Of National Lies and Racial America
By TIM WISE
... Whites refuse to remember (or perhaps have never learned) that which black folks cannot afford to forget. I've seen white people stunned to the point of paralysis when they learn the truth about lynchings in this country--when they discover that such events were not just a couple of good old boys with a truck and a rope hauling some black guy out to the tree, hanging him, and letting him swing there. They were never told the truth: that lynchings were often community events, advertised in papers as "Negro Barbecues," involving hundreds or even thousands of whites, who would join in the fun, eat chicken salad and drink sweet tea, all while the black victims of their depravity were being hung, then shot, then burned, and then having their body parts cut off, to be handed out to onlookers. They are stunned to learn that postcards of the events were traded as souvenirs, and that very few whites, including members of their own families did or said anything to stop it.
Unfortunately, it's a subject that makes us all uncomfortable. Most level headed people today, black and white, can't comprehend the horrors of living in those times. So I'm glad the Rev. Wright conversation is being had now. Though what will come of it, no one knows.
I do know that there were good people in those days who knew it was wrong but were afraid. If we can learn anything from that is to not be afraid -- even when the masses call us un-patriotic or un-American. So many talking heads are fuming that Rev. Wright is un-American. This quote sums it up: