Rachel put up two posts http://www.rachelstavern.com/?p=898, http://www.rachelstavern.com/?p=901 on comments the talk-shock host Bill O’Reilly made on lynchings. In her post, Rachel speaks of her dismay that so many people have the most ignorant knowledge and misunderstanding of how horrific lynching was for black Americans.
This excerpt of O’Reilly’s comment, via Rachel’s site: Here’s the extended quote from Media Matters:
O’REILLY: You know, I have a lot of sympathy for Michelle Obama, for Bill Clinton, for all of these people. Bill Clinton, I have sympathy for him, because they’re thrown into a hopper where everybody is waiting for them to make a mistake, so that they can just go and bludgeon them. And, you know, Bill Clinton and I don’t agree on a lot of things, and I think I’ve made that clear over the years, but he’s trying to stick up for his wife, and every time the guy turns around, there’s another demagogue or another ideologue in his face trying to humiliate him because they’re rooting for Obama.
That’s wrong. And I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that’s how she really feels — that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever — then that’s legit. We’ll track it down.
“That’s wrong. And I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that’s how she really feels — that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever — then that’s legit. We’ll track it down.”His comments speak of utter contempt towards the black citizens whose lives were taken by white people who knew they had the backing of the white community, the local/state government and the federal government to annihilate with impunity many black people who had no protection against mob violence—no protection under state laws, no protection under the Civil Rights Acts of 1866, 1870, 1871, 1875 http://www.arch.ksu.edu/jwkplan/law/Civil%20Rights%20Acts%20of%201866,%201870,%201871,%201875.htm; no protection under the 14TH Amendment; no protection whatsoever.As Rachel stated:
“I guess after teaching about lynching nearly every semester for the past 6 years I shouldn’t be surprised to know how ill informed people are about the practice of lynching. Ever since Clarence Thomas and his defenders claimed he was the victim of a “high tech lynching,” the term lynching has been misappropriated by politicians and other public figures. Thomas’s misappropriation of the term was a tremendous insult to the real victims of lynchings, who were tortured, beaten, castrated, burned, hung, and terrorized by huge mobs of whites. These mobs included white men, women, and children. Lynching was murder and torture as a public spectacle.”
And she is right.
As for Michelle Obama’s comment:
That’s just it, Rachel.
It was Michelle Obama’s comment that enraged so many people. When she made her comment Monday, I understood very well what she meant:
“In Milwaukee on Monday, the wife of Senator Barack Obama said, “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country. Not just because Barack is doing well, but I think people are hungry for change.”
I wrote in my post I write what she was really stating, what she did not say, but what was picked upon by any astute black person in America who knows their history:
In many people’s eyes, black Americans are not patriotic, we are not citizens….we are not humans. Therefore, it does not surprise me that many people…O’Reilly and McCain’s wife, stooped low to attack Ms. Obama.
Rachel also posted where people could lodge a complaint against O’Reilly:
“Here’s the contact information via Media Matters:
Fox News Radio
Phone: (212) 301-3000
The Radio Factor
Sr. VP, Network News / Talk Programming
When contacting the media, please be polite and professional. Express your specific concerns regarding that particular news report or commentary, and be sure to indicate exactly what you would like the media outlet to do differently in the future.”
MY LETTER TO BILL O’REILLY
Dear Mr. Bill O’Reilly:
I am writing concerning your comments on February 19, 2008, on your nationally syndicated radio show. Your comments on lynching are most hurtful and callous towards the many black men, women and children whose lives were taken from them only because they were black human beings. Yours words, verbatim:
“I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that’s how she really feels — that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever — then that’s legit. We’ll track it down.”
And that is just it.
They were not human beings in the eyes of white Americans.
I state what many black Americans have known for centuries:
That for us this country has never been a place where America has treated black citizens as humans. Black Americans have never been able to look at this country with pride when America has been so inhumanely hypocritical in its preaching of democracy and fairness, unfairness it has shown in its crimes against the humanity of black Americans.
As for lynching, yes there were lynchings of white men (and some white women) before the end of slavery in states of the Mid-West and West, BUT, it was after the destruction of Reconstruction when Rutherford B. Hayes, the Republican Party and the United States federal government turned their backs on and stabbed in the backs, defenseless black ex-slaves and left them to be destroyed by vicious racist whites through lynching.
Your comments speaks of utter contempt towards the black citizens whose lives were taken by white people who knew they had the backing of the white community, the local/state government and the federal government to annihilate with impunity many black people who had no protection against mob violence—no protection under state laws, no protection under the Civil Rights Acts of 1866, 1870, 1871, 1875 http://www.arch.ksu.edu/jwkplan/law/Civil%20Rights%20Acts%20of%201866,%201870,%201871,%201875.htm; no protection under the 14TH Amendment; no protection whatsoever.
Many people in this country know nothing of the sick, sadistic depraved brutality of lynching. Many have never picked up the book, “Without Sanctuary”, let alone picked up the book, “100 Years Of Lynchings“, to learn of the lynching holocaust that white Americans committed against their most defenseless citizens: black Americans.
Many Americans do not know (nor can stomach) the monstrous filth that was done to black citizens when they were murdered by white lynch mobs:
-Skinned WHILE STILL ALIVE
-Corkscrews drilled into living men and women, with the screw twisted out, tearing with it pieces of flesh—-WHILE THE BLACK MAN AND WOMAN WERE STILL ALIVE
-Ears, noses, toes, fingers—–genitals cut off—WHILE STILL ALIVE
-Burned, tortured, tormented—–WHILE STILL ALIVE, FOR HOURS ON END
-Body parts scrambled for as souvenirs; body parts kept in jars in storefront windows, dsiplayed with no regard for the humanity of the black person destroyed; destroyed in ways that a dog that bites should not even be destroyed in.
Many Americans do not know nor want to know of the black children who were lynched with their families. Yes, entire black families were lynched by psychotic white supremacist lynch mobs.
Many Americans do not want to know nor can stomach learning of the black women who were brutally raped by mobs of white men, just before they were lynched:
The sick, hateful abominations this country has done to her black citizens are unfathomable.
Mr. O’Reilly, when you cavalierly speak the word lynching, you rub salt into wounds of the descendants of the victims of lynch mobs. You turn the word LYNCHING into a mockery of what happened to the tens of thousands of innocent black men, women and children who were destroyed by a country that could no longer use them as free labor, so this country sought to completely destroy black people off the face of the Earth.
Mr. O’Reilly, you belittle the tremendous, indescribable suffering and torment that black citiznes met at the lie of what was often uttered when a mob murdered a black citizen: at the hands of persons unknown.
Tens of thousands of black human beings were immolated, tortured, shot to pieces, torn to pieces with no trial, no due process of law. Many of them never had the chance to declare their innocence nor have their day in a court of law under the laws of this country. Many were simply drug out of their homes, taken from jails (where they were put for so-called safe-keeping) all across America and lynched——taken away to an unbearable vicious death.
To you, and to the station you work for, I do not want any apology that you may offer for your cruel and caustic comments. Your apology would be nothing but an insult to all black Americans living today, and especially to those black citizens who had their lives taken due to white supremacist lynch mobs.
I demand that your station Fox News Radio have you issue a statement that you will starting today, February 21, on a day that many Americans are celebrating the achievements and contributions of black Americans to America, on the day that Malcolm X was assassinated, in the month of Black history month—I demand that your station have you read from the following two books:
“100 Years Of Lynchings” and “Without Sanctuary” and give the evidence of the horrific brutality that white America showed to her defenseless black citizens. I demand that Fow News Radio have you read the newspaper accounts of the many, many black citizens who were destroyed for the most wrong reasons giving by lynch mobs to murder them.
Reasons that defy imagination, logic and understanding:
“Lynched in Negro Churchyard”
“2 Hung For Jostling Horse”
“Boy Unsexes Negro, Before Mob Lynches Him”
“Bumps Into Girl, Is Lynched’
“Would-be Chicken Thief Lynched”
Many times more than one black citizen was lynched at a time:
“Five Lynched in Georgia”
“All Five Lynched Negroes Were Guiltless, Says Keith”
“Finds Triple Lynch Victims Were Probably Innocent”
The keeping of murdered black citizens body parts was the most degrading and insulting act done after the life was taken from a defenseless black man, woman or child:
“Whites in Georgia Display Parts of Negro Bodies”
September 8, 1917, Chicago Defender:
“Above is the head of Ell Persons, a Negro, who was burned to death in Memphis, Tenn., on May 18TH. This head was cut off the body and is seen here on the pavement of Beale Street, the principal business street of the Negro section. Both ears have been severed from the head by souvenir hunters, along with the lower lip and nose. Copies of this photograph are sold in Memphis for a quarter apiece.”
And this lynching which goes beyond defying logic or any semblance of rational humanity. The headline reads thus:
“Illiterate Negro Lynched for Writing Improper Note”
“Illiterate”. Wrote an “improper note”. How could he have written any note if he was illiterate? According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10TH Edition, illiterate means:
“having little or no education, esp.: unable to read or write.”
Oh, but of course, he was black; all the more reason to murder him.
(All news articles are from the book, “100 Years Of Lynchings”.)
I demand that Fox News Radio have you read from the book, “Without Sanctuary”, and describe the pictures of those barbaric savage lynching carnivals of death, those rituals of blood, those orgies of perverted inhuman barbarity to let your viewers know of the truth of the history of lynching in this country and the toll it took on the many mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, and cousins who lost loved ones to this inhumanity. You can state to the public that you went beyond disrespect towards your fellow black citizens. You can state that you will make amends by showing your respect and desire to learn from the callous error of your ways and that you will instruct, publically, yourself, on the history of America’s lynch period of the Nadir.
Today, there are still some black citizens who are alive who witnessed lynchings with their own eyes. Today, there are descendants of black citizens whose relatives were murdered by white mob brutality.
I demand that you show your respect to the tens of thousands of black men, women and children murdered by lynch mobs—-and the one lone black man, the only known black man, who escaped a lynch mob and lived to tell of it.
That man’s name is the late Mr. James Cameron. He passed away on June 11, 2006. Mr. Cameron would have been 94 years-old: http://milwaukee.indymedia.org/en/2006/06/205687.shtml
Mr. O’Reilly, you and many Americans need to learn of the history of lynchings in America. You need to show compassion and respect towards the tens of thousands of victims of racist extralegal injustice.
You and Fox News Radio, can show your respect and humility towards all the many lynching victims by imparting this knowledge to Americans, many of whom, like you, are ignorant of all of America’s shameless non-commitment to justice and equality towards her black citizens. By reading from these books, you will not only enlighten and educate your listening public, you will also educate and enlighten yourself as well.
By committing to these readings of America’s history of lynchings every week on your radio show, you can start on the path towards enlightenment and respect for the innumerable sufferings your fellow black citzens have endured in this country.