Saturday, January 9, 2021

The Lynching Record for 1920 -- January 9, 2021

Colorado Statesman, 21-January-1921

Every anti-lynching bill considered by the US Congress was filibustered by southern senators. The Governor of Kentucky was Edwin P Morrow. He got an anti-lynching law passed in 1920, stopped a lynching in 1920 and got rid of officials who did not try to stop mob violence. 


SIXTY-ONE LYNCHINGS is the final report for the year 1920; twenty-two less than In the year of 1910. Thus it is that the United States must again face a shameful record of murder, rioting and burning of helpless and probably innocent victims. We say probably innocent victims, for in tbe eyes of the law they have not been proven guilty and convicted according to the law of the land. In each case of lynching the victims were entitled to the full protection of the law and under the law they were presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. When we think of our boasted superiority and supposed high standard of civilization, what must other countries think of us when they read the shameful record of lynchings in the United States for 1920?

Only sixty-one lynchings for last year. And why, may we not inquire was there any excuse for even one? Have we not sheriffs and a full corps of state, city and county officers, well paid to uphold the law and protect its citizens? We do not wonder that so many lynchings occur when we read that the officers of the law in one big lynching where four lives were sacrificed, attempted to stop the mob with a stream of water from a small hose. Think of the officers of the law playing with a mob with luke-warm water when four lives were at stake! We do not wonder that so many lynchings take place when the officers of the law willingly yield to the mob and surrender their helpless prisoners. There were several notable instances last year, even in the South, where the mob was fired upon by the state militia and frustrated in their murderous attempt at lynching after several of the mob were killed and wounded, A few more governors like the famous Kentucky governor would soon put an end to lynching.

The charges against many of the victims that were lynched were trivial in their nature, such as common assault, threatening to kill, jumping a labor contract, assisting a prisoner to escape. One of last year's victims was a woman. Now, when any community becomes vicious and depraved as to permit the lynching of a woman, it is time to wipe that community off the face of the map. We have the record that a Negro was lynched for attempting to cast a vote, and yet we hear the South howling for representation in Mr. Harding’s cabinet. Surely the North or the Republican party are not so barren of great men that the President-elect should have to turn to the Sodden South for cabinet material.

We have been Informed daily by the press dispatches that the President-elect, Mr. Harding, has had dally conferences with almost every prominent leader of the Republican party and several prominent Democrats, engaging their views upon many of the great questions that confront the new administration. Would it not have been a broad and humane idea if the President-elect had invited several of our race leaders to discuss the race question, lynching and disfranchisement? Probably some day he may he induced to take up the subject and lend his weight and influence toward putting an end to such lawlessness and brazen violations of our sacred constitution.

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