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Carl Hiaasen: Racial lynchings, our own history of terrorism | Miami Herald Miami Herald

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The victims, a man and a woman, were first tied to a tree.

Their fingers were hacked off and given out as souvenirs. Next their ears were chopped from their heads. A mob beat the man while a crowd of hundreds watched.

A large corkscrew was then used to mutilate both captives, who were tossed onto a fire and burned. While all this was happening, the onlookers — which included women and children — were served lemonade and deviled eggs.

This isn’t a scene the latest ISIS video in Syria. It’s a homegrown American atrocity that took place in 1904 in Doddsville, Miss.

A black man named Luther Holbert and a woman thought to be his wife were snatched by a lynch mob on suspicion of killing a white landowner. No prosecution, no trial, no finding of guilt.

The deaths were two of 3,959 “racial terror lynchings” in 12 Southern states between 1877 and 1950, according to the Equal Justice Initiative. The Alabama-based legal-rights group spent five years researching such murders, and how they were used to terrify African-American communities.

As horrified as we are by the beheadings aired by thugs of the Islamic State, the barbaric spectacles that for decades took place in town squares and public parks across the Deep South were no less monstrous.

Racial lynchings often were staged in a festive carnival atmosphere with large crowds. Sometimes enterprising printers peddled postcards featuring photos of the mangled dead body.

(Please click the link below to read this column on The Miami Herald site-

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/carl-hiaasen/article10771169.html )

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Author: ohnwentsya

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