CROSSING THE BOUNDARY: MORE THAN HATE, MORE THAN RACE
CRITICAL WRITING : on anti-lynching law ; (endnotes)
Anti-lynch Law addresses questions about the nature of hate and a societal body.1 Jamelle Bouie and Charles M Blow have recently wrote columns pertinent to the answer. Both of them indicate two factors. Race as origine is the one. The other, territorial boundaries in minds and living spheres as physical. These were actual developments of racial hate in a society, when the cause produced consequences, which became successive causes for the evolution of hate in different forms. Lynch is now the subject to be prosecuted by the federal government as crime against the United States2.
Jamelle Bouie wrote in his “This is Why It took more than 100 years to Get an Anti-Lynching Bill”3 (The New York Times opinion; 4/1/2022):
On Tuesday, President Biden signed a bill to make lynching a federal crime. Devised by a group of Black lawmakers in the House and Senate — Tim Scott of South Carolina, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Bobby Rush of Illinois and Kamala Harris of California (when she was still in the Senate) — the law comes into being after more than 200 failed attempts, over more than 100 years, to pass anti-lynching legislation through Congress.
To continue, he quotes Kamala Harris succeeding his comment as follows:
“Lynching is not a relic of the past,” said Vice President Harris. “Racial acts of terror still occur in our nation. And when they do, we must all have the courage to name them and hold the perpetrators to account.”
Harris’s remarks help illustrate why it is that activists fought so long, and so hard, to make lynching a federal crime. A lynching is more than a violent act meant for a single individual. Past and present, lynchings are meant to intimidate an entire community — to reinforce hierarchies of race and class through brutal acts of communal violence.
(the italic is my emphasis)
The community lynching most notably discussed by conscientious professionals were Tulsa Oklahoma Massacre in 1921 and East St Louis Riot in 1917. Charles M Blow, on the other hand, reports the single killing of Emmett Till in details in his recent column “Yes, Lynching is Still a Thing” (NYT opinion; 3/30/2022):
On a warm August night in 1955 on the outskirts of Money, Miss., about a hundred miles due north of Jackson, two men arrived with a flashlight and a gun at the house where Emmett Till was staying with his aunt and uncle.
Till was just 14 years old. He was visiting from Chicago. He had been accused of whistling at, flirting with or touching a white woman.
It was 2 o’clock on a Sunday morning. The men barged into the house, entered the room where Till slept, shined the flashlight in his face and asked, “You the niggah that did the talking down at Money?”
They forced the boy to get dressed, put him in a car and rode off with him, this over the pleadings of his uncle and aunt. One of the men asked the uncle how old he was. “Sixty-four,” the uncle answered. “Well,” the man responded, “if you know any of us here tonight, then you will never live to get to be 65.”
What happened then to 14 years old Emmett Till is unbearable to read. In the same column, Blow also cites Till’s mother describing the condition of her son’s body when found. Those things are in recount not because Blow wants to let readers know about the cruelty of racism only but to report the fact as the fact to have been as it is and continuous, in different ways to today as in fresh memories for all of us there are George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, the killings of whom Blow calls lynching.
The difference between hate crime and lynching are not merely terminological. Bouie discusses the southern politicians blocked anti-lynching bill 100 years ago and has been so all through to this day. If even today, anyone still opposes anti-lynching bill, I think of two reasons: abuse or utilizations of the law and unconsented definition of the word, lynch. The former is a possibility of fabrications. The latter can become cause for judicial ambiguities in accordance to today’s societal motivations.4
When Africans were coercively brought to America as if trading merchandises, there were already two things which justified deprivation of humanness; blackness and a-mobility as fixation except by trading. In 1955, it was still true. Blow writes:
[The killer of Emmet Till] told the magazine that he liked Black people (he used a slur, of course), as long as they were “in their place.” And as long as he lived and could, he said, he was going to keep them in their place. So when he heard Till “throw that poison at me” about white women, “I just made up my mind. ‘Chicago boy,’ I said, ‘I’m tired of ’em sending your kind down here to stir up trouble. Goddam you, I’m going to make an example of you — just so everybody can know how me and my folks stand.’”
(the italic is my emphasis)
Jamelle Bouie writes in his another column “This is a Crime against the Laws of Humanity” (NYT opinion; 4/2/2022):
The background to the [East St. Louis riot in 1917] is mostly straightforward. St. Louis, at the time, was one of the largest cities in the United States, with a population of nearly 700,000. St. Louis and East St. Louis, a neighboring community across the river in Illinois, were homes to a number of major industries that, during the years of World War I, attracted Black migrants from the South and white migrants from around the country, as well as immigrants from Europe.
For Du Bois5, there were two forces that made this a combustible situation. The first was white racism, which kept or drove Black workers out of unions and divided labor in the city. “The best electrician in the city was refused admittance to the union and driven from town because he was black,” Du Bois wrote. “No black builder, printer, or machinist could join a union or work in East St. Louis, no matter what his skill or character.”
(the italic is my emphasis)
According to Du Bois, the second cause was the war in Europe, which made high demandes of steel and aluminium. Consequentially the white workers asked supercharges. That, as a subsequent result, motivated their employers to hier cheaper laborers, thus black workers, as economical solutions. One cause produced a consequence, which triggered white resentments as self-justifiable as if the unfairness was in all parts of black laborers6. Tulsa Oklahoma Massacre is also known as exploded white fury at the success and prosperity of the black community7. The analysis based on economy would point out all causes of hate, violence, wars can be solvable by the distribution of economical equality. Such can be only true when the origine of the primary cause is regarded as if non-existent. Besides, however much the society becomes societally advanced, there are prejudices against differences for certain minds. Such is the territorial boundary, mentally drawn to evolve in concrete forms of punishments, when the boundary is perceived as crossed over. Thus, rejective acts either as violence or collective harassments with no end occur.
Why do some people hate others? Mental discomforts as breach of the familiar territory must be a major cause when felt. In the past, when Europeans first encountered Africans who were physically so different that the mental boundary must have been drawn between we’re here and they’re there, so they must remain there. The lines dividing those in minds are not only racial, but more than race. The mechanism works in a way that the societal system is kept intact until it is allowed to change internally. The societal system will provide the socio-theoretical justifications for all malicious elements, until the consensus to deny arises. Different kinds of lynching would otherwise continue, either in violence or social lynching by digital mobs in today’s form in particular8. At the core resides the nature of hate, or more, as propelling punishments over the unelucidated differences in individuals.
A governmental body provides Law for its execution by the punishment of those who break the law. The Constitution guarantees the rights of the subjects of the government. I tentatively raise an undesirable linkage between hate and a societal body. The latter is capable of practicing customaries as unwritten laws. In the worst case, a societal socialism becomes a form in which common interests are desired even by deprivations of freedom, rights, any asset from selective others to transfer as attributions for common gains. Because the concept is unfamiliar, it sounds like oppressions of minorities. My point, however, is opposite. A societal socialism would create disposable individuals to be its pawns on the basis of the theory aiming at the theoretical perfection. Motivated by sentiments and feelings or hate, a community practicing such a societal socialism theorizes their collective crime as a pursuit of local interests on the greatest level. The contradiction here is that feelings make the theory of justifications, which eventually would form a system.
The crime against the United States is the offense against the country. It includes Piracy to be understood as organized crime to gain monetary profits. My reasoning reaches the gravity of this crime as on the violation of others’ human and property rights by collectively planned operations in the guise of legitimate operation. The nature of the crime should be newly redefined for we live in a high digital era in which Ponzi schemes, privacy violations, organizing digital mobs, rapid diffusions of information, betting, auction of stolen info, selling and buying by digital currencies, are all combined as a business at a large scale. If discovered, the same operation would be newly disguised as charitable activities for a temporary escape, or even with an assertion such as done to seek the interests of the United States by adjustments of all consequential and subsequent profits over criminals to be named societal benefactors. I’ve been in fact pondering upon the evolutional aspects of this sort of crime for some length of time. On a different occasion, I will develop my thoughts and publish.
In the end part in the column, Jamelle Bouie mentions, as a passing reference, John C Calhoun (1782 - 1850), renowned advocate for slavery, in order to note on Calhoun’s concurrent majority as different from that of David M. Potter (1910 - 1971), historian and author of “The South and Concurrent Majority”.
In my own note, it is worth to say more of Calhoun. In “A Disquisition on Government” (reprinted by Hackett; Indianapolis, IN; 1995), Calhoun elaborates his discussion of a good government and community *and* liberty and equality, which, for us, seems to be almost a joke but Calhoun was absolutely serious about those theses. As if a strict follower of Thomas Hobbes (1588 - 1679), his discourse begins with men who are by nature hostile to each other when interests are in conflicts while affectionate and sympathetic for their likeness (p. 5), thus the existence of government can resolve these two contradictory aspects of men (p. 5 onward). The vertu of concurrent majority is then brought on, in contradistinction to numerical majority, for the former is the basis of constitutional government, which only forms the unity of interests and such ought to be the functionality of a community alike, like, let me say, two in a relation such as a small picture to be a replica of the big picture in my paraphrase. Properties and rights have to be protected by the government and the government should not intervene individuals and voting rights are important. Calhoun says of the government as the whole while communities are parts and all parts are appropriate organs to the whole (p. 29). Then, Calhoun goes onto his view of *the natural state of men as essentially [incompatible to a society] **is hypothetical because men were made to be [societal] and political ***(p. 45). He also observes and insists equality [in an absolute sense] is not necessary because only in the unequal condition, [inferiors] desire to thrive and make efforts accordingly. As such, the theses continue to unfold. But where the slaves are in his view? My brief summary covers only pages 3 - 45 of the book, approximately 45 percent of the content of his disquisition. It is, however, safe to indicate that for Calhoun, slaves are governmental properties descending to communities in an organic sense of interests to share as a unity.
Notes added on 1/15/24: * Read as “the state of nature” instead of “the natural state of men”. ** “is hypothetical” is added for the clarity. *** The page number 45 is added for the reference.
In his column, Blow also mentioned the murder of James Byrd Jr in 1998. Byrd Jr was dragged by a pickup truck. I often thought about the reason for the cruelty of this much. The below-duplicated are my initial reply to Charles M Blow’s column, in a form of three consecutive tweets.
Replying to @CharlesMBlow
It was hard to read this column. I often thought about the reason for such cruelties. Hate, then more than hate. The acts done as cruelly as possible to reach a complete satisfaction for the feelings of, I'd say, superiority. 1/
10:38 AM · Apr 1, 2022
Replying to […] @ CharlesMBlow
This almost mechanically made boundary is a line between "I'm superior" and "you stay below me". Physical executions are the matter. Laws though cannot get into the inner world of selves. 2/
10:43 AM · Apr 1, 2022
Replying to […] @ CharlesMBlow
You quoted MLK. That's a side, but it should work and true. Today, the society is quite full of demagogic sophistications. With goodness and common goods as to be false justifications in front, all boundaries depriving freedom are in emphasis in force. Hate, then more than. 3/3
10:53 AM · Apr 1, 2022
Whether the killing of Gorge Floyd is a lynch or a hate crime or a homicide as an overact by an officer is an example. I say the killing as a lynch for the killer exhibited the act in public as an open punishment in the torture-execution while demonstrating his power.
William Du Bois (1818 - 1963)
The same principle for mob lynching is found: you should stay where you should be, otherwise we’ll punish you until our feelings reach the complete satisfaction.
What I meant differs much from cancel culture. See Note 2 above.