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Shirley Sherrod's story in her now famous speech about the lynching of a relative is not true. The veracity and credibility of the onetime Agriculture Department bureaucrat at the center of the explosive controversy between the NAACP and conservative media activist Andrew Breitbart is now directly under challenge. By nine Justices of the United States Supreme Court. All of them dead....
I have now done exactly what I should have done originally. So there's no mistake about "selective editing" of videos or speech transcripts, here is a link to the website of the NAACP, where they have made a point of posting the full video of Shirley Sherrod's speech. I have seen the entire speech as supplied by the NAACP. The now-famous speech runs just over 40 minutes. If you don't have the time, here is a link to the printed transcript of her speech supplied by a site called American Rhetoric Online Speech Bank. The transcript is taken in full from the video version of her speech, which American rhetoric also supplies. I have read the transcript as well.
In her speech, Ms. Sherrod says this:
I should tell you a little about Baker County. In case you don't know where it is, it's located less than 20 miles southwest of Albany. Now, there were two sheriffs from Baker County that -- whose names you probably never heard but I know in the case of one, the thing he did many, many years ago still affect us today. And that sheriff was Claude Screws. Claude Screws lynched a black man. And this was at the beginning of the 40s. And the strange thing back then was an all-white federal jury convicted him not of murder but of depriving Bobby Hall -- and I should say that Bobby Hall was a relative -- depriving him of his civil rights.
Plain as day, Ms. Sherrod says that Bobby Hall, a Sherrod relative, was lynched. As she puts it, describing the actions of the 1940s-era Sheriff Claude Screws: "Claude Screws lynched a black man."
This is not true. It did not happen. How do we know this?
The case, Screws vs. the U.S. Government, as she accurately says in the next two paragraphs, made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Which, with the agreement of all nine Justices of the day -- which is to say May 7, 1945 -- stated the facts of the killing of Bobby Hall this way:
The arrest was made late at night at Hall's home on a warrant charging Hall with theft of a tire. Hall, a young negro about thirty years of age, was handcuffed and taken by car to the courthouse. As Hall alighted from the car at the courthouse square, the three petitioners began beating him with their fists and with a solid-bar blackjack about eight inches long and weighing two pounds. They claimed Hall had reached for a gun and had used insulting language as he alighted from the car. But after Hall, still handcuffed, had been knocked to the ground, they continued to beat him from fifteen to thirty minutes until he was unconscious. Hall was then dragged feet first through the courthouse yard into the jail and thrown upon the floor, dying. An ambulance was called, and Hall was removed to a hospital, where he died within the hour and without regaining consciousness. There was evidence that Screws held a grudge against Hall, and had threatened to "get" him.
Who was Hugo Black?
One of the finer books written on this subject recently was Bruce Bartlett's Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party's Buried Past.
Mr. Black joined the Ku Klux Klan on September 13, 1923. Bartlett, citing a Black biographer, writes this of the future Justice's Klan activities: Black was "marching in (Klan) parades, speaking at Klan meetings throughout Alabama, and wearing the Klan regalia, including hood and mask. Historian J. Mills Thornton says Black's involvement with the Klan was 'extensive and ardent.'"
Hugo Black was, of course, a lawyer. His law partner? That would be a man named Crampton Harris. Mr. Harris was the Klan "Cyclops" of the Birmingham Klavern. Does this weird term ring a recent bell? It should. "Exalted Cyclops" was the Klan post held in a later time in West Virginia -- by another prominent future Democratic Senator named Robert Byrd.
Bobby Hall was not lynched. He was brutally beaten and died in a hospital from his wounds. A sad story indeed!!
Lynching is extrajudicial punishment carried out by a mob, often by hanging, but also by burning at the stake and shooting, in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate, control, or otherwise manipulate a population of people, however large or small.
The term lynching probably derived from the name Charles Lynch (1736-96), a justice of the peace who administered rough justice in Virginia.
It's also possible that she knew the truth and chose to embellish it, changing a brutal and fatal beating to a lynching. Anyone who has lived in the American South (as my family once did) and is familiar with American history knows well the dread behind stories of lynch mobs and the Klan. What difference is there between a savage murder by fist and blackjack -- and by dangling rope? Obviously, in the practical sense, none. But in the heyday -- a very long time -- of the Klan, there were frequent (and failed) attempts to pass federal anti-lynching laws. None to pass federal "anti-black jack" or "anti-fisticuffs" laws. Lynching had a peculiar, one is tempted to say grotesque, solitary status as part of the romantic image of the Klan, of the crazed racist. The image stirred by the image of the noosed rope in the hands of a racist lynch mob was, to say the least, frighteningly chilling. Did Ms. Sherrod deliberately concoct this story in search of a piece of that ugly romance to add "glamour" to a family story that is gut-wrenchingly horrendous already?
Originally posted by jibeho
I'll let her speak for herself instead of interpreting what Wikipedia has to say about lynchings.
Main Entry: lynch
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: lynch law
: to put to death (as by hanging) by mob action without legal sanction
You people should be ashamed of yourselves.
Originally posted by jibeho
reply to post by Aggie Man
Thank you and thanks to Webster. That definition just gives credibility to the article and to what I said about the common image of a lynching.
A lynching is a killing by a mob of people
Violent punishment or execution, without due process, for real or alleged crimes
You see, Sherrod did not lie, nor did she embellish. It's your "street" definition that is skewed, not the other way around.
Originally posted by hangedman13
Wow folks eat up the bs. Perception is what this is about. Lucidity I just read a thread by you complaining about people wanting Obama dead yet here you deny the choice of words is made to evoke a certain image. Three people make a mob? The killing was a vendetta by a crooked leo and croonies. She was trying to evoke certain images in the mind of a naacp audience that would draw the conclusions she wanted them to.