my desperate search for it, I found an earlier version of the Yearbook which showed that blacks in the late thirties were just becoming more politically active and voted more for Democrats than Republicans, but by no means did the Democrats have a lock on the black vote.

Going back to the Gibson paper, I found that the reasons for lynchings were myriad, but political affiliation isn't mentioned at all.

The accusations against persons lynched, according to the Tuskegee Institute records for the years 1882 to 1951, were: in 41 per cent for felonious assault, 19.2 per cent for rape, 6.1 per cent for attempted rape, 4.9 per cent for robbery and theft, 1.8 per cent for insult to white persons, and 22.7 per cent for miscellaneous offenses or no offense at a 11.5 In the last category are all sorts of trivial “offenses” such as “disputing with a white man,” attempting to register to vote, “unpopularity”, self-defense, testifying against a white man, “asking a white woman in marriage”, and “peeping in a window.”

I dug further, trying to prove or disprove this outrageous claim but I couldn't find anything that linked political affiliation with lynching. (1,2, ).

So what is most peculiar here is not that Salon.com left out this "fact", but that the Conservative Voice chooses to make this claim without citing any source whatsoever. I wrote to them asking for a source for their claim. I don't suppose I'm going to hear back.

9 Comments:

  • I am absolutely amazed about how you go relentlessly conducting research before making statements! Perhaps, one day, I will do something similar. Then again, my ignorance has never stoped me to give my advice before. Good job, PT!

    By Anonymous pekka, at 11:40 PM  

  • That's one of the more outrageous claims I've ever heard. Please let us know if you get a response.

    By Anonymous abi, at 1:21 AM  

  • No response yet. Big surprise.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 2:09 AM  

  • Living in NC and having followed the case against the Duke lacrosse players, I found it equally odd how that same article came to the conclusion that they were persecuted by some sort of Democratic mechinations. In fact DA Nifong acted on his own in a deplorable manner in order to whore in votes. No other political candidates from any party supported him or tried to protect him. He is now paying the price for breaking the same laws he was sworn to uphold. The college kids from Duke are left bitter and disillusioned. They are very aware that had they not been children of privlege, they easily could have ended up in jail for a crime they did not commit. I think this is a sad commentary on corruption in politics in general. I wonder how many people are actually in jail here and in other states due to vote mongering.

    By Anonymous rockync, at 2:17 AM  

  • I doubt there was much of a political motive in more than a few of the lynchings. It was true that the KKK was all Democrats while it actually existed, and before the New Deal, nearly all blacks in America were Republicans (my, how things change). Can't tell about the white victims of lynchings. I hope they weren't Republicans because most of them were certainly criminals. Conservative Voice seems to have confused political affiliation with political cause of the murders. He's clearly wrong about that. Good post. Tell us if he or she ever responds

    By Blogger Roger Fraley, at 3:08 AM  

  • nice work dude

    By Blogger Graeme, at 7:04 AM  

  • Rockync,

    Who actually knows how many? I will bet a lot. How many have been put to death for the same reason? A lot.

    Roger,

    Yes, things have changed quite a lot, haven't they? I refuse to believe that one's political orientation has anything to do with their lynching. I can just see it now, the lynch mob being stopped in their tracks by a voter registration card. "Oh, he is a Democrat? O.K. let him go." Right.

    Pekka & Graeme:

    Thanks for the kind words.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 1:59 PM  

  • I never heard of the Conservative Voice before today; it appears to be the blog of a disgruntled candidate for Congress. If you think about history for a minute, you will remember that after the Civil War, the South was solid Democrat--they had no use for the party of Lincoln. Many blacks were Republican, as were most reconstuctionists. Which is to say, the figures may be correct, but they tell you nothing.

    It wasn't until about the time of Ronald Regan that many of the Democrat Dixiecrats became Republicans. Today, in much of the rural south, and even in southern Illinois, there are still many who could never stomach the idea of voting Republican. We often read that people were lynched for faiing to follow the established "Old South" ways. It's not surprising that more of these people were Republican.

    By Blogger Publia, at 9:33 AM  

  • Publia,

    First, thanks for the very thoughtful comment.

    I don't doubt that many who were lynched were Republicans. Roger pointed out that most blacks were Republicans from the Reconstruction up until the New Deal.

    What I take issue with here is the idea that somehow a person's political affiliation was not only why they were lynched, but why the law did not do anything about it afterwards.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 1:54 PM  

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