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On the left, a photo of Laura Nelson and her 14-years-old son being lynched on May 25, 1911, near Okemah, Okfuskee County, Oklahoma. On the right, President Donald Trump alleging lynching allegations by US House Democrats.
Published 10/22/2019 | Reading Time 1 min 33 seconds
By Nehemiah D. Frank, founder and executive editor of the Black Wall Street Times
Many us Americans know that President Donald J. Trump lost his marbles long ago, but his recently dramatized allegation in comparing the U.S. House of Representatives Impeachment Inquiry to a public lynching is simply offensive to the thousands of Black Americans who were actually lynched in front of the countless White mobs throughout America.
From where I’m sitting, President Trump remains alive and comfortably seated in his privilege at the White House with continued support from millions of Republicans who get excited and seemingly energized at every divisively destructive word he chooses to utter out of his unfiltered mouth.
Over 4,000 African Americans were lynched between the time of the American Civil War and World War II, including 36 in my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921.
A lynching is an act of terror.
America doesn’t have a desire to lynch President Trump; however, many of us simply want him to abdicate the position that we frankly believe he’s socially and intellectually unqualified to manage.
Consider this, lynchings in America profoundly complicated race relations for this country and the president has proven time and time again that he doesn’t possess the social competency nor historical knowledge that’s required to bring the nation together.
In an Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) report, racial terror lynching is defined as “a tool used to enforce Jim Crow laws and racial segregation — a tactic for maintaining racial control by victimizing the entire African American community, not merely punishment of an alleged perpetrator for a crime.” Their research found “that many victims of terror lynchings were murdered without being accused of any crime. They were killed for minor social transgressions or for demanding basic rights and fair treatment.”
The EJI classifies racial terror lynchings as follows:
(1) lynchings that resulted from a wildly distorted fear of interracial sex;
(2) lynchings in response to casual social transgressions;
(3) lynchings based on allegations of serious violent crime;
(4) public spectacle lynchings
(5) lynchings that escalated into large-scale violence targeting the entire African American community; and [such as the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre]
(6) lynchings of sharecroppers, ministers, and community leaders who resisted mistreatment, which were most common between 1915 and 1940.
Many African Americans were lynched for registering people to vote and or for exercising their voting rights.
It takes skill to be anti-racist, and I don’t believe that President Trump is interested in even being a non-racist. He’s racially insensitive to the monstrous atrocity that African Americans have experienced through racial terror lynchings in America.
Nehemiah D. Frank is the founder and executive editor of The Black Wall Street Times, an educator, TEDx alum, blogger for EdPost, Tulsa World community advisory board member, and Tulsa Press Club board member.