The President “chose not to act” as Mob Set up the Lynching Platform
I tuned in just at the end of the extraordinary historical trial where the U.S. government’s congressional branch finally and solemnly admitted what the executive branch did was wrong. For over a hundred years the presidents of the United States stood by and, in the words of the Committee, “chose not to act” as the white mobs hung black Americans.
Republican Mr. Adam Kinzinger, a decent man from Illinois, finally felt what white male mob violence was like. He just agreed that the worst violence in American history was the “worst stain” on American history. That the human toll and the “tragic loss of life” for 100 years of hanging and killing blacks from the Civil War, until 1981 with the last lynching happened, was evil. He said the laws on paper are not important if the people are not bound by those rules and do not follow it. And he’s right.
The leaders during that time took no action from the ugly attacks and lynching to stop the mob from killing and murdering blacks and hanging them from trees and buildings and ripping their limbs off. It was not until the armed uprising was challenged in 1981 by the killing of an innocent young, upwardly mobile black American man named Michael Donald in Alabama did the government lift a finger to protect the Black American people.
Not until 1981, for over 100 years, did American white leaders, or at least a jury in Alabama, send a message to Democracy that the senseless and horrific practice of the lynching is at end. The first real trial. The end. No more mindless white mobs would pull a decent, upwardly bound young man like Mr. Donald, who is going to a technical college and working to run a newspaper press, off the street at random, have their throat slit, and then hung by a noose. Finally, the signal went out that this kind of stuff would not be tolerated. Whiters needed to show some restraint.
And not just in the South, but a lynching occurred in New York State, in Pennsylvania, many in Arkansas, in Missouri, probably elsewhere. It was the equivalent to a hundred-year insurrection, so violent it repressed black voting completely in the South. Almost no black Americans in the South, representing about 50% of black America, millions and millions and millions of black Americans, did NOT cast a vote for any presidents, including John F. Kennedy. So, without the 50%, you can’t get to 70%. Stop the Steal, break the myth. There is no election facts by black American votes that I have seen after searching and searching from that election.
The fact-finding testimony of the January 6th committee finally dispelled the myth. JFK did not get 70% of the black American votes. The internet is wrong. Only 1 percent of black Americans in Mississippi were eligible to vote (not that they voted), and 3% or so in most other Southern states. Racist Strom Thurmond got the votes in South Carolina because no Republican was on the ticket. Mr. Byrd won Mississippi and part of Alabama, fifteen electorates. Devout Segregationist Thurmond apparently gave his electoral votes, collected from white racists, to JFK, without which he would have lost the popular vote. Nixon got no South Carolina votes; the whole state was stolen from him.
But now we need to acknowledge the facts. The facts are clear and unambiguous, Bennie Thompson said. He knows; he’s from Mississippi. Where no black American in the 20th century in a mostly all black part of the state got to rule their own district, county, or town until 1968. Liz Cheney from Wyoming said in closing, “White men in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, are hiding behind executive privilege.”
That is the executive privilege Trump knew he had before he got elected. “I could stand in the middle of fifth Avenue and murder someone.” Trump knew this truth to be the great American white truth. For 100 years, whiters in the South, whom he admires, did exactly that. They hung black Americans in extrajudicial, un-constitutional murders to repress the vote and keep power wrongly seized.
We cannot abandon the truth and still have a free nation, Liz Chaney said in closing.
Each of these white male presidents made promises, oaths, to protect all Americans and Democracy and the Rights of Each American’s Constitutional Rights. But then, no matter the words and promises, each white male president made a purposeful choice to violate his oath of office. “There is no way to excuse that behavior,” Liz Cheney said in closing remarks. “It was indefensible.” No white male presidents of the past, reflected today in Donald Trump, “should hold any position of authority in this great nation again.”
I know, I’m dreaming. I watched most of the January 6 event live, not just the end. It was too rare of a moment to miss: an openly white supremacist on trial as his literal lynch mob put the noose up and broke into the Capitol to get Mike Pence for some hanging. That president was watching, as his most loyal whites who had sycophantly supported his racist ideology for years — the ones in the White House, not the Capitol — who defended him, tolerated him and rode the heights on his racist ascent, turned on him in those precious last minutes. Do not out us, Donald. We stand behind you, hidden, they seemed to say. Put an end to this now!
Suddenly, they saw their future careers as high paid Fox News analysts going down the tube. Most of them would be branded traitors and not get to suck up to the next mildly racist president, like Rubio, De Santos or Cruz and gain new positions in the next Republican administration. Their chance to appear as the masked singer or earn some good money on Dancing with the Stars down the drain (yes, I wish this was all satire and not facts). Please sir, call them off. “They’ll hang Mike Pence; he’s a loyal white man. The white centrist nation will turn against you, maybe.”
This trial doesn’t really count at this point. It’s not even a trial, just a probe. Toward the end of it, as usual, the Committee threatened to make some changes to the law and to issue a report. Not exactly the tough moral outcome some of us want from having seen a white supremacist try to overturn the black American, brown American, gay American, lesbian American, Indo-Americans voters — the “browns” and “blacks.” I think it’s clear what Trump meant by his 74 million votes, the most of any white male president ever got: he meant that 40 percent of Biden’s vote weren’t legitimate since they were not white citizens who were voting. Did anyone check their birth certificates?
I couldn’t help but thinking of the deep symbolism that mirrored exactly what happened to our country from 1877 when the American troops withdrew from the South to 1956 when they went back in to protect a schoolgirl walking to class, the National Guard around her while an angry lynch mob surrounding Elizabeth Ekford, threatening — as it appears to me — to kill her in Arkansas. The whites were not yet mindful of the cameras and the national press and appeared violently vicious, spitting at the mouth. In other words, they were showing the nation that in the South it was “business as usual.”
Thousands and thousands and thousands of dead black men and women — and a Jew in Georgia in the 1920s — hung, murdered, tied to the motor of a washing machine, and thrown off a bridge. Hundreds of thousands of black American men and women and children accused of petty “crimes” only to be put in chain gangs and forced into free labor — allowable 13th amendment “free” slave labor. Millions of real, honest, innocent black Americans, never receiving a trail of their perpetrators, violently punished, their constitutional rights stripped completely, unable to vote and express their democratic wishes. All because the President (from Rutherford Hayes to JFK) stood by and “chose not to act.”
If only that mock Committee trial of the Trump trial was the acknowledgement of the real “chose not act” presidential history that reflected the black Americans suffered under, lost their democratic voice under, died under. All those white male presidents who stood by and “chose not to act.”
If only that deep symbolism of the committee reflected the painful actuality of black American history. Then I might forgive them — those presidents, those white voters in their complicity — and myself, for having tolerated the stolen votes and drowned out voices of black Americans for so, so long.