Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Increase in Lynching -- December 8, 2020



James Weldon Johnson was a poet, a writer, a diplomat and a civil rights activist. He wrote "Lift Every Voice and Sing." Every anti-lynching bill considered by the US Congress was filibustered by southern senators. 

(By the Associated Negro Press.)

New York, Dec. 8. -- The terrible extent to which lynching is taking hold of the United States is set forth in a special appeal by James Weldon Johnson, executive secretary, N. A. A. C. P., through the Associated Negro Press.

Mr. Johnson says:
Two days before Thanksgiving Day a Mississippi mob battered down the doors of a courtroom, seized a prisoner who was being tried at a special term of the court, and dragged him at the end of a rope tied to the rear of an automobile, finally hanging the lifeless body and riddling it with bullets.

On Thanksgiving Day a New York newspaper published the following headline:

"Georgia Posse Shoots Brother of Man Who Killed White."

In Mississippi the sanctity of a courtroom was violated. In Georgia an innocent man was brutally murdered. No one will be punished for participation in these or the fifty other atrocities which have disgraced the United States before the world in 1920.

The American people are now given opportunity to end this disgrace. Senator Curtis and Representative Dyer have introduced in Congress a federal anti-lynching bill which provides:

1. For a $10,000 fine to be paid by any county in which a lynching occurs;
2. For prosecution of negligent state and county officers in the United States courts;
3. For trial on charge of murder in a United States Court of all participation in lynchings.

May we, through the Associated Negro Press ask those citizens who want lynching in the United States stopped, to write their senators or representatives urging the enactment of federal anti-lynching legislation?

Yours very truly,
James Weldon Johnson, Secretary.

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