Tennessee Republicans Yearn for Days of Lore
Lets examine the events in days of lore that the southern Republicans long for. A short list of past events that they are so proud of would include slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, lynchings, acts of terrorism, cross-burnings, house-burnings, and Jim Crow laws .
Slave (noun) – a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them.
A very brief explanation of how slavery worked.
First the conservative southerner had to find a sale,
Then they had to buy their slaves,
Herd the new purchases to the plantation,
The new owner mustn’t forget to brand them,
And only then put them to work picking cotton.
Should your slaves get tired of picking cotton and run away, put an ad in the classified section offering a reward for their return,
On their return punish them.
For conservative southern Republicans, these were the good old days.
Even when slavery was finally outlawed in 1865, they still kept their former slaves in their place. They used several methods. They varied from some what civil to being down right nasty or even evil.
Ku Klux Klan (noun) – an extremist right-wing secret society in the U.S. formed to oppose social change and black emancipation by violence and terrorism. The members hide behind white robes and hoods. They used a burning cross as a symbol of their organization.
The Ku Klux Klan carried out most of the hideous stuff usually with the approval of the local authorities. Rarely did any members ever face the legal consequences for their atrocities.
Lynching (noun) – the killing of someone by a mob for an alleged offense with or without a legal trial. Hanging was the normal method used to kill the victim.
One of the KKK’s favorite method, which they used many times all through the south, was lynchings. In Tennessee there were 177 African American lynchings between 1882 and 1930.
One of the things to notice in these photographs is how the mob poses for the camera with their victim, proud of what they have done.
Lynchings weren’t restricted just to men. Laura Nelson was lynched for her husband’s alleged crime of stealing food.
One rather particular gruesome case involved Jesse Washington, an African American farmhand from Waco, Texas.
On May 15, 1916, after confessing to the raping and killing of a white woman, the 17-year-old retarded farmhand was convicted of the murder. Washington was taken from the courtroom by a local mob with a chain around his neck. Upon reaching the city hall grounds, the leaders of the mob threw Washington onto a pile of dry goods boxes under a tree and poured coal oil over his body. The chain around Washington’s neck was thrown over a limb of the tree, and several men lowered his body onto the pile of combustibles and ignited a fire and watched him burn alive.
An observer wrote: "Washington was beaten with shovels and bricks (…) was castrated, and his ears were cut off along with his fingers. A tree supported the iron chain that lifted him above the fire (…) Wailing, the boy attempted to climb up the skillet hot chain. For this, the men cut off his fingers."
Two hours later, some men placed the burned corpse in a cloth bag and pulled the bundle behind an automobile to Robinson, where they hung the sack from a pole in front of a blacksmith’s shop for public viewing and intimidation. Later that afternoon, constable Les Stegall retrieved the remains and turned them over to a Waco undertaker for burial.
One man wrote on the back of a postcard commemorating the event, "This is the barbecue we had last night. My picture is to the left with a cross over it. Your son, Joe."
Terrorism (noun) – the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
Ku Klux Klan had no qualms utilizing the time honored method preferred by terrorists worldwide – bombings.
On Sunday September 15, 1963, the Ku Klux Klan planted a bomb outside of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The Klan members were Bobby Cherry, Thomas Blanton, Herman Cash, and Robert Chambliss.
Twenty-six children were walking into the basement assembly room after service when the bomb exploded at 10:22 A.M. Twenty-three people were injured and four young girls were killed. The four murdered girls were: Denise McNair (aged 11), Addie Mae Collins (aged 14), Carole Robertson (aged 14), and Cynthia Wesley (aged 14)
Murder (noun) – the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.
Torture (noun) – the action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment or to force them to do or say something, or for the pleasure of the person inflicting the pain.
Sometimes southerners used plain old torture and murder.
Take the egregious case of Emmett Louis "Bobo" Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955). He was a fourteen year old African-American from Chicago, Illinois who went to stay for the summer with his uncle, Moses Wright in Money, Mississippi.
Just three days later on August 24, he and other young teenagers went to Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market, owned by Roy and Carolyn Bryant, to get some candy and soda. While in the store Till was dared by one of the other boys to say something to Carolyn. On his way out Till said "hey baby" to her.
At about 12:33 a.m. on August 28, Bryant; his half-brother, J.W. Milam; Carolyn; and another whose identity has still not been confirmed came in a car to Till’s uncle house. Bryant grabbed Till and put him in the car and they drove off.
They took him to a weathered shed on a plantation in neighboring Sunflower County. There he was pistol-whipped, brutally beaten, and had his eye gouged out before he was shot through the head and thrown into the Tallahatchie River with a 75-pound cotton gin fan tied to his neck with barbed wire. Till’s body was recovered three days later.
Cross-burning (noun) – the action or practice of burning Christian crosses on hillsides or near the homes of those the Ku Klux Klan wanted to intimidate, usually non-Caucasians.
House-burning (noun) – The action or practice of setting fire to homes of those the Ku Klux Klan desired to drive from the area, usually non-Caucasians.
Two of their more milder activities were cross-burnings and house-burnings. These were designed to create terror in the local African American population and to "encourage" them to move out of the area. People weren’t necessary hurt in these activities.
Jim Crow laws (noun) – the legal practice of segregating black people in public places.
The southern Republicans must have thought out-of-sight out-of-mind.
School segregation (noun) – the enforced separation by race of students into different schools.
This had the added benefit of reserving the best for themselves. Take for example, the segregated school systems which were anything but “equal.”
A white 1st grade classroom in Panola County
and a classroom for all grades for black children in the same county.
Or how about this elementary school for black children:
These schools can only be considered “equal” to the folks of Xanaland
"The Tennessee Rupublican Party has always been proud of our country."
If the Tennessee Rupublican Party has always been proud of America, then it follows they must be proud of the activities and events illustrated above.
|1||Bennett, Kathy; Lynching, Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture; The Tennessee Historical Society and the University of Tennessee Press; Webpage; 2002; Accessed May 29, 2008.
Filed under: Musings, Republicans Tagged: | African American, America, bombing, conservative, cross-burnings, GOP, history, house-burnings, Jim Crow, KKK, Ku Klux Klan, lynchings, murder, patriotism, proud, slavery, Tennessee Republican Party, terrorism