Tuesday, June 14, 2005

COM: It was mighty white . . .

of the Senate today to apologize to the relatives, friends, descendants, and communities, and a single survivor, for the Senate's failure (despite pleas from seven presidents, and three Houses of Congress who did pass versions) to pass a bill making lynching illegal.

The result was that anyone could be lynched by a local mob whether they'd been through the justice system or not, found guilty or innocent, or in truth were guilty or innocent. It was, in fact, a national deputizing for the explicit purpose of genocide (which i'll define here as murder resulting in the degradation of an entire defined class or group of people; and which language you will not find in the apology itself). Most folks, indeed virtually all post-Wild West, were lynched not for their crimes but because their skin color was dark.

There must be some irony in that considering today's not guilty verdicts for the only black ever to successfully make himself white (see comments by Andrew Sullivan here).

But the supreme irony award goes to the US Senate, which despite the lovely little late apology, has STILL not made lynching illegal. Dave Neiwert at Orcinus has a primo analysis of how the Senate actually has not only not righted that wrong, but actually has endorsed the current version of lynching by failing to pass a hate crimes bill.

I concur.

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