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Thrasher writes: "A Mississippi legislator called for lynchings on the same day that a black student was stabbed on a campus. We are facing a crisis of racism."

Richard Collins III was stabbed and killed on the campus of the University of Maryland last week. (photo: Reuters)
Richard Collins III was stabbed and killed on the campus of the University of Maryland last week. (photo: Reuters)


The Terror of Lynching Haunts Black Americans Again

By Steven W. Thrasher, Guardian UK

24 May 17

 

A Mississippi legislator called for lynchings on the same day that a black student was stabbed on campus. We are facing a crisis of racism

ynching is back in America’s headlines. On Saturday, an African American student, Richard Collins III, was stabbed and killed on the campus of the University of Maryland in what was widely – and rightly – called a lynching. That same day, the Mississippi state representative Karl Oliver wrote on Facebook that people who supported the removal of Confederate memorials to be “should be LYNCHED”.

Both cases are grotesque, obscene, and very reflective of our present racist crisis embodied by the Trump era.

The man who reportedly killed Collins was a white student named Sean Ubanski, who is said to have been involved with a Facebook group called Alt-Reich: Nation.

A lynching is a spectacular murder that serves as a warning to a whole group, as did Jim Crow-era hangings and 2015’s murders at Emanuel AME Church. The Collins killing reinforces the fear in African Americans that there is no space or activity – not buying Skittles in a suburb, buying a toy in a store, or going to a party – which is safe for us.

State representative Oliver’s call to lynch those standing up to Confederate hagiography is a warning to people fighting anti-blackness that we’re in danger. Regardless of intent, Collins’ lynching assaulted African Americans everywhere, as did Oliver’s threat.

Those presenting these kinds of sentiments are being emboldened by the Trump era, in which lynching history and culture are a part of what it means to “make America great again”.

Urbanski and Oliver are white men. So are Dylann Roof, most people who kill police and most people who commit mass shootings. Yet unlike Muslims, immigrants or black people, white men as a group will not be broadly pathologized or stigmatized by association.

Few in media will wring their hands about the violence of white male culture or ask what needs to be done to de-radicalize this dangerous demographic. The American pastime of fear-mongering about “the other” while ignoring murderous white men is a US tradition older the constitution. And it is one that has increased perilously under Donald Trump.

Trump is making racial violence worse in two ways. First, he is overwhelming the news with his own drama and scandal. As charges of a coverup about Russia play out, Trump is guilty of another kind of coverup already: of overwhelming just about every other important story in the nation.

Multiple times a day, Trump’s scandals crowd out everything else (and, being a powerful white man, he gets away with it). Jordan Edwards’ killing by a police officer facing rare murder charges should have been a major story in the past few weeks, as should the lack of punishment for the killing of Alton Sterling and the lynching of Collins. But Trump pushes them off the radar by whining that he’s being treated “unfairly”.

Trump has been legitimizing the violent expression of white nationalist sentiment for years, by calling for the executions of the Central Park Five despite their innocence and by opening his campaign by calling Mexicans “rapists”. Every time Trump has opened a hotline to report illegal “aliens” or tried to ban Muslims from entering the US, he has allowed white, Christianist supremacy to blossom in defending an “America first” stance.

By appointing to the Department of Homeland Security Sheriff David Clarke, a demagogue who ran a jail where a person died of dehydration after being denied water for a week and who called Black Lives Matter a “terrorist” organization, Trump has empowered anti-blackness legally and extralegally.

And in appointing the equally racist, but bureaucratically efficient, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, Trump has told white men that there is no punishment for being the kind of man Coretta Scott King would write a 10-page warning about. Quite the opposite: if you suppress the black vote and want to amp up mass incarceration, you could become attorney general.

The rise of Trump has fueled the rise of the so-called “alt-right”. This in turn has led to a not very intellectual, but increasingly openly racist, roster of white supremacist speakers coming to college campuses. Much of the mainstream media has not taken the potential consequences of white supremacists being on the lecture circuit seriously enough, focusing instead on their fashion sense. No surprise, these speakers have led to an increase of white supremacist activity on campuses.

And in this toxic stew, Collins was killed at the University of Maryland. It’s not just that Trump and his cronies have failed to take a lead on racism; rather, they have succeeded in leading on racism, but in the wrong direction. This has created the mess we are in.

Of course, anti-blackness existed before Trump. But while officials have thus far declined to label Collins’ murder a “hate crime”, it’s important to remember that violence cuts many ways, and how it functions once it has been committed cannot be determined simply by the perpetrator’s stated intent.

Asian Americans experienced a specific kind of racial violence in seeing the video of bloody David Dao dragged off that United Airlines flight; black women were subjected to a particular kind of violence when they saw the video of Sandra Bland.

Richard Collins paid the highest price for the violence enacted by his killer. But his lynching – and Oliver’s call for lynching – have a hefty price for all black people living in a country where racist men like President Trump, attorney general Sessions, Sheriff Clarke and Richard Spencer wield so much power.

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-88 # babaregi 2017-05-24 16:06
Oh great, another cherry-picked article for RSN readers that talks about Evil White Men!

Meanwhile you turn the other way when children are blown all to hell:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KiSDKIvX4g
 
 
+21 # bardphile 2017-05-25 02:38
If that's a joke, baba, it's in horrible taste.
 
 
+12 # reiverpacific 2017-05-25 09:05
Quoting bardphile:
If that's a joke, baba, it's in horrible taste.


Sadly, it's not a "joke".
This person is consistently on the negative side of populist and humanitarian issues.
 
 
-14 # babaregi 2017-05-25 13:56
Quoting reiverpacific:
Quoting bardphile:
If that's a joke, baba, it's in horrible taste.


Sadly, it's not a "joke".
This person is consistently on the negative side of populist and humanitarian issues.


No joke, indeed. I prefer to consider myself quite balanced on such issues. But I'm in full attack mode (by necessity) when I post here in order to counter the unbalanced and often dogmatic messages that find refuge on this site.
 
 
+23 # rural oregon progressive 2017-05-25 03:24
babaregi: You are an enigma... You thrive on FoxNews propaganda, yet regularly visit RSN and comment as though you are a "Fox News contributor". The fact is that white men have felt superior, and have (in the US of A for centuries) oppressed anyone who is not a white Christian. That does not make all white men "evil", but there are, and have been, sufficient quantities of them to commit atrocities against Native Americans, Asians, and African Americans for the entirety of the US existence... and much of the time, those atrocities were codified in (white) law. What was not codified, has been tolerated with a wink and a nod.

There is but a single notion that I will agree with you. RSN has been cherry-picking articles that it chooses to post. Since Trump's election, there have been scores of "resistance to Trump" and "Russian interference" articles every week. Yet, like regular corporate media, there have been no (at least that I have seen) articles relating to the utter corruption of the DNC. No coverage of the lawsuit against the DNC by average Democrats... No coverage of the Seth Rich murder. Whatever the mainstream media is refusing to cover, definitely requires extra scrutiny. And RSN coverage is no exception. Even RSN seems to be becoming mainstream in this area.

But as for this particular article, it is, in fact, important to acknowledge, that we continue to have systemic racism embedded in this country. This fact remains unacceptable and abhorrent.
 
 
-12 # babaregi 2017-05-25 14:41
rural:

You speak of deeds done by Whites long since gone. Plantation owners were a minority that cared little for poor White Men. Few White Men feel that way these days.

Attacking today's White Men for such deeds, over and over, is not only racist but sexist. Women had no part in this? They certainly chose to make use of the resources obtained through such means.

So only Whites have engaged in War and Plunder? That is your official narrative?

Sure, there are some White racists (that must be opposed) but what about Black accountability in modern times?

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-mozilla-004&hsimp=yhs-004&hspart=mozilla&p=don%27t+make+the+black+kids+angry#id=3&vid=845ffc57b7c362f07baa69b7888a4c3a&action=click
 
 
+4 # rural oregon progressive 2017-05-26 01:59
barbaregi: My official narrative is that "only whites have engaged in War and Plunder"??? That's what you got out of my post??? And you accuse RSN of "cherry-picking ", as you cherry-pick...
 
 
+9 # Glen 2017-05-25 05:56
Each event is worthy of scrutiny. The ongoing, and in fact, increasing, racism and violence in the U.S. just might lead up to bombings and the deaths of even more children. If you will but pay attention to who is making these threats and committing hate crimes, it is whites. Also if you will pay attention you will see that quite number of children ARE dying violently in the U.S.
 
 
+15 # dascher 2017-05-25 05:56
you must be referring to the bombing of innocent civilians in Yemen, where thousands of children have been blown all to hell by our close friend and ally Saudi Arabia with logistic and targetting assistance from the US - or are you referring to the millions of Iraqi civilians, at least half of whom are children, driven from their homes by the "coalition of the willing", led by the US? Or did you mean to refer to the children of Gaza "blown all to hell" in Israel's (US backed and supplied) attacks on supposed terrorist enclaves like schools and hospitals?? Or ... there are too many instances of US material support for "blowing children all to hell" to enumerate them all. But then, those "poor little innocent children and babies - babies" (as Trump incoherently and hypocritically babbles) are only "collateral damage". The kind of collateral damage that pushes so many US troops over the edge.
 
 
+13 # Michaeljohn 2017-05-25 08:34
Quoting babaregi:
Oh great, another cherry-picked article for RSN readers that talks about Evil White Men!

Meanwhile you turn the other way when children are blown all to hell:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KiSDKIvX4g


So, babaregi, how about the 'evil white man' who slaughtered innocent children in Newtown, CT. Or the US military jets which launched missiles in Syria causing 'collateral damage' in which many children were 'blown all to hell'. Better wake up and understand the world we live in.
 
 
+5 # tmconnors 2017-05-25 11:13
Don't be silly, Michael. I'm sure baba also genuflects to those who think Newton was a hoax. Some people are just too ignorant for words.
 
 
+21 # dotlady 2017-05-24 22:43
babaregi - Unfortunate and shallow comment above. Racism sucks wherever it arises -in the horror of acts like Manchester by alienated and disturbed young men, or in the historical and entrenched white racism against Native Americans and young black men in America, of whom dozens if not hundreds are murdered every year.
 
 
+19 # krallison 2017-05-24 22:57
It is Trump who has unleashed the new wave of dangerous racism, antisemitism, antimuslimism. He has made it safe for thugs to say what they want and do what they want in support of these 'isms.'
We need to rid the country of him and his dangerous supporting thugs whether in office or just acting out what officials are saying.
 
 
+3 # Hooligan 2017-05-27 03:42
Quoting krallison:
It is Trump who has unleashed the new wave of dangerous racism, antisemitism, antimuslimism. He has made it safe for thugs to say what they want and do what they want in support of these 'isms.'
We need to rid the country of him and his dangerous supporting thugs whether in office or just acting out what officials are saying.

Trump has "incited to riot" people filled with anger & hatred. This behavior has been recognized as being so evil that we have made it against the law. This is not normal. It is hideous & UNAMERICAN. WE must stop accepting this behavior. We can start by getting rid of the term "alt-right" which is nothing more than plain old hideous white supremacy. We must end this. We are all human beings & deserve to be treated with respect. People who attack others should be ostracized & legally prosecuted to the full extent of the law. End this horrible racism now for the good of this country. No one can call themselves Christian or anything but evil if they engage in this behavior.
 
 
+18 # elkingo 2017-05-25 01:39
Guy belongs to Alt Reich. Read alternative Reich. Alternative Reich to what? Only thing that could be is the Third Reich. So now we got the putative Fourth Reich. Guy is a fucking Nazi. But not considered as having committed a hate crime. What was it, a love crime? If anything can make such fascist murderous acts worse, it might be the official loony stupidity surrounding it.
 
 
+4 # John S. Browne 2017-05-25 13:47
#

Of course racist and white-on-black (and white on Asian, etc.) violence has increased. It is another sign of the times. The restraining power of the Holy Spirit of God that kept some semblance of sanity for so long, is now being withdrawn and mass-insanity is taking over. "T(R)ump" is another symptom of madness gone wild. He is just what a mostly white-supremeci st and racist "Amerika" wants. They don't even really care how criminal he is. They just want someone who stirs up their bloody ire, someone who is going to bring out their self-righteous bigotries and scapegoating, someone who is going to make them feel "good" about themselves through hate. "T(R)ump" fits that bill quite nicely.

The U.S. is FULL of hate. It is stirred up at almost every turn. And, in particular, it is "legitimized" by the increasing repressive, mass-murderous violence of the U.S. government, both at home and abroad. It makes bigoted, racist "Amerika" feel the U.S. is being made "great" again through the increasing, "We take no prisoners", "We destroy our 'enemies'" false patriotism. Never mind that the U.S. government now creates their own enemies to keep the endless war(s) going, as well as to keep the mass-murderous empire building and erecting of a global totalitarian militarized police state going, as they do in the "homeland" as well.

Thus, the powers-that-be of course want to stir up more hatred and violence, because it enables them and gives them the pretext to lock us ALL down.

#
 
 
+7 # heartofnests 2017-05-25 16:33
It's no different in the Northeast, here in New York City. Under the so called moderate administration of Michael Bloomberg, there were many atrocities committed against African Americans, including an unarmed 18-year-old African-America n man being murdered at point-blank range by a policeman in his grandmother's house! So it is everywhere, and the disease of racism and homophobia are burgeoning in places like Chechnya and Greece. It's no time to be burying yourself in your career, or making a fortune, or going to Fashion Week. We as a people have to rise as one voice against the fear and hatred of the Alt-Reich and other cancers in our culture.
 

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