Defining Lynching Down - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Defining Lynching Down

For a variety of reasons I have not wanted to pile on, not least being my respect for Jeff personally and for his fine work. But I am afraid his latest post is wildly unpersuasive, to put it mildly.

By the standard Jeff is employing here, Emmett Till was not lynched because he was murdered by only two men and he was not hanged. Nothing was hung around Till’s neck until his murderers wanted to weigh down his dead body after dumping it in a river. (Though I realize we’ve gone from implying that a lynching must be by noose to quibbling about the number of people it takes to form a proper lynch mob.)

Similarly, according to this idiosyncratic definition James Byrd was not lynched because he was murdered by three men and dragged to his death while chained to the back of a pick-up truck. Both of these high-profile, racially motivated, 20th-century murders are widely and popularly described as lynchings. Shirley Sherrod said her fair share of crazy things in her full, unedited speech but I think most people would regard her use of the word “lynch” as reasonable.

Even if we adhere to Jeff’s precise requirements for what constitutes a lynching, I cannot fathom how nit-picking over the proper terminology to describe the brutal beating death of a black man strikes a blow against the New Black Panther Party, the federal lawsuit against Arizona, and all the assorted misdeeds of the left mentioned in his post. Instead it is a distraction that will leave most people bewildered if not offended and an argument that does not meet Jeff’s normally high standards.

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