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.

Advertisements

Confederate Flag

Confederate flag–

Symbol of our darkest time,

Human slavery.

Prideful in their ignorance

There are those still full of hate.

 

Don’t they understand,

There are wounds as yet unhealed–

Open and bleeding.

Each raising stings of poured salt

In an already deep gash.

 

I weep for their pain.

Have they not suffered enough

At your racist hands?

The shame is you don’t see it

Being blinded by false pride.

 

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

Charm Of The South

Emboldened by the summer breeze;

Sun beating on my weathered face,

Gravel crunching beneath my leather shod feet,

Each step draws me further back in time.

Aging plantations blossom from manicured fields,

Emblazoned with flora befitting their past grandeur.

The smell of honeysuckle and cyprus fills the air;

Wondrous is this coalition of scents to the senses.

Wrought iron gates entangled with succulent ivy

Announce the arrival of weary travelers.

Startled… I flush with uncontrollable tears

To realize this beauty is merely a facade.

Hiding ugliness in vibrant color and polished hedge,

Fountains and statues scream of their opulence.

This walk, I so leisurely stroll is etched in blood,

Hoed by chain and shackle;

We gawk in awe at these marvels of charm.

Reminiscing over Scarlett and Rhett;

Nothing but celluloid dreams of an imaginary south.

What of those treated as lesser crops,

Bought and sold like cotton and tobacco,

Building, maintaining, harvesting and subserving;

Flesh and blood herded as cattle…or something less!

Where is the romance…where is the southern charm?

Remember on whose backs this was built.

Remember whose backs were broken for a profit.

Remember on whose backs these estates were preserved.

Only then can you look through clear eyes and clear conscience

At what these really were…

Prisons.

 

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

 

Innocent Victims

Innocent victims

Children gone without a trace

We know the villains

Cowards preying on the young

Where is the world outrage

Each time it happens

It falls further down the screen

A ticker–its home

How sad we’ve become immune

To the plight of the helpless

~

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~