Thursday, April 19, 2012

Indiana Lynching Demographics

Sometimes the history of my state is not quite what you'd expect, but still disquieting: Wikipedia claims back when Hoosier lynch mobs -- White Caps and suchlike -- were running around, 1860 to 1910, they strung up nearly two-and-half times as many citizens of European ancestry as they did citizens whose ancestors were haled here from Africa. (Note, dear friends, that this is demographically askew; but one one-sided).

The common factor? Being accused of murder and/or rape. Not, however, necessarily being guilty of those offenses. It took five years after the Legislature passing an anti-lynching law in 1898 before the state got a Governor who bothered to enforce it -- which is another teensy little problem with "there otta be a law."

Behaving morally yourself, that's a good thing and raising up your kids to do likewise is even better; getting together a few dozen friends and going out to make your neighbor do so by main force, or give him a hemp necktie for failing, that's not so good. This is why we have a justice system and why it is so very ponderous: it's real damn hard to string a man back down if it turns out your little club's judgement was hasty when you strung him up. And even a very shiny justice system still doesn't work if somebody's got their thumb on the scales.

1 comment:

Guffaw in AZ said...

You don't understand.
It was always racial!
Otherwise, we cannot generate more hate and divisiveness!