Past Lynchings Set The Stage For Lower Quality Of Life Today

The Duluth Herald newspaper with lynching headlines
Leslie Taylor-Grover
May 27, 2020

Lynchings are NOT a relic of the past. We still carry the pain of such violence and hatred with us. Now, there’s evidence lynchings diminish our lives in other ways. Here are five of the most oppressive.

#1 The Death Penalty

States with a strong history of lynching also are more likely to have the death penalty still in place. Since 1910, our people have made up 75% of those killed under the death penalty.

#2 Voter Suppression

Just as the number of lynchings would increase around the time of elections in the past, the same is true for elections today when threats, social media campaigns, and intimidation efforts increase to keep us politically disenfranchised.

#3 Police Brutality

When they weren’t the ones killing us, the police overlooked lynchings in the past by allowing murderers to go unpunished. Now, they go easy on white terrorists while harassing us for everything they can.

#4 Housing Segregation

Places with a history of lynchings are more likely to have segregated neighborhoods, and trap our people in the poorest parts of cities, rural areas, and other communities.

#5 Death

In counties that had high numbers of lynchings, our people tend to die of other health conditions sooner. It seems the same hatred from back then still persists. 

The bottom line is we must continue to understand how white terrorism affected us in the past to build better lives for ourselves today.

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