Loading...
BYH to the one who thinks that we are energy independent because of this president. The initiatives you speak of began...

Lynching memorial promotes understanding, healing

Lynching Memorial-3

This photo shows names of lynching victims at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a new memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, to honor thousands of people killed in racist lynchings. The national memorial aims to teach about America's past in hope of promoting understanding and healing.

Loading…

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Thousands of Confederate monuments dot the South and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. It’s nice when something pops up, as Paul Harvey used to say, to tell the rest of the story.

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice formally opened April 26 near the State Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama. The memorial is a stark documentation of the number of human beings killed in the South during the sad and sorry era known as Jim Crow.

Primarily, the memorial documents lynchings.

The Equal Justice Institute, a nonprofit lawyers’ group dedicated to overturning unjust convictions, is the organization behind the memorial.

It documented more than 4,400 cases of individuals being hanged by vigilantes in the Old Confederacy between 1877 — when the last federal troops pulled out of the legion — and the last documented lynching, in 1941.

These non-judicial executions were carried out by lawless bands, some connected to the Ku Klux Klan, others ad hoc. Often, the victims were not only hanged, but also burned, castrated or flayed alive. (The flecks of skin were often saved as souvenirs.)

Some of the victims were white, most notably the Jewish mill manager Leo Frank, who was pulled from a jail and lynched in 1915 outside Marietta, Ga.

The overwhelming majority, however, were African-American men. Their “crimes” included such offenses as holding a photo of a white woman, trying to vote or generally acting “uppity.”

The perpetrators of these crimes generally were never punished, nor even brought to trial.

These weren’t just sadistic homicides. They were deliberate acts of terror, meant to frighten the black population into toeing the line of Jim Crow segregation and low-wage labor. Tote that barge, lift that bale, or you might wind up as some of the “Strange Fruit” from Billie Holiday’s harrowing song.

Tar Heels can tell themselves thank God for Mississippi or Alabama. The death toll from lynchings in North Carolina was 123 in that seven-decade period, according to the institute. (They count a few more cases than official sources, but their research appears solid.) North Carolina’s toll was lower than some Deep South states.

Yet it was still horrific — and it hits close to home. According to the memorial, 22 people were lynched in New Hanover, more than in any other North Carolina county. On the memorial’s tally of counties, New Hanover ranks in the grisly Top 20 of most lynchings in the entire nation.

Those who know the history of 1898 know that a lot of hate brewed in and around Wilmington. It is shocking, though, to be confronted by the raw, bare numbers.

It is not enough, either, to claim these things all happened long, long ago. The after-effects of that terror still poison race relations in this region and hinder progress.

They make a hollow lie of our preachments to other nations about the war on terror. Terror made a home here for a long, long time.

We can’t bring the dead back to life. Nothing can make this right. We can, however, do whatever we can to treat each other as human beings — and never to forget the many times we did not.

The Star-News of Wilmington

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

December 16, 2018

All journalists enjoy getting recognition for their work. But by nature and tradition, they’d much rather tell the story than be the story.

What motivates reporters, from Maryland to Myanmar, is not the desire for fame. It’s the hunger to break news, explain the world and hold the…

121618Time

December 15, 2018

The Trump administration on Nov. 30 gave five companies permission to conduct seismic airgun blasting off the coast of the Carolinas and other states, a major step toward offshore oil and gas drilling.

Here’s what that would look like, directly off the Carolinas’ coasts and extending…

Offshore Drilling Lawsuit

December 14, 2018

Thomas A. Farr was a woefully bad choice to be a federal district judge in North Carolina.

Thank goodness Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, stood up for principle over blind party loyalty and announced that he would oppose Farr’s nomination. With all 49 Democrats in the Senate…

Congress Judicial Nomination

December 13, 2018

North Carolina corporations, again, are about to get another huge tax break — a break they do not need. It will make it more difficult for the government to meet the obligations it has to provide a quality education to the state’s children and high quality of life to all its…

N.C. Legislative Building

December 12, 2018

In his 1991 confirmation hearings, C-SPAN noted on Friday, former attorney general William Barr declared that "nothing could be more destructive of our system of government, of the rule of law, or Department of Justice as an institution, than any toleration of political interference with the…

Trump Attorney General-2

December 10, 2018

While the National Flood Insurance Program covers only 134,000 households our of North Carolina’s 3.8 million, it will likely pay for repairs costing hundreds of millions of dollars. Add all the damage in other states this year, from Florence and later from Hurricane Michael, which flattened…

Harvey-Flood Insurance-4

December 09, 2018

It is almost a truism in criminal investigations that those who flip early and help prosecutors build their case against higher-ranking figures are shown greater leniency than those who try to gut it out.

Michael Flynn, who served briefly as President Trump’s national security adviser, is…

Trump Russia Probe Flynn

December 08, 2018

In June 1948, after the College World Series and graduation day at Yale, young George H.W. Bush packed up his cranberry-red Studebaker (a graduation gift from his father) and headed the car’s distinctive nose in a southwesterly direction. The little car got him to Odessa and to a shotgun…

Obit George HW Bush-3

December 07, 2018

In the week since the state Board of Elections declined to certify the results of North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District election, journalists and others have begun to fill in the details of a troubling case of apparent ballot fraud. In Bladen County — and perhaps other counties…

Election 2018 North Carolina Congress

December 04, 2018

As many as 670,000 North Carolinians could gain sorely needed Medicaid coverage if Gov. Roy Cooper and members of both parties in the legislature will work together to help them.

Now that voters have restored some balance to the state’s power structure, that idea isn’t so far-fetched…

112118Cooper-SECU-2
83 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 9
        Next Page»   Last Page»