|Map of 73 years of Lynchings|
[Please see Map of 73 years of Lynchings]
While some have alleged that these public executions were the result of people taking the law into their own hands, Professor Beck reports that the number of lynchings did not rise or fall in proportion to the number of state-sanctioned executions. Beck's analysis underscores what Mr. Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative said was that "these brutal deaths were not about administering popular justice, but terrorizing a community."
The chronicle of terror in Texas includes the following community "hate crimes:"
- In 1910, a group of men rushed into the Dallas courthouse, threw a rope around the neck of a black man accused of sexually assaulting a three-year-old white girl, and threw the other end of the rope out a window. A mob outside yanked the man, Allen Brooks, to the ground and strung him up at a ceremonial arch a few blocks down Main Street.
- South of the city, past the Trinity River bottoms, a black man named W. R. Taylor was hanged by a mob in 1889.
- Farther south in Streetman, a 25-year-old George Gay was hanged from a tree and shot hundreds of times in 1922.
- In Kirvin, three black men, two of them almost certainly innocent, were accused of killing a white woman and, "under the gaze of hundreds of soda-drinking spectators," were castrated, stabbed, beaten, tied to a plow and set afire in the spring of 1922.
- In Paris, Texas, about 100 miles northeast of Dallas, thousands of people came in 1893 to see Henry Smith, a black teenager accused of murder, carried around town on a float, then tortured and burned to death on a scaffold.
- In 1920, in Paris the two Arthur brothers were tied to a flagpole and set on fire at the city fairgrounds.
|Whites Attacking Blacks in Chicago|
In October 1919, Dr. George Edmund Haynes issued a report calling for national action. He noted that lynchings were a national problem, as President Wilson had said in a 1918 speech; from 1889–1918, more than 3,000 people had been lynched; 2,472 were black men, and 50 were black women. Haynes said that states had shown themselves "unable or unwilling" to put a stop to lynchings, and seldom prosecuted the murderers. The fact that white men had been lynched in the North as well, he argued, demonstrated the national nature of the overall problem: "It is idle to suppose that murder can be confined to one section of the country or to one race."
|Elaine, Arkansas Newspaper|
(Source: Robertson, Campbell, "History of Lynchings in the South Documents Nearly 4,000 Names," New York Times, February 10, 2015; "Red Summer," Wikipedia; and Elaine race riot, Wikipedia)