Mob murder in a Christian nation

Ida B. Wells (1909) from

LynchDuring the last ten years, from 1899 to 1908 inclusive, the number lynched was 959. Of this number, 102 were white, while the colored victims numbered 857. No other nation, civilized or savage, burns its criminals; only under that Stars and Stripes is the human holocaust possible. Twenty-eight human beings burned at the stake, one of them a woman and two of them children, is the awful indictment against American civilization-the gruesome tribute which the nation pays to the color line.

Why is mob murder permitted by a Christian nation? What is the cause of this awful slaughter? This question is answered almost daily: always the same shameless falsehood that “Negroes are lynched to protect womanhood.” Standing before a Chautauqua assemblage, John Temple Graves, al once champion of lynching and apologist for lynchers, said, “The mob stand! today as the most potential bulwark between the women of the South and such a carnival of crime as would infuriate the world and precipitate the annihilation of the Negro race.” This is the never-varying answer of lyncher! and their apologists. All know that it is untrue. The cowardly lyncher revels it murder, then seeks to shield himself from public execration by claiming devotion to woman. But truth is mighty and the lynching record discloses thehypocrisy of the lyncher as well as his crime. The Springfield, Illinois, mob rioted for two days, the militia of the entire state was called out, two men were lynched, hundreds of people driver from their homes, all because a white woman said a Negro assaulted her. f mad mob went to the jail, tried to lynch the victim of her charge, and, no being able to find him, proceeded to pillage and burn the town and to lynch two innocent men. Later, after the police had found that the woman's charge was false, she published a retraction, the indictment was dismissed, and the intended victim discharged. But the lynched victims were dead, hundreds were homeless, and Illinois was disgraced.

More here. (Note: One post throughout February will be dedicated to Black History Month.)