More than 4,000 people have been lynched in the U.S. Trump isn’t one of them.

More than 4,000 people have been lynched in the U.S. Trump isn’t one of them.
Gillian Brockell, October 22, 2019, The Washington Post

They hang like coffins, more than 800 steel plates suspended from the ceiling, each representing a county in the United States where a lynching took place. Engraved on the broad face of each plate are the names of the victims and the days they were lynched: “Benjamin Hart, 05.08.1887,” “Maggie House, 12.21.1918,” “Unknown, 11.20.1899.” Some plates contain dozens of names.

At the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Ala., more than 4,000 victims of racist terrorism are remembered over the heads of visitors.

On Tuesday morning, President Trump compared the House impeachment inquiry into his conduct to “a lynching,” generating a firestorm of condemnation.

Lynching is the extrajudicial murder of an untried suspect, usually by a mob and often by hanging. 

In the United States, 4,743 lynchings were recorded between 1882 and 1968, according to the NAACP. Of those murdered people, 3,446 were black men, women and children — about 73 percent. Research by the Equal Justice Initiative, which created the lynching memorial, found a different number of black victims: about 4,400 between 1877 and 1950.

Lynching victims were often tortured before they died, and after death their corpses frequently desecrated. Such was the case for Matthew Williams, who was lynched in Salisbury, Md., in 1931.



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“Politicians, Priests, and psychiatrists often face the same problem: how to find the most rapid and permanent means of changing a man’s belief…The problem of the doctor and his nervously ill patient, and that of the religious leader who sets out to gain and hold new converts, has now become the problem of whole groups of nations, who wish not only to confirm certain political beliefs within their boundaries, but to proselytize the outside world.” – William Sargant “Battle of the Mind”

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