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The Senate Apologizes For Its Historical Inaction In Regards To Lynching
June 13, 2005 6:43 PM   Subscribe

About Lynching
The Negro Holocaust: Lynching and Race Riots in the United States,1880-1950
Lynching in America: Carnival of Death
The Press and Lynchings of African Americans
U.S. Senate apologizes for shame of lynchings
On a voice vote and without opposition, the Senate passed a resolution expressing its regrets to the nearly 5,000 Americans -- mostly black males -- ...documented as having been lynched from 1880 to 1960. No lawmaker opposed the measure, but 20 of the 100 senators had not signed a statement of support of it shortly before a vote was taken on a nearly empty Senate floor.
posted by y2karl (135 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 

Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

posted by sourwookie at 6:50 PM on June 13, 2005


Senate passed a resolution expressing its regrets to the nearly 5,000 Americans -- mostly black males -- ...documented as having been lynched from 1880 to 1960.

"Regrets," dosen't quite cut it. It's like raping someone's daughter and then sending them a sympathy card. But at least they're acknowledging history. And. hopefully when the killer of Goodman, Schwerner, & Chaney is convicted (crosses fingers) we can put that legacy into the dustbin of history where it belongs.
posted by jonmc at 6:56 PM on June 13, 2005


The resolution was first proposed last year by Sens. Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, and George Allen, a Virginia Republican, after they read the book, "Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America," a pictorial history by James Allen.

Sadly it is no longer available online, but it comes as no surprise to find that James Allen's Without Sanctuary: lynching photography in America, both as book and as traveling exhibit, had much to with this turn of events.
posted by y2karl at 6:58 PM on June 13, 2005


Nice set of links. Thanks.
posted by OmieWise at 6:59 PM on June 13, 2005


So is there a list of which 20 senators did not publicly support the apology?
posted by Staggering Jack at 7:06 PM on June 13, 2005


According to an unverified comment on Eschaton,

Lott
Cochran
Chambliss
Shelby
Sessions
Burns
Cornyn
Kyl
Bunning
McConnell
Isakson
Inhofe


are included among the non-signers. This is not a surprising set of names.
posted by y2karl at 7:22 PM on June 13, 2005


Y'know, I hate to say it, but this is one of those reasons why glib comparisons of current struggles for gay rights with the struggle for civil rights can ring really hollow sometimes. The level of official condonment and public tolerance of lynchings was horrific.
I can't even really begin to conceptualize what it would be like to live in a society where this was tolerated, even tacitly.
I do think that this apology shouldn't stand alone, but should be accompanied by programs that specifically work to remedy the tremendous damage that was inflicted upon Americans, Americans who happened to be black. An apology without work to right the wrong is hollow, and the pious pronouncements of a man apologizing for tripping you will only make you snarl when his boot is still holding you down.
posted by klangklangston at 7:24 PM on June 13, 2005


Fire in a Canebrake, by Laura Wexler, was one of the best works of investigative nonfiction I read last year. I highly recommend it to anyone intersted in late-era lynching. It isn't as far back in history as you might think.
posted by Cassford at 7:26 PM on June 13, 2005


Lott and Chambliss couldn't be counted on to apologize? Why? Didn't want to encourage awkward dinner conversation?
posted by klangklangston at 7:26 PM on June 13, 2005


I watched some of the discussion/vote on this on CSPAN-2 and saw how empty the Senate was. I know there's a lot to do as a Congressperson, but it was still a little depressing. 1960 is just not that long ago.
posted by jessamyn at 7:54 PM on June 13, 2005


Senate passed a resolution expressing its regrets to the nearly 5,000 Americans -- mostly black males -- ...documented as having been lynched from 1880 to 1960.

This is only possible now that Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond have left office. They would have filibustered this apology out of existence.

klangklangston-- comparisons are always odious. Saying something is analogous is not the same as saying it is exactly the same. I think the dictionary would define analogous as similar in function, but neither by cause nor degree.

The civil rights movement means race rights to Americans, but civil rights are in fact rights of citizens. Hanging gay people has not been tacitly allowed in U.S. society, but bullying, beating and even raping gay and lesbian people was encouraged in the media and by other institutions. In both cases violence vigilantism was used to suppress the rights of some elements of society. I don't think there is a gay man my age who didn't hear jokes from the gym teacher about bashing fags, or looking prissy, or heard people refer to beating fags as understandable under some circumstances.

The struggle for civil rights is different for different groups, but it boils down to wanting equal protection under the law, and freedom from fear. I believe that straight African Americans faced more danger than most white gay people. But that does not make one struggle insignificant.

Personally, I think holding hands with my boyfriend at an Alabama lunch counter would still be subversive and perhaps even dangerous to this day.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 7:59 PM on June 13, 2005


The news report I saw mentioned that it was an apology for not passing a federal law to outlaw it.

Lynchings are horrible, obviously. The idea of even one, much less 5,000+ people being lynched is sickening in the extreme. An apology certainly can't hurt anything.

But, wasn't there already a law against murder? Why would a special law for lynching have been required or even helpful?
posted by willnot at 8:04 PM on June 13, 2005


Personally, I think holding hands with my boyfriend at an Alabama lunch counter would still be subversive and perhaps even dangerous to this day.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk


I wish you would have told me this earlier. I could have warned the nice couple holding hands at the local starbucks (birmingham!) that they were in danger.

Stereotypes of any group of people is dangerous, even from said group.
posted by justgary at 8:12 PM on June 13, 2005


justgary, Alabama is not only Birmingham (college town, capital, transient population)... A few years back I was driving north through AL with a friend who is black. They made us feel very uncomfortable in some places we stopped for a meal. I dunno about gay people, why would they be treated better?
posted by carmina at 8:28 PM on June 13, 2005


Negro holocaust ...the nearly 5,000 Americans -- mostly black males -- ...documented as having been lynched from 1880 to 1960

Slavery and racism are two of the darkest and worst aspects that can manifest in a society (although certainly neither is unique to the United States).

But shouldn't everyone be offended when they see the term holocaust used in a context like this?

Is someone really, seriously comparing the the death of 6 million jews to the deaths of 5000 black people committed over 80 years?

The lynching of a single human being (of any race) is wrong, let alone 5,000. But 5,000 simply does not constitute a holocaust.

Holocaust is defined as mass slaughter and is synonymous with genocide. Lynching 65 people per year in the United States is sickening, but it isn't mass slaughter and it isn't genocide.
posted by joedharma at 8:47 PM on June 13, 2005


y2karl...not to snark at all...seriously...but do you have a possible stake in these potential reparations?

If not, fine, but if so, you should do the full disclosure thing.
posted by 1016 at 9:49 PM EST on February 22
posted by orthogonality at 8:57 PM on June 13, 2005


posted by orthogonality at 8:57 PM PST on June 13 [!]

Orthog, are you quoting 1016, or did JRun break again and squish your comments together?
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 9:01 PM on June 13, 2005


I'm quoting, in the same vein as my comments in the Ziba Zahra Kazemi thread, but with more obvious attribution.
posted by orthogonality at 9:11 PM on June 13, 2005


willnot: I would assume a federal law was required to allow the FBI or other federal agencies to investigate these crimes even if the local level law enforcement was unwilling to do so. My knowledge is sketchy, but I think they can only intervene if a federal law has been broken.
posted by Rumple at 9:17 PM on June 13, 2005


I'm quoting

Cool, thanks for the clarification. Without using blockquotes sometimes it's tough to tell since comments all look the same and sometimes MeFi breaks when somebody puts bad HTML in.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 9:19 PM on June 13, 2005


Joe: Yeah, but Germans are efficient, and Southerners are lazy. It was the best holocaust they could muster.

Total work of art: I definitely think that there are similarities. Obviously, both are involved with the concept of civil rights, obviously both sets of discrimination are unjust. I just tend to balk when I see something described in terms that exaggerate the sensationalism of evil. Like, no matter how horrible the Matthew Shephard murder was, it wasn't part of a truly systematic culture. Violence against gays, while still being too common, is the exception and not the rule. And while gays should be allowed to get married, they are not explicitly segregated by law.
I realize that I'm railing against a bit of a straw man, and I apologize for that.
posted by klangklangston at 9:26 PM on June 13, 2005


It's not as if the U.S. isn't capable of holocaust, mass slaughter, genocide, though, joedharma.....

The difference between a lynching and just "plain ol murder" is that the persons death was meant to strike fear and a send a message to a "certain populace" or those that "conspired" with them. Lynching would be far closer to domestic homegown terrorism, I would say. For all those years this government didn't do much about that form of terrorism.
posted by SweetIceT at 9:29 PM on June 13, 2005


But, wasn't there already a law against murder? Why would a special law for lynching have been required or even helpful?

willnot: This same question was asked today during the excellent interview about lynching with history professor William Fitz Brundge on NPR's Talk of the Nation [interview archive here @ 5:44]. His explanation is better than mine, but essentially, because of the complicity of local law enforcement and the mass cooperation of local communities, there were only a handful of prosecutions and convictions on the state level. Few Southern juries would convict, especially someone from their own communities.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:35 PM on June 13, 2005


this government didn't do much about that form of terrorism.

Depends on what you mean by "this government." State and local governments didn't do a darn thing, but as has been mentioned the federal government started to write anti-lynching laws. The problem is that the federal government doesn't normally have jurisdiction over local crime so it had to find crafty work-arounds to have jurisdiction (such as the good old Commerce Clause). Some people thought that the federal government was over-reaching its (very limited) domestic law enforcement power to stop "terrorism" (your words), a debate that seems awfully familiar today.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 9:48 PM on June 13, 2005


Considering that lynching was a form of murder meant to be public and strike terror into those who fit the criteria of the person lynched, whether by crime, morals, or race, I'd say it pretty much fits the definition of "terrorism". Of course, "terrorism" is easy to define broadly.

Simply put, this was targeted racial killing, and quite the definition of a hate crime, with unusual malice.

Living in Oklahoma, I'm ashamed of Inhofe and anyone who ever has voted for him. It's voting this way that keeps giving this state a redneck backwards hick image.
posted by Saydur at 10:03 PM on June 13, 2005


Y'know, I hate to say it, but this is one of those reasons why glib comparisons of current struggles for gay rights with the struggle for civil rights can ring really hollow sometimes.

What a horrible and ignorant thing to say. Seriously.
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:05 PM on June 13, 2005


Good topic on a day when Michael Jackson is acquitted...
posted by Slothrup at 10:14 PM on June 13, 2005


Thanks Dr. Zira. I listened to the interview with Brundge. I get that state and local governments were often complicit and that even if they weren't a local jury of white, racist peers wouldn't convict for lynching.

Still, Brundge's and your answers only makes sense if there is no federal law against murder (or assault since I think I heard Brundge say that many of those lynched didn't actually end up dying from it). So, I guess what I don't understand is why you had to rely on state law enforcement to prosecute for something like that.

I guess it's possible that there isn't (or wasn't) a federal law against murder or assault, but I would find that very surprising. Can anybody confirm or deny that?
posted by willnot at 10:26 PM on June 13, 2005


go to google and report back, willnot.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:36 PM on June 13, 2005


The 5,000 applies to the recorded lynchings--there were many more unrecorded.

For example, from the first link:

Statistics do not tell the entire story, however. These were recorded lynchings; others were never reported beyond the community involved.

There certainly wasn't anything on the level of 20 million, but 5,000 is the least estimate.

It's also probably worth noting that just because blacks in the US weren't killed in the systematic manner Jews and other undesirables were in Nazi Germany, it doesn't mean their discrimination and persecution has been any less systematic and pervasive.
posted by schroedinger at 10:40 PM on June 13, 2005


Yeah, but Germans are efficient, and Southerners are lazy. It was the best holocaust they could muster.

KlangKlangston - LOL

Too funny, Im forwarding it on to my friends.......
posted by joedharma at 10:42 PM on June 13, 2005


The Bush administration had Condoleeza say a few words on the issue, presumably because she is the token black represents the State Department.

"Better late than never..." she said.

Of course, that implies that it *WAS* too late for many Blacks, who were victims of rascism perpetuated by Southern lawmakers for so many years. Of course, one of those rascist-coddling lawmakers was George W. Bush.

In 1998, James Byrd, Jr., a black Texan, was beaten, chained to the back of a pickup truck, and dragged for three miles. Byrd was alive for most of this horrific act, dying only when he was decapitated after his body hit a culvert. When Byrd's family came forward and begged Governor Bush to pass a hate crimes bill, he told his family no. He even refused an invitation from Jasper County, Texas, to make an appearance in support of the local community. Bush, under pressure from Democratic lawmakers, later made a halfhearted, last-minute declaration indicating he was willing to support the bill, but it was little more than a publicity stunt, and the bill was never passed, thanks to Republican lawmakers. It was only after George W. Bush left the governor's office that the Byrd family was finally able to get the new governor to strongly back and pass hate crimes legislation.

It could've been one of your relatives, Condoleeza. Hell, it could've been a fellow human being that you should naturally have empathy and compassion for. No matter what color your skin, you should have zero tolerance for hate crimes, but you've made a career out of supporting racist policies cloaked in conservative ideology.

Better never than late, Condoleeza.
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:17 PM on June 13, 2005


Is it racist (or "racist-coddling") to disagree with hate crime laws? Are people without empathy or compassion the only ones who don't think hate crime laws should be created?
posted by Snyder at 11:24 PM on June 13, 2005


Is it murderer-coddling to support lighter sentences for murderers?

Consider all the facts... there probably wouldn't even be hate crimes laws if there wasn't a history in many places in this country for such crimes to be minimally punished. Supporting minimum (or manditory) sentences for particularly heinous crimes is one effective way to deal with such racism.
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:40 PM on June 13, 2005


I'd like to know why those 20 didn't sign. Was it because they thought that it was merely lip service designed to encourage the black voter to support the administration? Or was it simply that they didn't care?

And why only an apology? Why not some reparations? There are plenty of impoverished Black families with lynched ancestors...why not find them and give them some money?
posted by deusdiabolus at 11:43 PM on June 13, 2005


It could've been one of your relatives, Condoleeza

Wait, so Condi is now responsible for what Bush did as governor, despite the fact that she was Provost of Stanford at the time? What, exactly, was she supposed to do, mobilze the Stanford Color Guard to Texas to force Bush to sign the bill?
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 12:11 AM on June 14, 2005


Is it racist (or "racist-coddling") to disagree with hate crime laws?

The Supreme Court thinks that there are a lot of Constitutional problems with many forms of hate-crime legislation, so you're not the only one. See R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul for a law that got struck down on free speech grounds.

Then there's the detail that all heinous crimes are "hate" crimes in some sense -- if I drag somebody to death behind a truck it's pretty clear that I hate them, regardless of whether it is a "protected characteristic" that motivated me to do it.

There's a bit of an equal protection problem with hate crime laws, namely that some classes of people now recieve more protection than others. If you're attacked because you're fat or republican then you recieve no protection. In some states you get extra protection if you're muslim or jewish, in other states not. In some states you get extra protection if you're gay, in others not. ("'Hate Crime' laws discriminate against categories of people not included. ... 'Hate Crime' laws promote unequal treatment and justice for victims of crime. No crime victim should be entitled to greater protection than another should. Our Constitution guarantees equal protection under law, not unequal protection." - Source)

There is also a huge limited government problem with any sort of Federal hate crime legislation -- crime and punishment are roles for the state, not the federal government. Imagine what would happen if Homeland Security or the FBI suddenly had the power to investigate every violent crime in the country. Yeah, goodbye civil liberties. Hasta luego freedom. The whole "double jeapordy" problem means that only the federal OR state government could prosecute the crime, with a resulting fight for jurisdiction that could get ugly.

An intereting take on hate crime legislation from a gay man.

Hate crime laws have an unfortunate tendency to be used to prosecute minorites (ie, not straight white men). For example, the defendant in Wisconsin v. Mitchell was a black youth who had his sentence tripled for acting based on anti-white prejudice. (See the Southern Poverty Law Center's take on hate crime laws: "In reality, hate crime laws are most often enforced against Archie Bunker-type defendants whose prejudice has bubbled to the surface during an argument over a parking space or a campsite, or with a neighbor. The majority of persons arrested for hate crimes are juveniles who may well be confused, mentally unstable or sociopathic. But they are not ideologically driven racists.")
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 12:25 AM on June 14, 2005


"Wait, so Condi is now responsible for what Bush did as governor, despite the fact that she was Provost of Stanford at the time?"

No. Condi, however, was supportive of Bush from his days as a governor in Texas, and apparently blind to his behavior on this and other matters, such as Bush's nomination of a judge who is well-known for giving a KKK cross-burner a free ride.

She was already tight with him at the time she was at Stanford, and she took an over one year leave of absence from her position in the run-up to his first election. Don't you think that Condoleeza should've done some research regarding Bush's positions on race, before blindly getting on board the ideologue express?
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:58 AM on June 14, 2005


In any event, "better late than never..." just *SO* doesn't cut it, especially when her own party is the reason why it was so late in coming in the first place.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:59 AM on June 14, 2005


it comes as no surprise to find that James Allen's Without Sanctuary: lynching photography in America, both as book and as traveling exhibit, had much to with this turn of events.

indeed. it's a terrifying, indispensable book. as always, thanks for the post karl. and thanks to sourwookie for the reminder.

for our nyc friends -- a couple weeks ago the Strand had a pretty big stack of Without Sanctuary copies at a very good price, I guess they still have them
posted by matteo at 1:21 AM on June 14, 2005


and by the way -- The Story Behind "Strange Fruit"
posted by matteo at 1:26 AM on June 14, 2005


One of the big differences between race and gayness: When you're gay, your own father may do the lynching, so its not really "lynching", and its so much nicer to be snuffed by someone near and dear. Not that fathers are killing that many gay sons, but it happens, especially when guns are being cleaned.

But I, a gay man, wouldn't make any claim that being gay is LIKE being black in America. Not at all. I can hide, real easy, in plain sight. Why, I've even hidden amongst some southern good ol' boys! Some of 'em are evil bastards. Some of 'em just pretend, so they don't get their asses kicked.
posted by Goofyy at 1:26 AM on June 14, 2005


Alex: It's ignorant to say that gays aren't being systematically killed, with law enforcement often directly complicit, on a large scale in America? It's ignorant to say that the number of times that gay rights marches have had dogs turned on children is, shall we say, very low?
Goofyy: How many people does the father invite to the killing? That's what I meant by glib comparisons.

As far as the hate crimes legislation, it's a little bit of the philosopher king connundrum: The perfect solution is giving judges wide enough discretion to take the context of the crime into account, and having those justices always wise enough to make the correct determination. But where are we going to find these perfect judges? I don't like the idea of hate crime legislation, because I don't believe that it's more evil to beat someone for who they are than it is to beat them for no reason at all. I don't particularly care about the motivations; beating people is wrong. But there is often a viciousness in a hate crime that corresponds with the aggressor's lack of regard for the humanity of others that makes the crimes more heinous. Is it just that a crime which attacks the reigning ideologies of a society is punished more harshly? I don't know.
posted by klangklangston at 2:04 AM on June 14, 2005


This is great news. It's good to see the United States once more "leading" the world, showing us a shining example of how to be a "democracy" where "all" "people" can live in "freedom".
posted by lastobelus at 4:19 AM on June 14, 2005


Could Alex really be the Most Persecuted Man on Earth?

Add my name to list of signatories: "'Regrets,' doesn't quite cut it."
posted by NinjaPirate at 4:42 AM on June 14, 2005


75 Years Later, Scars Linger
"James Cameron, now 91, is the only living survivor of a lynching known to historians. As the 75th anniversary of his ordeal approaches, he can still remember some of the faces of the 2,000 white people who gathered there. Some had brought their children. Some were eating. A photographer snapped pictures."

"....Both men said they believe the U.S. Senate should apologize for its failure to enact anti-lynching legislation. Cameron, who opened a museum in Milwaukee about violence against African Americans, will be at the Capitol on Monday when the Senate votes.

"I think they should pass the law, but it's not going to help," Cameron said in an interview. "If you hit someone with your car, but you apologize . . . he's still hurt. It's a good idea, but it's too late."

posted by anastasiav at 5:05 AM on June 14, 2005


Lynching is a form of vigilante violence by a mob. It was mostly used against African Americans, but it occurred in most every state, for a variety of reasons. Being fair, it is not unique to the south (though it was more common there, particularly in certain states I've been accused of slandering ), nor was it invented by the Klan.

I bristle when I hear people try to weigh the heinousness of different crimes. Would you say "Mrs Sheppard, I'm sorry but your son's murder wasn't as significant as Medgar Evers?". I hope not.

Genocide, holocaust, oppressed-- a victim is a victim, and a murderer is a murderer. It offends me when one innocent victim is valued less than another.

BTW-- this difference between being Black and gay is pretty specious. You can be Black AND gay. You can be gay in SF, or gay in Mississippi and have completely different experiences.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 5:54 AM on June 14, 2005


Gesam: Well, while I don't deny that it is odious, not every death is the same. Medgar Evans' killers changed the world in a very big way. Even though the Sheppard murder was significant, I don't think that you can say it was as significant. Just like how the death of any anonymous Jew in the Holocaust wasn't as significant as the death of Archduke Ferdinand, no matter how horrific either of them were. To a mother, her son's death is always a national tragedy. To the nation, it may simply be a highway statistic.
posted by klangklangston at 6:03 AM on June 14, 2005


BTW-- this difference between being Black and gay is pretty specious. You can be Black AND gay. You can be gay in SF, or gay in Mississippi and have completely different experiences.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:54 AM EST on June 14 [!]


I agree and add that you can be black in Harlem and be black in Mississippi and have completely different experiences as well.
posted by trey at 6:25 AM on June 14, 2005


I don't see where anyone's linked to the text yet.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:42 AM on June 14, 2005


Alex: It's ignorant to say that gays aren't being systematically killed, with law enforcement often directly complicit, on a large scale in America?

Yes, it certainly is ignorant. We have unresolved cases within Philadelphia alone where gays, lesbians and transvestites not only get killed and the police do nothing, but have been killed in police custody. Another documented example: During the time that serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was murdering his lovers, any of them who survived long enough to call the police about domestic abuse that took place before the murder were laughed away. Kids are being psychologically and physically tortured for coming out today, just like they were years ago, and the suicide rate among teenagers is highest among gays and lesbians.

Just because your schools don't teach past crimes in history class, and your MSM doesn't report current crimes, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Your comment was ignorant, and sets up a false divide between people who are searching for respect and dignity. Lynching may be a horrible way to die, but it is no less of horrible death to be strung up on barbed wire, or die in the back of police cruiser, etc.
posted by AlexReynolds at 6:55 AM on June 14, 2005


Here's a list of who has signed on.

22 Rebublicans
37 Democrats
1 Independant

Don't you have 100 Senators? I guess 40 weren't there.

/Canadian
posted by jikel_morten at 7:00 AM on June 14, 2005


Even though the Sheppard murder was significant, I don't think that you can say it was as significant.

It was pretty significant for Matthew Shepard. It was significant for each and every 'anonymous' Jew murdered in concentration camps. This is the whole point with murder, by taking someone's life you are taking everything away from them, the totality of their existence, this applies to each and every individual whatever the ramifications are for society of that person's death.
posted by biffa at 7:05 AM on June 14, 2005


Don't you have 100 Senators? I guess 40 weren't there.

/Canadian


Glancing at your list, it looks like those were the cosponsors of the bill, not the people who voted on it.
posted by unreason at 7:06 AM on June 14, 2005


especially when her own party is the reason why it was so late in coming in the first place.

Umm, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but southern conservative DEMOCRATS were the ones who opposed anti-lynching bills in the 1930s. Again, check your facts before using your ideology. I'm well aware that the parties have switched sides since then, but it's a pretty important detail if you're going to start blaming parties.

Source? The Washington Post:
Powerful southern senators, such as Richard B. Russell Jr. (D-Ga.), whose name was given to the Senate office building where the resolution was drafted, used the filibuster to block votes.
...
"Whenever a Negro crosses this dead line between the white and the Negro races and lays his black hand on a white woman, he deserves to die," segregationist Sen. James Thomas Heflin (D-Ala.) said in 1930.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 7:36 AM on June 14, 2005


My mistake. I'm fuzzy on all the procedings...
posted by jikel_morten at 7:36 AM on June 14, 2005


Y'know, I hate to say it, but this is one of those reasons why glib comparisons of current struggles for gay rights with the struggle for civil rights can ring really hollow sometimes.
What a horrible and ignorant thing to say. Seriously.


Oh, please.
posted by delmoi at 8:04 AM on June 14, 2005


Hmph. Sorry to be the grumpy one here, but any fool who uses the term "hate crime" has already bought into a large piece of the opposing side's rhetoric. The proper term is malicious harassment and it is an intentionally limited expansion of penalty for terroristic threats that target sectors of society historically deprived of equal protection under the law.

Sorry, KlangKlangston, but your take on is completely off the beam in regards to both the facts and the law. I don't mean to single you out, but you are the most articulate one who keeps bringing this up.

Nowadays, malicious harassment is usually perpetrated by 18-24 year old wannabees who rely on the lingering terror of lynching and night-riding to amplify their acts to intimidate not just the immediate targets, but anyone else in that community who recognizes they could be singled out and the cops wouldn't do one goddamn thing.

Anybody who wants to spout the "thought crime" and "free speech" attacks on equal protection under thle law are more than welcome to come with me on an investigation.

Assholes who laugh off swastika painting as a "prank" for instance, should attend the very next synagog. It'll open their eyes up.

I've seen people have their entire lives wrecked by being fucked with by skinheads who threatened their children. Just threatened. Why?

Because what followed after showed them that nobody, not the cops, not their neighbors, nobody, gave a shit if they got fucked by mob-style violence. I've also seen people have the entire lives wrecked when everybody responded in the best way possible. If you haven't been on the receiving end, don't fucking trivialize it.

The next step is include bias motives in a depravity scale used in sentencing guidelines. I'm not holding my breath.

Sorry about the rant. I'll STFU now.
posted by warbaby at 8:08 AM on June 14, 2005


In 1998, James Byrd, Jr., a black Texan, was beaten, chained to the back of a pickup truck, and dragged for three miles. Byrd was alive for most of this horrific act, dying only when he was decapitated after his body hit a culvert. When Byrd's family came forward and begged Governor Bush to pass a hate crimes bill, he told his family no.

To be fair, like many Texans the perpetrators of this crime were executed. What more do you want?
posted by delmoi at 8:08 AM on June 14, 2005


Your comment was ignorant, and sets up a false divide between people who are searching for respect and dignity. Lynching may be a horrible way to die, but it is no less of horrible death to be strung up on barbed wire, or die in the back of police cruiser, etc.

Because black people never die in the hands of police!
posted by delmoi at 8:20 AM on June 14, 2005


Because black people never die in the hands of police!

Nice strawman. Nice hit and run. My namesake would be proud!
posted by Poltroon at 8:36 AM on June 14, 2005


Interestingly, in 1999, the murderer of James Byrd was the first white person executed for killing a black man in almost 150 years in Texas. The only previous case, in 1854, involved a white man killing another white man's favorite slave in what was regarded as a property crime. This includes over 340 executions since the death penalty was reinstated in Texas in 1976 and over 100 under Bush. Perhaps the corruption of local authorities is the reason why some think that hate crimes legislation is necessary.
posted by JackFlash at 9:15 AM on June 14, 2005


>>Yes, it certainly is ignorant. We have unresolved cases within Philadelphia alone where gays, lesbians and transvestites not only get killed and the police do nothing, but have been killed in police custody. Another documented example: During the time that serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was murdering his lovers, any of them who survived long enough to call the police about domestic abuse that took place before the murder were laughed away. Kids are being psychologically and physically tortured for coming out today, just like they were years ago, and the suicide rate among teenagers is highest among gays and lesbians.<<
You truly have no idea of scale, of gradiation, do you? When gays are killed, is it a picnic for the community? That's what happened when blacks were lynched. Hey, can you drink at the same fountains as straight people? No, everything is EQUAL! ALL EVIL IS EQUAL! Because admitting that you use inflamatory rhetoric out of step with the historical comparison that you'd like to lean on would make it easier to have crimes against gays dismissed. And since that's part of your identity, you feel personally slighted.
I don't deny that there are systematic problems with the way gay people are treated, and I don't deny that there are pervasive problems with both violence and the official response to violence against gays. But I fear that in your zeal to protect the rights of yourself and others that you lose your sense of perspective on just how evil lynching and how cancerous the culture of segregation and Jim Crow was. Just like how while there are more people living in poverty today than there were during the Great Depression in developed countries, the Great Depression was poverty on a scale that we wouldn't recognize today. (Obviously, leaving aside things like Sub-Saharan Africa, where the poverty is so pervasive and endemic that the West has to conceptualize it in abstract). I know that your heart is in the right place, but when you say that it's ignorant to not believe that gays have things as bad as blacks did under Jim Crow, you move from the realm of credible argument into the cable pundit zone.
posted by klangklangston at 9:17 AM on June 14, 2005


When gays are killed, is it a picnic for the community?

Sometimes.
posted by Poltroon at 9:19 AM on June 14, 2005


Biffa: Yeah. At the n=1 point, it's the the only thing that matters. At the point of individual subjectivity, it's the most significant thing possible, and killing is generally wrong.
But moving away from the subjectivity of the victim, I think that we can all agree that the death of Martin Luther King jr. was more objectively significant than the death of Paula Cruise, killed by a drunk driver in 1983 in Indiana. What metrics? Well, people affected. Media profile. Political and policy ramifications. While it no doubt was hard on the Cruise family, the death of King was hard on the nation.
So, if we've accepted that death as catalyst is a decent way of judging the "objective" significance (I mean, obviously, the degree of objectivity is still going to be unable to quantify), then we can definitely argue that different deaths are more or less significant. And from there, I think that I could put together an argument that Medgar Evans' death had more and more lasting ramifications for the country as a whole than Matthew Sheppard's death (even while still being quite open about the fact that they're both incredible tragedies). Just as I think that JFK's death had a greater impact than Garfield's.
posted by klangklangston at 9:28 AM on June 14, 2005


Poltroon: Once again, false equivalency. Phelps is outside the mainstream, and even people who agree with his views find him repugnant. In a perverse way, I think that he does more good for the gay community than harm (certainly, in my town, where the local GLBT Alliance takes pledges based on the duration of Phelps' protests, he's done more good than harm).
posted by klangklangston at 9:31 AM on June 14, 2005


Alex: Oh, and that's the first time I've had MSM used against me. Thanks for the morning's first big chuckle.
posted by klangklangston at 9:33 AM on June 14, 2005


Just so folks know, the definition of genocide is not the very limited one used in the media and by administrations who would like to avoid defining an instance of collective violence as "genocide" in order to shirk their responsibilities as signatories to the UN Convention on Genocide. Rwanda and Sudan are two recent examples.

BTW, the US did not not ratify until 1988 and even then, the congress members signed with the proviso that no claim of genocide could be brought against them at the International Court of Justice without their consent. The other countries wwho signed with this reservation were Bahrain, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Yemen, and Yugoslavia. I believe Strom Thurmond was one of the holdouts in that heligislation as well.

In 1951, civil rights activists Paul Robeson and William L. Patterson, went to the UN with a petition claiming genocide: "We Charge Genocide: The Crime of Government Against the Negro People." Since the US had not ratified it, there was no substantial action.
posted by Cassford at 9:43 AM on June 14, 2005


For a good look at contemporary bias crime (in a really difficult case), see David Niewert's Death On the Fourth of July
posted by warbaby at 9:44 AM on June 14, 2005


Just as I think that JFK's death had a greater impact than Garfield's.

Whoa, they killed Garfield? Odie must be beside himself with melancholy.
posted by Cassford at 9:46 AM on June 14, 2005


Warbaby: I fully admit that I could be off on my perceptions of hate crime legislation. I don't have any problem with malicious harassment laws, but what I was referring to is additional penalties levied against someone who has been convicted of a crime. If the malicious harassment is a second count, I see that as different than modifying the penalties of whatever crime the convicted was charged with due to the nature of their beliefs and their victim. A white supremacist can beat up a black guy for reasons totally unrelated to race (like money). As I said above, I do believe that the context of the crime should be considered. That's certainly the case with nearly all sexual crimes. But I don't believe that it should follow that calling someone a nigger or a fag while beating them should be recognized as fundamentally different from beating them because they looked at you funny or because they stole your girlfriend or whatever. (Not least of which because it's really hard to prove that the intent was individually hateful in a crime like that without relying on general character statements about the accused that I would think would be prejudicial). But once again, I'd like to say that I have no problem with laws against malicious harrasment, and I have no problem with those laws carrying stiffer penalties than general vandalism or whatever. The only thing I would worry about there is that prosecutors tend to be "conservative" in their desire to eliminate threats to the state, and I fear that writing something like "Earth First!" where SUVs are burned could be construed by the over-zealous as a hate crime.
If I'm wrong on how I'm thinking of these hate crime laws, all I'll say in my defense is that this is how the debate in Michigan was framed when we were considering our current hate crime laws.
posted by klangklangston at 9:47 AM on June 14, 2005


So far in the 109th Congress, there have been six pieces of Senate legislation with over 60 cosponsors, four of which have had 99 cosponsors (plus the original sponsor, of course). It's interesting what the other two are, and who didn't sign onto either.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:52 AM on June 14, 2005


You truly have no idea of scale, of gradiation, do you? When gays are killed, is it a picnic for the community? That's what happened when blacks were lynched. Hey, can you drink at the same fountains as straight people? No, everything is EQUAL! ALL EVIL IS EQUAL! Because admitting that you use inflamatory rhetoric out of step with the historical comparison that you'd like to lean on would make it easier to have crimes against gays dismissed. And since that's part of your identity, you feel personally slighted.

We don't need lynching picnics, we shame our gay children into killing themselves, or sweep them into high-risk ghettos, or give them substandard protection under the law (e.g., the murder victims that I pointed out, which you ignored), well before any of that is necessary. It's all much more sanitary that way.

In any case, yes, I do "get" the idea of scale, and you're simply blowing up your imagined scale of suffering to the point needed to rationalize your point. Lynching is bad, no argument there, but I don't see how that makes the pursuit of civil rights by GLTB "glib".

I think your rhetoric is ignorant. I think your connection of lynching with some vaguely specified inadequacies of the GLBT rights movement is ignorant. You really should educate yourself, no offense.
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:00 AM on June 14, 2005


Whoa, they killed Garfield? Odie must be beside himself with melancholy.

Actually, Odie's the prime suspect. Never did trust that wall-eyed mucksucker.
posted by jonmc at 10:02 AM on June 14, 2005


In 1998, James Byrd, Jr., a black Texan, was beaten, chained to the back of a pickup truck, and dragged for three miles. Byrd was alive for most of this horrific act, dying only when he was decapitated after his body hit a culvert. When Byrd's family came forward and begged Governor Bush to pass a hate crimes bill, he told his family no.

To be fair, like many Texans the perpetrators of this crime were executed. What more do you want?
posted by delmoi at 8:08 AM PST on June 14 [!]


Um, how about one of them laws, the kind they pass without hesitation when a photogenic white kid gets murdered?

Slavery and racism are two of the darkest and worst aspects that can manifest in a society (although certainly neither is unique to the United States).

But shouldn't everyone be offended when they see the term holocaust used in a context like this?

Is someone really, seriously comparing the the death of 6 million jews to the deaths of 5000 black people committed over 80 years?

The lynching of a single human being (of any race) is wrong, let alone 5,000. But 5,000 simply does not constitute a holocaust.

Holocaust is defined as mass slaughter and is synonymous with genocide. Lynching 65 people per year in the United States is sickening, but it isn't mass slaughter and it isn't genocide.
posted by joedharma at 8:47 PM PST on June 13 [!]


I'm sorry we failed to generate an acceptable "holocaust" to satisfy your definition. We'll try harder next time?

And by the way, the definition of genocide is:

n: systematic killing of a racial or cultural group

Just because those lynchings weren't carried out under the guise of one blanket organization or government, doesn't mean that it doesn't qualify as genocide. The killing was systematic and it did target a specific race. Sounds like genocide to me.

And let's not forget that lynchings are just one miniscule component of the persecution of the black citizens of this nation. If you were to calculate all of the deaths of blacks at the hands of whites (or others) since the inception of this country, the number would be staggeringly higher than 65 per year. I'm no good at math, but I'm sure it would number in the thousands per year and therefore, come a lot closer to your holocaust quota of > or = to 6,000,000 lives.

But remind me again why we're comparing tragedies?
posted by crapulent at 10:06 AM on June 14, 2005


Sorry, remind me again why we're comparing atrocities?

The only kind of comparing that is worthwhile is the kind which addresses that which may have been overlooked or ignored and seeks to incite people to take action:

Coretta Scott King Links Gay Rights and African-American Civil Rights
posted by crapulent at 10:25 AM on June 14, 2005


We don't need lynching picnics, we shame our gay children into killing themselves, or sweep them into high-risk ghettos, or give them substandard protection under the law (e.g., the murder victims that I pointed out, which you ignored), well before any of that is necessary.

ATTACK OF TEH DRAMA QUEEN!

You can't really believe that people are going to buy that bullshit, right?

"Sweep them into high-risk ghettos?" You mean, gay people like to form gay communities? Tragedy! I do remember the other day hearing about gay people flock to form communities together because of their love of nice culture, etc. Now I'm supposed to believe that it is a condemnation of society? And what is the risk to which are referring? Aids? So society causes gays to pass Aids to each other?

"Substandard" protection? Um, they have equal protection. How can you say this shit with a straight face?

In any case, yes, I do "get" the idea of scale

No, you really don't. You have cocooned yourself into believing some nonsense about how protecting gay rights is the greatest struggle and greatest tragedy of all time. And it's bullshit. You have suffered NOTHING even in the same universe what black people historically have here in America. And if you think you have, then you have NO clue about scale.

I think your rhetoric is ignorant. I think your connection of lynching with some vaguely specified inadequacies of the GLBT rights movement is ignorant. You really should educate yourself, no offense.
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:00 AM PST on June 14


And therein lies the typical Drama Queen argument: "If you don't agree with my hysterical phooey, then you are an ignorant/hateful/trolling person."
posted by dios at 10:26 AM on June 14, 2005


Maybe you should take a deep breath and think a little harder before you post, dios. Your comments raised my bile and I'm not even involved in this debate...
posted by Jon-o at 10:34 AM on June 14, 2005


Let me add something vis-a-vis the bill this link was about: I oppose reparations. But let me tell you why.

Reparations and apologies are an invitation to close the book/historical record on these past tragedies. Once you you pay money or apologize, you have all you are going to get. But that isn't enough. The past has modern day consequences. If our prisons weren't color that they are, if inner cities weren't the color they are, we wouldn't have this discussion of reparations. But there are modern day consequences of the past that aren't fixed with apologies or reparations.

But if we give them, then what? When someone comes forward about the problems of the disintegration of the black family or the percentage of blacks in prison, what's the response? "We are sorry to hear that, but you have been paid." Reparations closes the book. It is an accounting. It is a "fix." And once you have one, you don't get another.

What I support is an on-going effort to strengthen black communities starting with the family unit. That doesn't mean money. You can't fix a problem by throwing money at it. But that is just what the reparations argument is about. Money and apologies are only good for so much and while they last, but after that, then what? "Sorry about the quality of black education, but those checks have already gone out."

So I think the goal of these attempts to get apologies and/or reparations is misguided. We, as a culture, know what happened. And we need to work to fix the consequences. But reparations are invitation to close the book and move on and forget about it. And that's what I don't want.
posted by dios at 10:36 AM on June 14, 2005


Also, it's not particularly wise to draw destinctions between equality struggles. It's not as though the civil rights movements of the early and mid 20th century are over and we've begun something new and different. It's not as though anything as been permanently and adequately solved. All civil rights movements are ongoing and inexorably linked together as one great movement, trying to solve the same problems.

Reparations are not a payoff for the future. They're a compensation for past wrongdoings that, hopefully, will enable their recipients to be in a stronger position to address current and ongoing problems. Maybe we'd be able to solve some of the problems that dios points to if reparations were paid.
posted by Jon-o at 10:42 AM on June 14, 2005


God has spoken.
Thread has concluded.
That is all.
Move along.
Nothing for your black ass to see here boy. [retch]
posted by nofundy at 10:44 AM on June 14, 2005


God save me from my allies.

Alex: I need to educate myself? My argument: Black people during the days of lynching had a worse time than gay people, despite frequent general analogies made by gay rights advocates to the civil rights movement. I have no problem with specific analogies (like the direct link between miscegination laws and gay marriage), but I think that the broader the case, the weaker it is. And I think by trying to stretch crimes committed against gays to fit the paradigm of systemetized and sanctioned violence, beyond simple structural violence arguments, it makes you look like a hack. What resources should I seek out to educate myself on that?

Crapulent: We're comparing atrocities because I made an off-hand remark that set up a straw man that you would have to be a fool to argue for. Alex, seeing a need, lept in to be that fool. To argue against my glib statement (ironically regarding glibness), he needs to argue that what gays go through now is as bad or worse as what blacks experienced under the Jim Crow and Reconstruction eras. Which he has tried very hard to do, while ignoring the corrolated point that it makes him look like someone who cares more like an extremist with a pre-ordained view than a person who can evaluate an argument. Up to speed?
posted by klangklangston at 10:48 AM on June 14, 2005


Klangklangston, It sounds good, but here's the rub. Many of the violent attacks against GBLT people are presented as robbery. Over time, the dynamic has been worked out that if the assault includes robbery, the cops will overlook the bias motive. So, the upshot is a lot of the thugs who go trolling for queers to beat up always remember to take their wallet after the beating and it goes down in the police report as a simple mugging.

Prosecutors don't like malicious harassment laws because they can be very difficult to prosecute, since they are often worded so that the prosecutor must assume a burden of proof not only for the act, but also for the perpetrator's state of mind. Where the harassment is something like a cross burning, vandalism (slogan painting) or verbal assault, that's pretty easy. In battery, it gets more dicey.

One result is that when violence in involved, the crime may be charged as more serious than a Class C misdemeanor (here in Washington state) and then the whole issue of the bias crime is moot because double jeopardy means you can't make two charges for the same act. Some people get bent out of shape over racially-motivated murders when the prosecution doesn't play it up as a "hate crime" -- this is actually correct practice because murder trumps assault.

This is why I said earlier that the sentencing guidelines need something like a depravity scale that makes bias motive count for something during sentencing. But given the current national political climate, that's a pretty faint hope.
posted by warbaby at 10:51 AM on June 14, 2005


because double jeopardy means you can't make two charges for the same act.

That is incorrect. You can abolutely make two charges for the same act. Go rob a bank with a gun. You will charged with numerous things for that one act.

Some people get bent out of shape over racially-motivated murders when the prosecution doesn't play it up as a "hate crime" -- this is actually correct practice because murder trumps assault.

Respectfully, I'm trying to process this sentence and can't figure out what you are saying.

that makes bias motive count for something during sentencing.

Hate crime legislation is superfluous because, by definition, they are a penalty enhancing statutes. That means, there is an underlying crime that has been committed.

Furthermore, bias DOES already count under the normal law. That is why stats have ranges on crimes: e.g., 10-20 years. The jury gets to decide if there is a mitigating or aggravating factor.

But regardless, the law applies to all people without respect to orientation. There is no group that is underneath protection of criminal law. And all crime is comitted with a disregard of human dignity, so the question is why do some people get special protection from the law? Do white people who get beat up by black people deserve hate crime protection? What about Christians being beat up by anti-theists? What about black people beating up an Asian? What about a guy beating up another guy without knowing the assaulted one is gay? What about one guy beating up a straight guy, but thinking the straight guy is gay? How do you have a legal system which legislates all contigencies?

How about we just have a system wherein everyone is protected by the same criminal laws, and the criminal laws allow ranges of punishments which permits jurors to raise or lower the penalty based on the circumstances of the crime. Oh wait, we do.
posted by dios at 11:06 AM on June 14, 2005


Reparations and apologies are an invitation to close the book/historical record on these past tragedies. Once you you pay money or apologize, you have all you are going to get.

So, when the families of the people killed in the plane crashes of 9/11/2001 got their $500,000 to $6,000,000, the government collectively said "All done. War on Terror over?" That hasn't been the experience thus far.

You can't fix a problem by throwing money at it.

What if you don't throw it, but you thoughtfully hand it over?
posted by Cassford at 11:07 AM on June 14, 2005


dios: let's not reduce important issues to a cafeteria food fight over who suffered more. It does a disservice to everyone involved. Thanks.
posted by jonmc at 11:11 AM on June 14, 2005


I have no problem with specific analogies (like the direct link between miscegination laws and gay marriage), but I think that the broader the case, the weaker it is.

Equal protection under the law is about as broad as the GLBT rights cause gets, frankly. I don't know what other rights you may or may not be referring to, since I don't know many gay civil rights protestors asking for special favors. Are you suggesting that equal protection under law is a glib request, or some other legal or social aspect? Please fill in the blanks.

Your original implication was that, because blacks were lynched, this somehow invalidates the struggles for equality by homosexuals, or that the discrimination we suffer, both subconscious (e.g. teenage suicide, lack of police protection and in some cases, collusion in violent crime) and vocal (Phelps, Robertson, Bush, Falwell, et al.) is nothing in comparison.

Feel free to explain yourself, but your original statement remains a pretty ignorant (and, well, kind of trollish, to be honest) comment in a discussion that really had little to do directly with the history or consideration of gay rights, except that we're all struggling for fairness and respect in an unequal society.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:17 AM on June 14, 2005


So, when the families of the people killed in the plane crashes of 9/11/2001 got their $500,000 to $6,000,000, the government collectively said "All done. War on Terror over?" That hasn't been the experience thus far.

That analogy is not remotely the same. I'm not sure if you just trying to start a different argument or you aren't understanding what I am saying. An accurate thing to say, which does fit with my point, is that the families don't get anything else. Their claims are exhausted upon recieving that money. They lose the grounds to ever ask for further assistance.

It does a disservice to everyone involved.
Respectfully, jon, what does a disservice to people is Alex's bullshit. People who suffered in the past and still have to deal with real historical consquences should be insulted and are disrespected comparing the current state of gay rights to the historical struggle for civil rights for blacks or the plight of the jews. The mind boggles that a person could compare the two in any regard and then deny there is a difference of scale. They aren't even on the same measuring stick.

To say that my cousin, who is a disgustingly successful, affluent, well-liked, upper crust businessman and is openly gay somehow suffers (because he can't marry his partner or he might be beat up) in the same regard as a black people did under Jim Crowe renders all comparisons meaningless.
posted by dios at 11:24 AM on June 14, 2005


Dios, you're just being silly or answering arguments I'm not making. In a murder case, you aren't going to get charged with 1st and 2nd Degree for the same act. Your example of the bank robbery must be referring to different acts to make sense.

The last murder we had here was a black security guard at a mall. He had trespassed this mall rat. The kid started stalking him. This went on for several weeks. One day, the guard's wife (who is white) picked him up after work. The kid was following in a car. He tailgated them out of the parking lot. At an intersection, the guard (who had his fill of this escalation) got out of the car with a baseball bat. The kid yelled some racial epithets and ran him over. The guard died. The kid plead self defense.

Some people were pissed off the kid wasn't charged with a "hate crime". Murder trumped assault. But under the sentencing guidelines, the circumstances of the racial animosity and the stalking didn't really figure into it. The kid was convicted of 2nd.

IMO, the victim of this crime was denied equal protection under the law and the murderer was undercharged. But, what's new?

If you want me to take your opinion as something other than empty argumentation, I suggest you obtain some experience with the reality of the situation.
posted by warbaby at 11:25 AM on June 14, 2005


And therein lies the typical Drama Queen argument: "If you don't agree with my hysterical phooey, then you are an ignorant/hateful/trolling person."

What's up, Dios? Did you run out of cripples to kick around?
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:27 AM on June 14, 2005


an apology is ... or should be just the beginning.

although i support the idea of reparations, i agree with dios in this statement:
... there are modern day consequences of the past that aren't fixed with apologies or reparations.

when my community of Duluth, Minnesota erected a memorial to the men who were lynched here in 1920, it was our intention that it was the beginning of the conversation, not the end. (not that i think for one minute that the Senate will address this issue again, um, ever.) you simply can't start dealing with the inter-racial situation without a) issuing a sincere apology for the past and b) paying what is owed. (wonder what the interest would be on those empty "40 acres and a mule" promises made post-Civil War?)

Depends on what you mean by "this government." State and local governments didn't do a darn thing, but as has been mentioned the federal government started to write anti-lynching laws.

actually, Minnesota was the first state to pass anti-lynching legislation. it happened in 1921, as a direct result of the lynching that happened in Duluth.

tomorrow is the anniversary of that lynching. community members, joined by the local "Walk for Peace" will be walking the route Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Elias Clayton were taken on their way to being murdered--then attended by a celebrating crowd of 10,000 Duluthians. Perry Kennedy, a WWII veteran and big-voiced member of our memorial committee will be reading the text of the Senate apology. there will be poetry and music.

i am proud to live in the community that was the first to erect a memorial to men they robbed of life. i am proud that it was only the beginning of our journey.

the Duluth Lynching Online Resource, BTW, is the most comprehensive analysis of a lynching anywhere.
posted by RedEmma at 11:35 AM on June 14, 2005


Dios, you're just being silly or answering arguments I'm not making. In a murder case, you aren't going to get charged with 1st and 2nd Degree for the same act.

I don't know what to tell you other than, "Yes you will." It's called lesser included offense. Research it.

Some people were pissed off the kid wasn't charged with a "hate crime". Murder trumped assault. But under the sentencing guidelines, the circumstances of the racial animosity and the stalking didn't really figure into it. The kid was convicted of 2nd.

IMO, the victim of this crime was denied equal protection under the law and the murderer was undercharged. But, what's new?


Again, this is what I don't understand. I don't understand legally what you are saying here.

I really do want to understand what you are saying, but I'm being honest: I don't understand your point here.

Are you saying you would have rather this kid was charged with assault instead of murder? Or that the jury couldn't figure the factors when determining the punishment within the range?

the victim of this crime was denied equal protection under the law and the murderer was undercharged.

So you are saying that is both people would have been white, the kid would have recieved a heavier charge?

I'm not trying to be obtuse. I really don't have a clue what you are arguing in this instance.
posted by dios at 11:41 AM on June 14, 2005


Let me explain lesser included offenses.

Assume that the elements of two crimes are as follows:

Crime 1:
A. An act;
B. That results in the loss of life of another;
C. That has no justification;
D. That was pre-meditated.

Crime 2:
A. An act;
B. That results in the loss of life of another;
C. That has no justification.

Crime 2 is a lesser included offense of Crime 1.
That is, if you prosecute the person for Crime 1 and can prove A, B, and C, but you fail to prove D, then the person is still convicted of Crime 2 because the elements are the same and were proven.
posted by dios at 11:47 AM on June 14, 2005


Respectfully, jon, what does a disservice to people is Alex's bullshit.

Alex may overstate his case on gay issues sometimes, but it's his people who are taking shit because of who they are, so I'll cut him some slack on that. But I stand by my statement that reducing things to "who was more oppressed?" just chums up the waters with minutia when people could be working on solutions for as many people as possible.

To say that my cousin, who is a disgustingly successful, affluent, well-liked, upper crust businessman and is openly gay somehow suffers (because he can't marry his partner or he might be beat up) in the same regard as a black people did under Jim Crowe renders all comparisons meaningless.

There were some disgustingly successful, affluent, well liked black people, even during Jim Crow, but that dosen't change the reality of what mostof them went through, and still do to a large degree.

I think that if you drop your agenda and actually listen to what gay people you know have to say on the subject, it might surprise you.
posted by jonmc at 11:52 AM on June 14, 2005


FWIW- I'm not trying to be pendantic in explaining lesser included offenses. I was just trying to explain my understanding of them. Perhaps warbaby has some special knowledge about how they handle lesser included offenses in a particular state. I was just explaining them for purposes of clarifying my previous answer. (I distincitly remember a question on the bar exam about manslaughter being a lesser included offense of 2nd degree murder, and thats the last time I even encountered the subject).
posted by dios at 11:53 AM on June 14, 2005


I think that if you drop your agenda and actually listen to what gay people you know have to say on the subject, it might surprise you.
posted by jonmc at 11:52 AM PST on June 14


I guess I don't understand this. What do you suppose my agenda is?

I have an extremely close gay cousin and two very close gay friends. I'd be interested in knowing what my agenda is for them if I have explained it here unknowingly.
posted by dios at 11:56 AM on June 14, 2005


Yes, remove the race angle and the kid would have been charged with first because of the stalking aspect.

Initially, he was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and the murder charge only came later after the victim's family went public. Meaning, the police and prosecutor bought the kid's story and discounted the wife's account.

This was the same sort of thing as the cross burning ten years ago that was initially logged as a "suspicious incident." The perps were identified and then released without charge because the cops had totally screwed up the custody of the physical evidence. The Undersheriff told me to my face that "we had to let them go because they talked to a lawyer."

Both of these incidents illustrate systematic denial of equal protection under the law. In the case of the cross burning, one of the motives was to drive migrant workers out of a housing project -- which is a federal rap. But the FBI assisted the Sheriff's office in screwing up the case because they had an informant they were using who they didn't want to testify because it would have disrupted an ongoing weapons sting. So 20 families got traded off for a snitch. The cross burners got the message loud and clear and came back later and shot the place up.

Please explain how the concept of "lesser included charge" would result in a simultaneous conviction for 1st and 2nd degree murder in one killing.

Still without a clue?
posted by warbaby at 11:58 AM on June 14, 2005


Y'know what, folks, I'd like to apologize. And in particular to you, Alex. I went ahead and tried to find some of that ol' internet evidence for what I thought that I had heard, and found out that I was wrong in my characterization of the initial comment.
While occassionally I have seen comments that I think are overbroad here on MeFi, I was thinking of comments that I had heard on the radio with regard to Gregory Daniels' pronouncement about prefering to ride with the KKK than with gays (he's black).
I had remembered hearing the flap, and had remembered Daniels' angry denouncement of people who were trying to conflate the oppression of gays with those of blacks under Jim Crow laws (though I had forgotten or not heard his KKK remark).
Which, to a certain extent, I still agree with. I'd even broaden it to say that blacks living now aren't oppressed the same way that they were in the past, and that to conflate current struggles for equality with the type of action required in the past would be flawed.
However, the pertinent point is that I had picked up a straw man from somewhere in the ionosphere. When I went to find evidence that there were prominent gay and lesbian activists who were making the claim that things were as bad for them now as they were for blacks under Jim Crow, all I could find was conservatives (black and white) denouncing unnanmed gay and lesbian leaders for those views.
So, again, I apologize.
posted by klangklangston at 11:59 AM on June 14, 2005


One of the big differences between race and gayness: When you're gay, your own father may do the lynching

And because of the hypodescent rule, this may also be true of lynching.

Why has this post been derailed?
posted by TimothyMason at 12:01 PM on June 14, 2005


The murderers of James W. Byrd, jr. were sentenced to death, but none of them has been executed as of this date.
posted by scottymac at 12:01 PM on June 14, 2005


remove the race angle and the kid would have been charged with first because of the stalking aspect.

Do you have a link for this? Because it just doesn't make any sense to me.

What I understand you to be saying is that the law is written in some way which required 1st degree murder to be reduced to 2nd degree murder because it was a racial crime. I have never heard of such a thing and would love to read an explanation of this.
posted by dios at 12:04 PM on June 14, 2005


The perps were identified and then released without charge because the cops had totally screwed up the custody of the physical evidence. The Undersheriff told me to my face that "we had to let them go because they talked to a lawyer."

That's because of the exclusionary rule. If evidence is mishandled, it is kicked out as evidence. Without evidence, people have to walk. That isn't a racial issue at all.
posted by dios at 12:07 PM on June 14, 2005


I guess I don't understand this. What do you suppose my agenda is?

You seem to be on some kind of mission to prove that being gay in America isn't a difficult proposition, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you're a decent guy, so I'm telling you, ask your gay cousin and friends about what we're talking about here. Their responses might surprise you.
posted by jonmc at 12:22 PM on June 14, 2005


Y'know what, folks, I'd like to apologize. And in particular to you, Alex. I went ahead and tried to find some of that ol' internet evidence for what I thought that I had heard, and found out that I was wrong in my characterization of the initial comment.

No problem. Lord knows I go overboard from time to time. ;)
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:29 PM on June 14, 2005


What I understand you to be saying is that the law is written in some way which required 1st degree murder to be reduced to 2nd degree murder because it was a racial crime.

Where are you getting this nonsense? This is just noise.

The way it played out was 1) the kid is trespassed from the mall, 2) stalks and harasses the guard and his wife over a period of weeks (cops do nothing when this is reported to them), 3) initiates an incident that results in the death of the guard. The cops and prosecutor tried to treat the death as a traffic accident.

Without evidence, people have to walk. That isn't a racial issue at all.

The cops intentionally 1) misreported the cross burning as a "suspicious incident" when it was unmistakably malicious harassment, 2) Part and parcel was the cops "losing" the evidence between the time the perps were arrested and released. When the evidence was "found" (it was in the police garage the entire time, but not logged according to standard procedure). The deputies repeately did not follow established policy and procedure. At a later trial, the FBI SAC testified that they didn't want the case to go forward because the informant was being used in a gun sting in another state.

The upshot was that the perps got the clear message they could do whatever they wanted, so they returned to the migrant housing and fired several shotgun blasts at cars and buildings. Even though there was a good description of the vehicle -- which belonged to someone with a prior conviction for similar attacks, the case went nowhere "for lack of evidence."

There was plenty of evidence in both incidents to obtain search warrants for 1) the materials used to build the cross (some of the materials were sufficiently unique to be easily identified), 2) the gun and ammunition used in the shooting. Neither was done.

I'm still waiting for your explanation of your attempted sleight-of-hand with the "lesser included charge" nonsense.

Anybody else unclear about this, or is Dios the only one still lacking a clue? C'mon Dios, let's seem some more of your fancy footwork.
posted by warbaby at 12:29 PM on June 14, 2005


"Substandard" protection? Um, they have equal protection. How can you say this shit with a straight face?

And you dare to call yourself a lawyer...
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:52 PM on June 14, 2005


Warbaby - the fact that the guard came after the kid in the car with a baseball bat does present an argument for self defense. Bashing someone's brains in for stalking (and nothing more) is not justifiable. If the kid was in fear for his life it can be argued that his actions were justified. (Whether they were or not I cannot say).

Dios never said anyone could be convicted of first and second degree murder for the same act. He responded to your comment saying that a person could not be charged for two different crimes stemming from the same act because of double jeopardy (which has nothing to do with double jeopardy which means you can't be tried for the same crime twice). You responded by saying you couldn't convict someone of both 1st and 2nd degree murder for the same act. Dios explained that would be true because one is a lesser included offense of the other.

Your disagreement with Dios on those points has to do with the fact that he has been to law school and you haven't.
posted by Carbolic at 1:14 PM on June 14, 2005


"Substandard" protection? Um, they have equal protection. How can you say this shit with a straight face?

And you dare to call yourself a lawyer...


Quit changing the subject, Alex. Protection and right to marriage have nothing to do with each other. What Dios obviously means, and what you are pretending not to understand, is that if you and I were both charged with a crime, the law would not care that you are gay. It would allow us both a lawyer, the right to a fair trial, etc., etc. At no point in American history has any legality said "Oh, he's gay? Well, no need for a trial then, let's lock him up." This has, however, happened to African Americans quite a bit. Believe it or not, Alex, there are people in this world who have been victimized more than you.
posted by unreason at 1:31 PM on June 14, 2005


During the period under question (c1880-1960), sodomy as a crime in Britain, punishable with a jail sentance. It was a crime until 2001 in some British Carribean territories. Sodomy is still a crime in some American states, though they may be abolished following the recent Supreme Court decision. Many of these laws have not been used recently, but there were used a great deal earlier in the century, Oscar Wilde and Alan Turing (who accepted hormone therapy instead of jail, but later committed suicide) being only some of the most famous. The state did not simply condone, it was a moving force behind making being gay illegal.

Putting travesties into a heirarchy, however, is a pointless activity. The severity of one in no way justifies or lessons the other. Women have had more millenia of being second class citizens than black Americans. But that doesn't make racial discrimination somehow "less bad".
posted by jb at 1:42 PM on June 14, 2005


Believe it or not, Alex, there are people in this world who have been victimized more than you.

Your personal dislike of me doesn't change the fact that there is no equal protection statute for GLBTs and doesn't change the fact that Dios is up to his neck in his own bullshit, as usual.
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:45 PM on June 14, 2005


Regarding being prosecuted twice for the same crime, it is entirely possible. A defendant can be convicted and sentenced under state law, and then convicted and sentenced under federal law for the exact same activity. Our Supreme Court has said that it is not double jeopardy. There has to be a federal statute involved, and most murder cases do not involve federal statutes. Double prosecution cases usually involve drug trafficking or bank robbery. However, a federal hate crimes statute would very likely result in the double prosecution of many assaults and murders.
posted by flarbuse at 1:53 PM on June 14, 2005


Believe it or not, Alex, when someone disagrees with you, it's often not because they dislike you, but because you're actually wrong sometimes. Dios may often be full of shit, but he knows more about the law than you do, being that he actually, you know, went to law school. The reason why there "is no equal protection statute for GLBT" is because it is already implicit in the law that you get a fair arrest and trial. I'm half Jewish, but there's no statute that says "those of Jewish decent have a right to a fair trial". It's implicit in the law. You are confusing two legal concepts: equal rights in society, and equal rights in the legal system. Please read up on these concepts before posting again.
posted by unreason at 1:54 PM on June 14, 2005


The reason why there "is no equal protection statute for GLBT" is because it is already implicit in the law that you get a fair arrest and trial.

Here's one example where it took the United States a couple hundred years to decide on sodomy. Until that time, you could and would well have been ripped out of your home and shackled for sleeping with someone of the same sex. Your definition of implicit is factually incorrect, both socially and legally. Thanks.
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:59 PM on June 14, 2005


Alex, sodomy laws applied to heterosexuals, as well. That's equal protection right there, as in, both straigts and gays are equaly prohibited from ass fucking and cock sucking.
posted by Snyder at 2:05 PM on June 14, 2005


Right. Because when something is implicit in the law it magically translates into the courts and in society. I guess there really was no need for the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, etc.
posted by crapulent at 2:10 PM on June 14, 2005


Alex, sodomy laws applied to heterosexuals, as well.

9/10ths of a law is as much in how it is applied. It was never enforced with any significance on heterosexuals, and until its repeal was used historically — exclusively — as a legal stick against homosexuals, specifically for engaging in socially proscribed sexual behavior.
posted by AlexReynolds at 2:10 PM on June 14, 2005


One hundred percent of the Crime Against Nature (the name of the sodomy statute in my state) cases that I have seen involved either prostitution or gay men. Though as written is seemingly applies to all gender combinations, the actual application was used only against gay men (the prostitution statute is limited to vaginal intercourse, so prostitution arrests are usually framed as Crime Against Nature cases, too).
posted by flarbuse at 2:12 PM on June 14, 2005


Carbolic -- If Dios' point is that he's been to law school, congratulations to him. He probably even learned the Latin name for the rhetorical ploy of repeatedly misstating the other party's argument. As a professional talking down to us mere laypeople, I'd assume the standard is layperson's language, not the other way around.

I fully understand the principle of lesser included charge and it has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue at hand. As Dios full well knew, since he 'fessed up to the fact that it was obscure and pointless, never having any application except on an exam. That's just chest-pounding to point out he's been to law school.

Which is the cheapest possible sort of appeal to authority -- and he's the authority because he's been to law school.

And the guard's display of the baseball bat was due to the kid's several weeks of threatening behavior. But Dios took the rhetorical stance was that he couldn't understand anything about the case except that which satisfied his purposes. I've been patronized before with false Socratic method -- with equally little success.

The bottom line here is that the legacy of lynching is still very much with us. Bias crimes draw on that legacy for their power to terrorize. And the problems of establishment collusion or passivity are a critical element of the loss of equal protection for the targets of these crimes.

Racism, sexism, homophobia: recognize the connections.
posted by warbaby at 2:26 PM on June 14, 2005


Your original implication was that, because blacks were lynched, this somehow invalidates the struggles for equality by homosexuals, or that the discrimination we suffer, both subconscious (e.g. teenage suicide, lack of police protection and in some cases, collusion in violent crime) and vocal (Phelps, Robertson, Bush, Falwell, et al.) is nothing in comparison.

I don't think anyone said that anything "invalidated" the gay rights struggle, but that comparing the oppressed-ness of a gay person today to a black person in the civil rights era is ridiculous and offensive to some.

Warbaby - the fact that the guard came after the kid in the car with a baseball bat does present an argument for self defense. Bashing someone's brains in for stalking (and nothing more) is not justifiable. If the kid was in fear for his life it can be argued that his actions were justified. (Whether they were or not I cannot say).


Oh please. You can't provoke someone and then kill them when they get pissed off. The kid was in a car. he could have driven off without hitting him, and certanly could have done it without calling the guy a Nigger.
posted by delmoi at 2:36 PM on June 14, 2005


er...

the third paragraph above should be in italics.


Warbaby - the fact that the guard came after the kid in the car with a baseball bat does present an argument for self defense. Bashing someone's brains in for stalking (and nothing more) is not justifiable. If the kid was in fear for his life it can be argued that his actions were justified. (Whether they were or not I cannot say).


Like that.
posted by delmoi at 2:37 PM on June 14, 2005


9/10ths of a law is as much in how it is applied. It was never enforced with any significance on heterosexuals, and until its repeal was used historically — exclusively — as a legal stick against homosexuals, specifically for engaging in socially proscribed sexual behavior.

The Texas law was actualy spesific to homosexuals, hetrosexual assfucking was explicitly legal under texas law.
posted by delmoi at 2:40 PM on June 14, 2005


You can see which states have sodomy laws applying only to homosexuals here (in red).
posted by jb at 2:46 PM on June 14, 2005


delmoi got it. Yup, the kid wasn't trapped. He was free to leave at any time. As a matter of fact, the guy he killed just wanted him to leave.
posted by warbaby at 2:48 PM on June 14, 2005


Oh please. You can't provoke someone and then kill them when they get pissed off. The kid was in a car. he could have driven off without hitting him, and certanly could have done it without calling the guy a Nigger.

Depends upon the provocation and the intent. If the response to the provocation is unreasonable it would not necessarily negate the justification of self defense.

I'm not defending the kids actions just pointing out that depending upon all the facts the possibility of a self defense justification exists. It is not impossible that the kid was justified. Based upon the facts presented I doubt that was the case - he probably could have driven away.
posted by Carbolic at 2:52 PM on June 14, 2005


Delmoi, I stand corrected re: sodomy laws. I had forgotten about the Texas law, and confabulated several other laws as being totally representitive of sodomy laws/crimes against nature laws in general. I do dispute the selective enforcement was an issue of equal protection, but an issue of law enforcement and the courts, meaning that in those kinds of issues, laws can be irrelevant.

Yes, remove the race angle and the kid would have been charged with first because of the stalking aspect.

Do you have any evidence to support this besides naked assertation? You've presented only certain facts of the case and of the law in this jurisdiction (a jurisdiction unknown to us,) and used your intrepration of them as fact. There are so many questions I have about this, and I won't even go into your biased intrepratations, or your inabilty or unwillingness to understand the use of lesser included charges. (Even though lesser included charges might be very pertinant to this case.)

You say he was convicted of Murder 2? What was he charged with? What conditions need to be filled for a Murder 1 charge? Why, besides the race of the actors, and a mishandled cross buring case (one rife with jurisdictional issues and the FBI throwing it's wiegh around,) is this clearly a miscarraige of justice based around racial lines?
posted by Snyder at 3:43 PM on June 14, 2005


Warbaby - I only pointed out that Dios has been to law school because you either made a mistatement or were mistaken about a couple of legal concepts - double jeopardy for one. A second example of the same kind of thing was your statement "remove the race angle and the kid would have been charged with first because of the stalking aspect" as if stalking proves premeditation. It may be evidence of premeditation but stalking plus murder doesn't automatically make it first degree. Your either ignorant about a number of points of the law or you are forming sloppy arguments.
posted by Carbolic at 4:52 PM on June 14, 2005


Snyder, this case was introduced to the thread as an example of a case where people were upset a crime wasn't prosecuted as a "hate crime" even though malicious harassment charges weren't appropriate. Then came the derail, which you are pursuing for reasons known only to yourself.

If you had read my earlier comments, it was initally dismissed as a traffic accident by ignoring the eyewitness testimony of the victim's wife.

If you have a case, make it. I'm eager to read your unsupported allegations, biased intrepratations and generally snarky way of saying I'm a liar. Not even as much class as Dios. He at least can fake being civil while acting like an ass.
posted by warbaby at 4:57 PM on June 14, 2005


via AMERICABlog, here is the revised list of the non-sponsoring Senators:

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Robert Bennett (R-UT)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Michael Crapo (R-ID)
Michael Enzi (R-WY)
Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Trent Lott (R-MS)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
John Sununu (R-NH)
Craig Thomas (R-WY)
George Voinovich (R-OH)

posted by y2karl at 6:14 PM on June 14, 2005




It's a not a derail to wonder why people, (namely you,) think that a Murder 2 conviction did not protect the victims rights and that the murderer was undercharged. I did read your earlier comments, and I understand your point. I just disagree with it, especially since you haven't offered up a heck of a lot of evidence, like a link or names and dates and places to google, so I can make up my own mind. I can't make case, because all you have is "unsupported allegations" since you haven't supported shit. But please, tell em what my biases are, or where I've called you a liar.

I'm sure I can't muster up enough class to call everyone you uses the words "hate crime" fools or says that more police need to be killed, or appeal to one's own authority, then accuse someone else of the same thing 6 hours later, but maybe someday I can aspire to your lofty ideal of deomonizing and willfully misreading people who disagree with you.
posted by Snyder at 7:53 PM on June 14, 2005


This whole damn thread shows that Ralph Ellison was absolutely right about how black people in the USA are invisible. This thread was *not* about the holocaust. It was *not* about the persecution of homosexuals. Why is racism so uncomfortable to you all that on most occasions when it is raised in this place you either deny it or attempt to draw attention away from it?

Racism is a deep and enduring trait of USAnian culture (and, yes, of British culture and of French culture as well, although in different ways). Black people in the USA today still suffer from that racism on a daily basis. Some of them, doubtless, still remember relatives who were lost to racist violence, or have grandparents who they have never seen. The Senate makes a belated apology. MeFi offers the thread above.
posted by TimothyMason at 4:24 AM on June 15, 2005


Timothy: That's retarded. The primary focus, even of the derail, was still the experience of American blacks in the era of lynching. I know, I know, you wanted to reference The Invisible Man, to prove that you did a little reading in college. But you've obviously not even read the damn thread. Perhaps you'd like to work a Claude Brown reference in? Of Eldridge Cleaver? I mean, their book titles are about as inapplicable.
posted by klangklangston at 6:06 AM on June 15, 2005


Carbolic, the reason I introduced the case was to show that malicious harassment laws cease to apply in more serious cases (like murder) -- the malicious harassment charge gets superceded. Maybe there's a way of describing this known only to law school graduates. Lesser included charges are a whole different kettle of fish.

I've repeatedly seen people referring to horrible crimes (like the murders mentioned up thread) as if they can be charged as "hate crimes." There's no such thing. The few malicious harassment laws (not all states have them and there are no equivalent federal statues) have relatively little application to serious crimes of violence.

And I hold out very little hope for the legislative situation to change much.

One of my points in this thread is that cops and prosecutors frequently make things worse when bias motives exist in crimes - they functionally collaborate in the attack, a holdover from the lynching days. If someone wants to argue for an opposing position, let them state their thesis and defend it. Mere sniping and distraction goes nowhere.

But then, Americans never did do very well at this sort of discussion, did they?
posted by warbaby at 7:41 AM on June 15, 2005


I could have warned the nice couple holding hands at the local starbucks (birmingham!) that they were in danger. posted by justgary

Come on, we all know that Birmingham is not really Alabama. Fact is, urban centers are more liberal because people live closer together, can share ideas, and are exposed to more diversity. It's the rural areas you have to watch out for.

Gary your cries of southern bigotry are getting tiresome.
posted by surferboy at 12:52 PM on June 15, 2005


Gary your cries of southern bigotry are getting tiresome.

Are you kidding me? It's pretty much open season here in regards to the south. Have you been reading the site? Until there is some balance (which I doubt will ever come) I will continue to point out the hypocrisy, and until rhetoric such as this:

It's the rural areas you have to watch out for.

with nothing to back it up stops, you are more than welcome to feel tiresome, and with less than 20 comments in your history and more than a few pointed at me, you should be happy to have me around.

Now I'll go back to being an "asshole" as you so eloquently put it and ignoring your existence.
posted by justgary at 9:01 PM on June 24, 2005


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