Nooses are not made to hang empty, designed for ‘strange fruit’



It's easy to see a picture of a noose, even an actual noose, and realize that their presence is appalling.   But I don't think most Americans grasp the true magnitude of this reborn intimidation tactic.

Let me make a plea right not the anyone reading this post visit Without Sanctuary.  The website has a collection of pictures, mostly postcards, displaying the brutal savagery of America's not so distant past.  I was fortunate enough to have a 2002 visit to Atlanta coincide with a Without Sanctuary exhibit at the King Center.

(none of the pictures displayed in this post were downloaded from Without Sanctuary) 

center-lynching.jpgLet's examine what all that goes on in a lynching like the one to the left.  First, there's an incident that occurs, and a mob is gathered.  A (99.9% of the time) black man is taken from his family without due process or any semblance of law and strung up from a tree.

In this picture, it looks like the folks -even the kids- took the time to dress up a bit.  Maybe they knew they were going to be in a picture.  Often there was food involved in a planned event like this one probably was.

So now they get down to business.  Looks like this victim of American Terror may have been spared live burning. In Without Sanctuary you will see that "Coon Cooking" was a Southern delight.  Then comes the part that's even more sick.

An attendee takes out his camera, not to chronicle the cruel and unusual punishment perpetrated on a U.S. citizen.  These sick individuals wanted to capture the moment for the sake of prosperity. So fine Christian families (fathers and sons in this picture) line up beside the corpse and proudly pose for what will eventually become a family heirloom.

The photo was then developed.  A picture is not good enough, a postcard is necessary.  A printer has to get involved to mass produce the cards, which Americans paid money to buy that they may share the occasion with loved ones.

Finally, some man or woman turns to the back of the card, writes down the address of a someone who they want to share the memory with before scribbling their return address.  Prior to sending, they may write "This is the Barbecue we had last night my picture is to the left with a cross over it, your son Joe.

This is actual text from a postcard of the lynching of Jesse Washington in Robinson, Texas.


lynching-in-america_florida-1935.jpgThe nooses hung from a tree in Jena, Louisiana are multiplying all across the nation.  And as the Jena teens who hung them were deemed only as pranksters, the country doesn't seemed to be too concerned about the lynching tools current resurgence.   Here are incidents, all in the Northeast, recently involving nooses:

Police officers in Long Island, New York

A Black Professor at Columbia, University

Construction Workers in O'Hara Township, Pa.

We can't ignore the history, especially when it threatens to return.  Please take a moment to visit Without Sanctuary .  I'm interested to know what type of impression it leaves on some of those who view the collection.



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