Before I delve into the minute details of Jeffrey Lord’s intellectual dishonesty, and general all around ignorance, I must first say that the only way something like this is even in print, is because the current climate allows for this type of venomous discourse. It’s bred from callous indignation, and utter contempt for the suffering and pain blacks felt during America’s racist past. The type of gall it takes to concoct this type of Hitchcockian bullshit is beyond the pail. But it stands not just as one conservative’s discredited rebuttal to Mrs. Sherrod’s life story, but as lead story on top of the American Spectator’s site. With that said:
It’s possible that Ms. Sherrod simply doesn’t know the truth…
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?
Again, I have no idea.
Are you kidding me? What Jefferey Lord’s unbelievably arrogant and short-sighted piece suggests is that Mrs. Sherrod lied when she spoke of her father’s death by lynching. I would suggest to Mr. Lord that he Google the word lynch. Lynch simply means to execute by mob. It can be associated with hanging, but more often than not, lynching was executed by mass mob– mainly to instill fear in the black populace.
Lord’s also wrong about federal anti-lynch laws. The first major anti-lynching law was the Dwyer bill in 1918, followed by the more famous Costigan-Wagner anti-lynching bill. Neither bill passed, but both would have held local law enforcement responsible for mob murders of any kind–including murders involving blackjacks and fists.
I cannot imagine a more despicable column, simply because it disputes the indisputable–that Mrs. Sherrod’s father died a most violent, race-fueled death–and it inflames needlessly by inverting the race narrative. Lord implies Mrs. Sherrod’s wrong to lie about her past, and she does it simply to rile black anger toward whites for no reason.
Lord purports to know the dread in the implication of using a word like lynching, because his family lived in the south. I’m sure Mrs. Sherrod’s intent in telling her story was not to spare the sensitivities of Mr. Lord, and his pristine memories of white southern hospitality. Lord’s column is callous, ignorant, and outrageous–and it’s typical of race frame-flippers who deem it necessary to blame the victims rather than the aggressor.