The Pardu

Jon S. Randal: Ida B. Wells "On Lynchings"

In Ida B. Wells, Jon S. Randal, on lynchings, Rushing, Washington Mayor on July 17, 2015 at 10:42 AM


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On lynching…

Washington mayor is facing pressure to resign after he allegedly posted racist comments on Facebook about President Obama and the first lady. 

City Council members have asked Airway Heights Mayor Patrick Rushing to step down. 

Rushing is accused of comparing the Obamas to monkeys and gorillas. On his personal Facebook page, Rushing commented:

“Gorilla face Michelle, can’t disagree with that. The woman is not attractive except to monkey man Barack. Check out them ears. LOL.”

Rushing acknowledged he posted the comments to KHQ reporter Caitlin Rearden. 

“It’s just playful back and forth banter that my friends and I do,” Rushing said.


Well, it seems a “friend” must have exposed a figurative lynching.

Let’s address this area of white privilege via a historic icon, Ida B. Wells, and Facebook friend who’s prose I respect to the maximum.

Image result for Ida B. Wells

    Ida B. Wells
    Journalist 
    Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, more commonly known as Ida B. Wells, was an African-American journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, sociologist, Georgist, and an early leader in the Civil Rights Movement. Wikipedia
  1. BornJuly 16, 1862, Holly Springs, MS
  2. DiedMarch 25, 1931, Chicago, IL
__________________________________________________

Jon S. Randal's photo.
Warning, rant coming: Google honored Ida B. Wells today, born on this day, July 16, 1862. She was a journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, and an early leader in the Civil Rights Movement. She is also known for researching and documenting lynching in the United States. I was going to do a straight tribute on her, but, after reading her description of “lynching,” I changed course, especially in light of current events.

About lynching, she said:

“The men who make these charges encourage or lead the mobs which do the lynching. They belong to the race which holds Negro life cheap, which owns the telegraph wires, newspapers, and all other communication with the outside world. They write the reports which justify lynching by painting the Negro as black as possible, and those reports are accepted by the press associations and the world without question or investigation. The mob spirit had increased with alarming frequency and violence. Over a thousand black men, women and children have been thus sacrificed the past ten years. Masks have long since been thrown aside and the lynchings of the present day take place in broad daylight. The sheriffs, police, and state officials stand by and see the work done well. The coroner’s jury is often formed among those who took part in the lynching and a verdict, “Death at the hands of parties unknown to the jury” is rendered.”

She believed “lynching” was not used to punish blacks for criminal acts as was usually claimed by white mobs, but to control or punish blacks who competed with whites.

When I read that, my first thinking was that “lynching” as it was known in Ida B. Wells day is long gone, but the method to control or punish blacks who they felt were “competing” with whites still exists today – oppression still continues, the killing of unarmed civilians, the imprisonment, the burning of churches, the total lack of respect for people of color, shown via the calling of the First Lady “gorilla face,” the waving of confederate flags at the President, even saying the only reason for Wimbledon winner Serena Williams’ success is because “she is built like a man.”

Anyone who sees this type of oppression, this type of racism should be disgusted. Anyone who isn’t offended by it, anyone who believes racism is long gone, anyone who would call the First Lady “gorilla face,” anyone who doesn’t believe this is just wrong needs to look within themselves and ask how different are they from the Ku Klux Klan who applauded the killing of nine innocent church-goers in a South Carolina church.


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