On lynching and the right of the West to survive

David Claypool writes:

I can’t believe that you and some of your supporters would actually defend lynching. You stated that most of those lynched were guilty of the crimes they were charged with. I don’t know what you base that incredible claim on, but you and your supporters miss the point that guilt or innocence was irrelevant.

Blacks in the post-Reconstruction South charged with a serious crime against whites were doomed, even if the charges were based on flimsy evidence or no evidence at all. Whether they received their “sentence” at the hands of a lynch mob or survived to have their meaningless day in court, their lives were forfeit from the day they were charged.

On the other hand, whites accused of murdering blacks always went free, even if everyone in the county, including the jury, had a 100 percent moral certainty that they had committed the crime.

You like to talk about preserving Western (white) culture, civilization and values. However, the two most horrendous regimes of the 20th century, and probably the worst in world history, the Soviet Union and the Third Reich, occurred in the heart of “civilized” Europe.

It has been said that civilization must be based on a nation of laws, not men. What the Jim Crow South had in common with the Soviets and Nazis was that it was a nation of men, not laws, in which the concept of justice was meaningless. Each of the states of the old Confederacy converted themselves into miniature police states in order to deny their black populations of not only their constitutional rights, but basic human rights.

You talk about whites needing to protect themselves from black crimes in the old South. Do you get your knowledge of that shameful period of U.S. history from the Klan archives? Have you never heard of white racial massacres of blacks in New Orleans and Colfax, La., Memphis and Rosewood, Fla., and the actual bombing of the black community in Tulsa?

Several months ago, you reacted in shock when someone called you a Nazi. You and your supporters, of course, are not violent types. You are the genteel, “intellectual” racists. You don’t participate in cross burnings, lynchings or church bombings. All you do is help create the atmosphere of irrational hatred in which others can commit these crimes with impunity.

LA replies:

I and the commenter, Mark Jaws, did not say we supported lynching. I condemned lynching and called it a savage act, and Mark agreed. We also said, however, that during the period of lynching, white people were infinitely safer from black violence than they are today. What I have repeatedly stated on this issue is that whites need to bring back the racial realism of an earlier period, when, instead of walking around defenseless in a dreamworld of racial harmony, they were aware of the constant potential for black violence and took steps to protect themselves from it. Lynching was savage and horrible. It should not have been done. But it was based on a recognition on the part of whites of the danger they faced from the savage element in the black population. That savage element still exists today, is probably greater than ever, and still needs to be suppressed. So the question is, how shall it be suppressed? Needed measures would include: returning to normal law enforcement which was destroyed by the Warren Court, bringing back the death penalty in a serious way, ending all forms of coercive racial integration, and having a realistic understanding of race differences. It would not include lynching and other barbaric and lawless acts.

However, I know that what I just said will make no difference to you, because what guides you is not reason and morality, and certainly not any concern about Anne Pressly and thousands of other savagely murdered whites like her. No, what guides you is resentment against whites and the West, as you make clear when you write:

You like to talk about preserving Western (white) culture, civilization and values. However, the two most horrendous regimes of the 20th century, and probably the worst in world history, the Soviet Union and the Third Reich, occurred in the heart of “civilized” Europe.

This is the classic—and deeply sick and nihilistic—liberal response. Instead of supporting your civilization, you clearly imply that it doesn’t deserve to exist. And why? Because of the crimes of the Nazis—and, hey, even of the Communists, that’s a new one—who also thought the West didn’t deserve to exist and tried to destroy it. Such are the low-down arguments that liberals use to put down Western society, to invoke a paralyzing white guilt, and to convince whites that the West has no moral right to defend itself.

And, by the way, Hitler was not a white racialist. He was a German supremacist. Among his plans were the elimination of the British people and the Slavic peoples.

- end of initial entry -

A. Zarkov writes:

When I worked and lived in two of Manhattan’s crime ridden neighborhoods (Harlem and East Harlem) in the 1970s, I got to experience black criminality first hand. I had someone pull a knife on me in the lobby of my building. I was jumped by teenagers while coming back from lunch near where I worked. There were other incidents as well. In all cases, my attackers were black. Back then I also realized that black teenagers virtually had a license to kill because of the lenient juvenile crime laws. Indeed some drug dealers even used 15 year olds as hit men because at worst they faced a few years in a youth institution. Fortunately I always survived unhurt, but the emotional strain was enough to almost make me wish for some kind of vigilante justice. I felt abandoned by a government then just didn’t seem all that interested in my physical safety. I also knew that the city didn’t want me to fight back and would punish me if I did—probably even more severely than it would have punished my attackers.

Of course that’s exactly what happened to Bernard Goetz. Later Sam Francis called this state of affairs Anarcho-Tyranny.

My experiences with black crime were both personal and specific, but they do generalize. Anyone living in a black neighborhood suffers crime, but white people suffer extra because they are the preferred targets of black (and even white) criminals. La Griffe De Lion provides both an analysis and a model for black-on-white-crime. See his essay, “Crime in the Hood” http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/hood.htm for (mathematical) details.

What’s important is his result: once a neighborhood becomes more than 90% black (Detroit), a white person is virtually certain to become a victim. See De Lion’s Figure 2. We could work out a similar curve for black people living in a white neighborhood, but the raw data show that white-on-black crime is so low, this exercise would provide little additional insight. Thus in the inner cities, it’s whites who are being lynched by a black criminal element that gets portrayed as the victims! Liberals like David Claypool don’t want to confront these facts. They prefer to fall back on name calling such as “You are the genteel, “intellectual” racists.” I ask Mr. Claypool to look at the crime data from the National Crime Victimization Survey and tell me whose suffers more from inter-racial violence, blacks or whites. I’m not suggesting that unfair trials or lynching are or were a proper response to black criminality, but you can’t just blame everything solely on racism.

Mike Berman writes:

You once said that I was being overly extravagant in my praise for you when I mentioned that you express for me what I am incapable of saying now as an adult, just as Dylan did for me a lifetime ago. It is simply a fact. I cannot thank you enough for what you do. Happy New Year!

LA writes:

I didn’t reply to Mr. Claypool’s charge that I am a “genteel, intellectual racist” who creates “the atmosphere of irrational hatred in which others can commit cross burnings, lynchings or church bombings with impunity.”

Mr. Claypool’s comment echoes such high points in the history of liberalism as President Clinton’s statement that Rush Limbaugh was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing, and Charles Krauthammer’s article on “The Passion” in which he said that Christians would leave the movie theaters looking for Jews to beat up and kill.

Irrational, violent impulses are the last thing stirred up by my writings. I constantly—perhaps to a fault—make logical and moral distinctions between different things. And with regard to this issue, whenever I’ve spoken of black “savages,” I make it clear that I am speaking of a subset of the black population, not of all blacks or most blacks or even of a sizable minority of blacks. At the same time, I insist that the predators of whom I speak are, indeed, savages, and that such honest language is needed if society is to see what they are and protect itself from them.

Also, I have repeatedly argued against white rightists who either want to do away with the word “racism” or embrace it as a good thing. I argue that the word racism is needed to describe morally wrong speech and acts directed against other people because of their race, including acts by whites against people of other races.

The idea that anyone would come away from VFR thinking, “Let’s go get some blacks,” is the kind of weird fantasy that would only occur to a liberal who sees all people to the right of himself as Nazis.

John Hagan writes:

Reading the distorted musings of David Claypool this evening only reinforces my belief that you cannot reason with self-hating white liberals like him. They are the suicide of the West incarnate. The West was able to tame the jingoistic pathology of the Japanese and turn Germany away from its darker impulses, but these liberals…….this death on two legs is a force the likes of which the West may not be able to survive.

Claypool and his ilk hate life, and hate themselves. They don’t think the West should exist, or if it exists it should only exist in a degraded state. A sort of perpetual guilt-factory where the white majority is debased, and humiliated on a daily basis. He comes to VFR like some zombie because he senses there is life here, that there are men and women who are proud of themselves and the traditional culture of the West. The Claypools of the world can’t stand this sign of life, this strength; they want to annihilate it. So you get his disjointed attack based on a misreading of what you and Mark Jaws were talking about concerning lynching.

LA replies:

Mr. Claypool forcefully condemns the lynchings of the pre-1950 South. That is reasonable, and I have no problem with it. Where he runs off the rails is, inter alia, in portraying the Jim Crow South as a totalitarian regime like Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Nonsense. Southern blacks were under a second class citizenship that often denied their dignity and often kept them in place through fear. The South was obviously not free for blacks. But it was hardly totalitarian either. For one thing, there was in place the 14th amendment—perhaps Mr. Claypool has heard of it—which was specifically designed to protect blacks’ basic human rights. “Separate but equal,” the 14th Amendment-based doctrine of the 1896 Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, which allowed for the racial segregation of railroad passenger cars so long as the cars for blacks were of the same quality as the cars for whites, may have been unfair and wounding to blacks’ (not necessarily all blacks’) feelings, but was hardly the mark of totalitarianism. As barbaric as lynchings were, the total number of lynchings of blacks between 1880 and 1950, which I think was a couple of thousand, and in most of those cases the lynched man was in fact guilty, was an infinitesimal percentage of the tens of millions of innocent souls and bodies consumed in the respective maws of the Nazi and Communist regimes. Blacks in the South had lives. Consider Henry Louis Gates’s fond memories of his family and his upbringing in the segregationist South. Consider Condoleezza Rice, raised for the first ten years of her life in segregationist Alabama by middle class parents to be a supremely vain Black American Princess. Would such lives and such upbringings have been possible in a society that denied blacks their basic human rights? Mr. Claypool’s equation of the American South with Nazi Germany and the USSR, like his description of me as a person who creates the atmosphere for lynchings and cross-burnings, is the mark of an unhinged, unrelenting America hater.

January 1, 2009

Paul K. writes:

It seems that when the subject of lynching is raised, it’s assumed to have been a terroristic form of punishment inflicted exclusively by whites upon blacks. In “Lynching in the New South,” author William Brundage mentions that outside of the South and border states, 83 percent of mob victims were white.

He gives these figures:

Northeast—2 whites, 7 blacks
Midwest—181 whites, 79 blacks
West—447 whites, 38 blacks
South—723 whites, 3,220 blacks

In his autobiography, Texas outlaw John Wesley Hardin frequently mentions his fear of being lynched should he be arrested. In fact, three of his associates were lynched in 1874, including his brother Joe, though he had not been implicated in any killings. The issue of lynching shows up regularly in histories of the West; often a lawman had to guard a prisoner against townsfolk who didn’t put a great deal of faith in the legal system, or who knew how easy it was to break out of jail if a man had accomplices. Mainly, though, lynching seems to have been an expression of community outrage against the perpetrator of a particularly heinous crime.

We know that blacks are responsible for a hugely disproportionate of violent crime, and all evidence I have seen suggests this was true a century ago (although probably to a lesser extent as punishment was more likely to be quick and severe). However ‘verboten’ the thought may be, I suspect that at least partially accounts for lynchings in the South. We see from the figures above that, for every white man lynched, between four and five blacks suffered the same punishment. Thinking of heinous crimes recently in the news, is this completely unrepresentative of the races of the perpetrators? Also, it’s worth noting that of those blacks lynched, at least six percent were lynched by black mobs. (http://tinyurl.com/7vebf2)

Of course I acknowledge that, especially in the 20th century, lynching was mainly an expression of racial rage. By the 1920s, lynchings almost completely disappeared around most parts of the country, but continued in the South. Also, while 32 percent of those lynched in the South in the 1880s were white, by the 1920s the percentage of white victims had fallen to nine percent, so clearly this had become a punishment inflicted chiefly on blacks, and was intended to intimidate them.

January 3

Jim N. writes:

David Claypool writes:

“It has been said that civilization must be based on a nation of laws, not men. What the Jim Crow South had in common with the Soviets and Nazis was that it was a nation of men, not laws, in which the concept of justice was meaningless. Each of the states of the old Confederacy converted themselves into miniature police states in order to deny their black populations of not only their constitutional rights, but basic human rights.”

What nonsense. “The Jim Crow South”—i.e. some men in the South—to the extent that it/they ignored the laws on the books, did so because the laws they lived under did not derive from the people of the South, but were forced upon them by their military conquerors. This is not to defend the laws they would have preferred for themselves, but only to say that to accuse them of being a nation of men and not laws on that basis is simply triumphalist condescension. The Old South’s laws did not recognize black men as men. Therefore, blacks had not the same rights as those considered real men under the law. Right or wrong, that’s the fact.

What Mr. Claypool wants to say is that the people of the Jim Crow South were like Nazis and Communists in that their actions, deriving from the old laws they used to live under, weren’t grounded in the Natural Law. That also may be right or wrong, but it certainly doesn’t support the assertion that the states of the Jim Crow South had “converted themselves into miniature police states.” The only “conversion” that took place was a defiance of the laws imposed upon them by the North, which laws only a fool or a liar would assert they ever willingly adopted.

Which is all just a long way ‘round of saying what I said at the beginning: Mr. Claypool’s argument here makes no sense.

Note: I’m sure this will be regarded by most readers as a minor issue in the overall scheme of things, and to a certain degree it is, but to me it points up the futility of attempting to engage in rational discourse in modern-day America: so very few people seem capable of it.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 31, 2008 05:31 PM | Send

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