Let’s Be Honest About Who Did What and Why

by Rachel Baker on February 11, 2015

I saw the NY Times article yesterday about lynching of black people in our country, by white people in our country, in the South, between 1877 and 1950. It was a powerful article and if you haven’t read it…well, you really should.

Along with the people in the article below, I, too, noticed the lack of the word “white” and if it was used, when it was used. I don’t know if the NY Times will edit the article to include the word “white” in the context of who did the lynching, but I think this is an example of exactly the problem in this country in regards to the racial conversation.

There are things in our country’s past that are ugly and disgusting and whole segments of the population refuse to discuss. We have to be able to say, “yes, my white ancestors probably did some truly shitty and despicable things and for that I’m deeply sorry. And. I recognize you are still suffering for the awfulness of my ancestors’ generation.” And I don’t care if you are white, black, yellow, brown, or green. Until we can show compassion to our fellow citizens, it doesn’t matter what articles the NY Times posts or what memorials a group wants to put up. We have to be able to talk about these things, and we have to be able to talk about them in our neighborhoods and our churches and our schools. And for some reason, as evidenced by the NYT’s article, we can’t really talk about these things yet…not honestly enough to say white people lynched black people. Instead, we are still saying black people were lynched for their treatment of white women and kids…the systemic racism is just as disgusting as the act it was trying to describe.

Here’s the Article: The NYT wrote about lynching by white people without using the word “white”

The New York Times’ coverage of a new report on lynching in American history in a piece published today failed to mention the race of the people who were responsible for these acts.

The report, released by the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, chronicles in painstaking detail, the “racial terror lynchings” of black people by white people that took place the South between 1877 and 1950.

But when it comes to those details, the Times’ coverage leaves out one key word: “white” — and readers have noticed.

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to follow on Twitter.

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