I find that I do not like the all-too-casual use of certain words.
During the presidency of Barack Obama, we have heard the words “Nazi,” “communist,” “fascist” and “socialist” used loosely to describe what him and his administration.
And now, this week, we hear the word “lynching” being applied to the debacle that Herman Cain finds himself in.
I am offended.
I was especially offended when Ann Coulter used the word. This woman seems to have no compassion for anything or anyone whom she deems as “Liberal.” But she has no right, as a privileged and bigoted white woman, to use the term “lynching.
What is going on with Herman Cain is politics, pure and simple. Politicians make it an art form to destroy each other on their quest for power. Unlike Coulter, I doubt that the “leak” of Cain’s supposed acts of sexual harassment came from Liberals. I would put money on the leak having come from some frantic Conservative who cannot believe Mr. Cain has moved up as quickly as he has.
But is this a lynching? Do people who use that word know what a lynching was? It was an act of American terrorism, pure and simple, performed primarily on black men by white people who could lynch with impunity, with no fear of reprisal from any level of government.
Fourteen year old Emmett Till was lynched – pulled from his bed in the home of a relative and taken out by white men, who beat him and gouged out one of his eyes before they threw himn in the Tallahatchie River, weighing his body down with a 70 pound cotton gin. Why? Because he reportedly whistled at a white woman.
Sam Hose was lynched, for killing the person for whom he worked in self defense. His owner hadn’t paid him in a year, but Hose wanted some of that owed money and time off in order to go see his ailing mother. His owner – Alfred Crandford – refused. The two got into an argument the next day. Crandford drew a gun on Hose and Hose threw an ax he had in his hand and hit Crandford, killing him. Crandford’s wife later said that Hose had raped her while her husband lay dying. A mob went after Hose and found him …and lynched him…taking the skin off his face after cutting off his ears, fingers and genitals. He was doused with kerosene and set afire, hanging from a tree, while about 2,000 white onlookers watched. Parts of his body, including parts of his heart, liver, kidneys and knuckles – were sold. People defended their action, saying it was necessary in order to protect white women.
So, when someone like Coulter says that Cain is being lynched, my spirit recoils. For Cain himself to even allow that terminology to be used speaks volumes. Cain is going through what any and all politicians risk when they enter the ring. The object of politics, or political campaigns, is to win. Opponents will look for, find and use whatever they can to destroy their opponent. It comes with the territory.
Mr. Cain has stayed away from “the race card” until now, and for him to allow use of this term, “lynching,” is troubling. Now he wants to stand on the fact that he is a black man in America. But guess what? This sexual harassment charge has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with him being a man. Men have been known to sexually harass women, or their actions have been known to be interpreted as such.
He would have come off better owning up to whatever he did, putting it all “out there,” and moving on.
That he didn’t, and resorted to using a word that represents so much pain, injustice and ugliness in American history, is a sad commentary indeed.
A candid observation …