50 Word Story: Lynching

Trembling with fear as he stood precariously on his tiptoes, the rope tightening with every stumble. Gerald could hear the sounds of laughter and chiding erupt behind him from the white-hooded cowards.  

Why the uproar over the Stars and Bars?  Because lynching was commonplace only a handful of decades ago.

 

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

 

COMMENTARY:

It is very easy for one to dismiss the feelings of others when they have not walked in their shoes, especially if they are white.  

It’s hard to believe, but up through the mid 1930s the hanging (lynching) of blacks in the deep south was not at all uncommon.  This is certainly not long enough for the memory to fade as I’m certain that there are those still alive today that can remember the horrors of seeing or hearing about  friends and loved ones who met their maker at the end of the racists noose.  

We are fast to criticize the protests of an entire race of people because of a few bad apples, but this in my mind does not diminish the validity of their cause.  Look black history in this country.  They were not brought here of their own volition, they were enslaved for more than two centuries, then treated like second class citizens until the 1960s and many would claim that they still are right up until today.  This I cannot dispute as I for one have never walked even a single day in their shoes.

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14 thoughts on “50 Word Story: Lynching

  1. I have a beautiful friend who reminds me of Diahann Carroll. She was in AAUW with me. She had a college degree and taught school. She allowed her teenager to wear the saggy jeans because he had all A’s, he felt “cool” (my expression). She told me with tears in her eyes she took him downtown in our university town a few years ago. She went into the shoe store (it is closed now) and the store keeper or clerk was polite. When she had bought nice dress shoes for her son she took him into the jewelry store. The jeweler asked her son to “Hand over your backpack.” (No please or smile.) Then while she was looking at class ring styles, the owner left her to check up on her son. She asked me since my own sin was a senior,”Would he have followed your son? Did Mr. B ever ask your son to hand over his backpack, Robin?”
    My son liked to wear worn out jeans and baggy hooded sweatshirts but he and I were never treated this way. I got tears in my eyes and said, “No, I apologize for his thoughtless behavior.”
    Your post means a lot to me. My parents marched and stayed a week in Washington DC in 1964. They always told us we already had a foot in the door I d life by the color if our skin. They had us work and save while they paid for students where my Mom taught high school who needed help going to nursing school and stewardess training. I have only two photos of the girls she helped who invited us to their double wedding, we stand out as the only white folks there. 🙂 There were others but we really liked the Palmer girls.

  2. I agree with this — how can you know what it feels like to be discriminated against if you never are? Alternately, some people think just because prejudice isn’t as outright today means it doesn’t exists.

  3. Common sense and reason would dictate that the entire premise of your post here is on target and 100% correct in every detail. The same common sense and reason would also dictate that the oppressed race that is referenced here could take a lesson from what you have said and apply the same standards to us.

    • Well I’m certainly not advocating that anyone suffer under this fate, however I suppose that there are those that may feel that some of us should. What I was advocating is that we, and we know who we are, should have a little humility and compassion for the people referenced in the piece since we have never walked in their shoes for even a day. We love to say that it was all in the past, but I’m not really sure that it is.

  4. Thank you so much for posting this to remind others of the unfortunate incidents of World History! As a non-American, I am aware of how the Blacks were put to slavery and how badly treated they were but I never knew lynching occurred as well. I hope this tragedy will serve as a reminder to others of how merciless and inhumane racism can be.

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