Listen: Lynch, Justice, Montgomery discussed on Cape Up with Jonathan Capehart
"In. Wow. Hi, Jonathan Kaye. Pardon? Welcome to Cape up. Thanks to the racist photo and Virginia governor Ralph north medical school yearbook page the nation is engaged in another halting conversation on race. One man pictured is in black face. The other in KKK garb, the former a dehumanizing stereotype the ladder, a symbol of domestic terror against African Americans conversation with Brian Stevenson, founder of the equal Justice initiative in the visionary behind the powerful memorial for peace and Justice also known as the lynching memorial in Montgomery, Alabama. Hear him talk about social Justice, racial Justice, and how the history of racial terror lynchings still casts a pall over American life right now. Bryan, stevenson. Thank you very much for being on the podcast for having us down here in your offices at the equal Justice initiative here in Montgomery, Alabama. Thank you. It's great to be with you. So before we get to the reason why we're actually down here. I want you to define a term that you see when you go to the legacy museum when you go to the national memorial for peace and Justice, and that is racial terror lynchings have that right? Yes. That's right. So what we're talking about our lynchings that were designed to terrorize people based on their race. And I think popular culture, we have a notion that lynchings were what happened when someone was hanged? And of course, lots of lynching victims weren't actually hanged. They were drowned they were beaten to death. They were shot they were burned alive. And so when we talk about lynchings, we're talking about a category of crime committed by groups of people and Ray. Tara lynchings are murders crimes committed by groups of people of African Americans to terrorize the African American community there was mob violence. There was frontier. Justice in many parts of this country where there was no functioning criminal Justice system. If someone did something violent or broke the law, a group might come together to exercise punishment against that person in that respect, you would see white people. Hang you, other kinds of people hang, but they weren't trying to terrorize the community. It was typically for a well known violent crime around which there was some group consciousness. Someone had to be punished. Black people were typically lynched in communities where there was a functioning criminal Justice system. There was no need for frontier. Justice, and in fact hundred or pulled out of jails and courthouses to be Lynch. And these lynchings were violence directed not just at that individual. But at the entire African American community black people were Lynch for things like walking too close to a white woman for asking for better wages for preaching quality, and these violations, these social transgressions would be something that could get African Americans Lynch and that wasn't true for anyone else. So when we talk about racial terror lynchings were talking about the racial lies violence that was directed at the aft directed at African Americans following a man's of patient to reinforce racial hierarchy to reinforce white supremacy. They were designed to terrorize these bodies with sometimes Burr battered bodies would be dragged through black community, and I was going to. I was going to ask you about that. Because it wasn't hanging. The person wasn't enough. That's right. They were after hanged shot some burned, and as we were about to say drags through dragged through the streets and particularly through black community. Yes, it was really quite graphic. It was quite torturous in sometimes people would be castrated or their fingers would be cut off in this violent torturous mutilation of the body shooting. The corpse a thousand times cutting off parts of the body selling these parts souvenirs posing with the body as if there was something to celebrate in this bar Barety. Sometimes someone would be position near the hanging body and would not allow the black family or black church or black community to come in claim their loved one. They would insist that it hang there for three or four days to terrorize more people. There are counts of Lynch's tying the body. To vehicle and driving through the black part of town in the black people went inside and closed their doors. They'd actually force people out of their homes.."