Small Posting Policy Change…

I keep a page on this site that lists the criteria under which posts are allowed.  I am adding one, and it is unusual enough that I will explain its creation and existence.

A comment to my post about the Chap!-JMDD fracas suggests she is the victim of a “public lynching”.  The more I think about it, the more the phrase bothers me.

First, it is bad grammar.  There is no such thing as a private lynching.  Any lynching I have heard of was carried out in public.  It was not carried out under color of law, but it was done in public.  In fact, that was part of the M.O. of a lynch mob…to commit this violent act in public to frighten people from imitating the victim’s act.

Second, a lynching means someone has been killed, not criticized.  Criticizing a candidate for public office (or, for that matter, a nominee for appointed office) is hardly a lynching. That candidate or nominee is not being taken from their home by a mob, outside the possibility of any protection by the authorities, for the purpose being tortured and ultimately killed by some terrible and painful method simply because the mob doesn’t like what you did or because they don’t like the way the law is handling things.

If you want to see a lynching, stroll down to the Fairfax Library or Amazon.com and get a copy of Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America, take a look at the picture of a real victim of a lynching and the reasons they were subjected to this action, and tell me that JMDD is the victim of a “public lynching”. Search the web for the story of Leo Frank and the end he came to, and tell me that candidates for public office face anything like he did.

It is bad grammar, it is hyperbole verging on demagoguery, it is inaccurate, and I will have no more of it.

You can say someone is being slandered, libeled, subject to character assassination, etc., and all will be well. But as of 10:15PM on 10.28.2007, the term “lynching” or “public lynching” as a term used in expressing an opinion will not be accepted on this blog.

My joint, my rules.

And now, back to the latest political mess…

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One thought on “Small Posting Policy Change…

  1. Most Americans think of a lynching as any hanging other than a legal execution. The term conjures images of lynch mobs dragging victims from jail cells and stringing them up from the nearest tree. However, the term as applied today by civil rights activists means any racially motivated murder carried out by a “mob.” Persons shot, stabbed, or beaten to death, rather than hanged, are counted as lynching victims.

    According to a databases compiled by the Tuskegee Institute and NAACP, about 4,743 people, including 1,297 whites and 3,446, were lynched during between 1882 and 1965. Most of these lynching took places between 1882 and 1930 during the Jim Crow Era in the American South. In compiling its database, the Tuskegee Institute, at first, expanded the definition of lynching, which traditionally meant an illegal hanging, to include any illegal act of violence committed by more than two people that resulted in a death. (In addition, the people doing the lynching had to believe they were acting in the name of justice or defense of an established tradition. Three white men who shot and killed a black man because he refused to move to the back of the bus would have committed a lynching. Three white men who killed a black man to rob him of money would be guilty of murder.) The NCAAP later revised the definition to include acts committed by a single individual if the individual could reasonably be assumed to have acted on the behalf of a larger group. For example, civil rights leaders killed by a single sniper were counted as lynching victims because the sniper was assumed to have ties to organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan.

    Whites usually lynched blacks for the same reasons they lynched whites. The victims had been convicted of crimes, or were suspected of committing crimes, such as murder, felonious assault, rape or robbery. However, the statistics show white mobs were much more likely to lynch blacks than whites, even though blacks made up a small percent of the population. And at times, white mobs lynched blacks for crimes that would not have been considered crimes had the victims been white rather than black.

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