The L-Word Not Used [UPDATE-1]

[NB: Check the byline, thanks. Update at the bottom of this post. /~Rayne]

I wish MSNBC did a better job of getting their content up on YouTube; I really need a link to Nicolle Wallace’s interview of Morgan State University’s Dr. Jason Johnson and his reaction to testimony by Fulton County GA election worker Shaye Moss. (temporary link:

Before answering Wallace’s request for reaction, Johnson expressed concern about ‘performative Blackness’ — behaving as whites might expect of a Black American — but his fury was absolutely righteous.

Johnson acknowledged Shaye and her family should not have been subjected to the harassment unleashed on them by Donald Trump, but he went a bit further. He could identify with Moss’s grandmother as his own. This assault on the conduct of elections was personal.

Many of us are shocked, angry, dismayed by the harrying intimidation Moss and her mother and grandmother endured simply because Moss and her mother were election workers. Some of us have been moved to tears.

But what we’re missing is what Dr. Johnson avoided saying in his care to avoid offending white Americans with ‘performative Blackness’.

What was described by the testimony today was the mobilization of a lynch mob.

When watching or reading news coverage of today’s hearing, written, produced, and delivered by predominantly white Americans, listen closely for the generalization of terror. Election workers in multiple states were all subjected to harassment by angry protesters incited by Trump.

But Shaye Moss and her family endured another layer of terror — that of recognizing the horror aimed at Black Americans since the Civil War for having the temerity of exercising their rights as citizens, for supporting others’ right to vote.

As Johnson explained it, election officials — all of them white — were able to avail themselves of some security provided by the state due to their governmental roles.

But Moss and her mother and grandmother were only election workers, not officials.

They were on their own to work out how to protect themselves from the threat of mob violence over months’ time.

The white election officials will go on about their lives, perhaps facing the occasional in-your-face annoyance from Trumpers, but they won’t have to worry they’ll continue to be targets of violence.

Moss and her family know how lynch mobs work. Her visually obvious stress today may reflect this deep cultural knowledge unfamiliar to white Americans.

This is not to minimize the experience of officials like Rusty Bowers, whose daughter was not only seriously ill but likely mortally so as she passed away 22 days after January 6. It must have been horrifying to know his wife and daughter were subjected to harassment at such a critical time in their lives.

It must have horrifying to know one’s young teen was alone at home in the case of another election official, unable to predict how the protesters would act as time went on.

Neither, though, were targeted simply for being election workers who were Black in a white-minority county, doing their jobs while not having any authority to change anything about the election.

Hunted down and harassed by a mob because mother Ruby passed her daughter Shaye a mint. Fearful going forward, always looking over their shoulder, because they know these kinds of mobs and how they operate.

White pundits and reporters have and will discuss the terror Trump inflicted on election officials, but they’ve not yet mentioned the specific kind of terror Moss and her family experienced and continue to experience.

~ ~ ~

There’s another facet which surfaced as Moss testified and her mother’s testimony was streamed. Moss explained how she enjoyed serving her community’s exercise of the vote, in keeping with her grandmother’s teaching that the vote was critically important.

This was an expression of secular communion — ministering to the community especially those most in need of aid to participate.

Where Arizona’s Rusty Bowers explained his belief in a spiritual link between the nation’s founders and the drafting of the Constitution as well as his deep respect for that relationship, Moss expressed a link which was similar to that bond between members of faith communities. It is a vital thing which brings the community together regularly and unifies them in the act of perpetuating democracy.

The lynch mob Trump dispatched broke that link, severing Moss from that which her forebear impressed upon her.

This was a psychic and spiritual injury inflicted by Trump, his minions and mob, upon a Black American family and community.

Those of us who have been moved to tears at the loss Moss and her family experienced may not be able to articulate what this damage was because we have not been taught to value this social act of unification. For white Americans in particular this damage may not be perceived as lasting.

But it’s real and it was shredded by that racist entitled monster Trump.

~ ~ ~

This post may disturb community members here, most of whom are white. They may feel discomfort at the idea of a lynch mob incited by an American president when white election officials were also targeted by angry protesters (waiting for the hashtag NotAllElectionOfficials).

Don’t give into this discomfort. Do not be blind to role race plays when the GOP congressional caucus has obstructed voter rights protections, when states with GOP-led legislatures have failed to ensure voter suppression targeting BIPOC voters has ended.

Lynching isn’t always violent physical death or terror which diminishes Black Americans’ lives. Sometimes it’s the slow whittling away of their citizenship, one squelched civil rights bill at a time.

You want to make it up to Moss and her family and her community? Figure out how to fix this and ensure their full civil rights including the right to vote. The filibuster, for example, should never impede civil rights to which all Americans are entitled.

~ ~ ~

UPDATE-1 — 2:50 PM ET 22-JUN-2022 —

Susan A. Kitchens captured the entire segment on MSNBC’s Deadline with Nicolle Wallace, posting it in a Twitter thread. Dr. Jason Johnson’s remarks are a must-watch.

The attempt to overturn the 2020 election for the corrupt benefit of Donald J. Trump wasn’t just seditious conspiracy or obstruction of government proceedings, or conspiracy to defraud the United States.

It was a massive attack on civil rights by intimidation of election workers and officials in an effort to deny Americans their voting rights. This cannot go undeterred and unpunished; failure to do so represents a collapse of American democracy.

103 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Mark me, I’m setting my watch now. Tick-tock…

    ADDER — 7:08 PM ET — Joy Reid just said it, looked like a lynching party. Yeah. Black Americans recognize it for what it is and was.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      It’s certainly not about me, but I do wince at the clearly defined black/white borders. I commented before reading your post that anyone who did not think of lynching when watching this is unfamiliar with the history of the south. I’m white. I don’t think I’m that special. I don’t want to get into it, but I’ll just say that sometimes stressing the black/white divide discounts the power of empathy and imagination to bridge the gap between any peoples. Any. Peoples. Not to focus on this–the main thing is that I’m deeply appreciative of your post. It had to be said. Please read my comment below before responding to this.

  2. obsessed says:

    I wish MSNBC did a better job of getting their content up on YouTube; I really need a link to Nicolle Wallace’s interview of Morgan State University’s Dr. Jason Johnson and his reaction to testimony by Fulton County GA election worker Shaye Moss.

    These non-MSNBC links will only last for a few hours, but here’s the Jason Johnson/Nicolle Wallace interview. Feel free to delete it when you get the official one, which still isn’t up as of 4:12 PST.


    • Rayne says:

      Thanks much. Please keep me posted if you see the official one, I’m up to my elbows in fixings for dinner.

    • Krisy Gosney says:

      Thanks for this post. I’ve been angry all day about how these women were treated. I didn’t think of the lynch mob (now I am) but this stuck out at me and I’ve thought about it all day- these people tried to push their way into someone else’s home!! Strangers trying to push their way into another person’s home?!! (That’s called ‘home invasion.’) I cannot imagine these people would have done that to a white person’s home. It’s indecent, disrespectful, dangerous and disgusting.

      • Rayne says:

        What happened to Moss’s mother Ruby hasn’t yet been fully examined by the House J6 Committee in these hearings so far. It was more than home invasion using the kinds of threats Black Americans have heard through their history.

        That “loose end” bit is utterly chilling. Fulton County is still investigating this harassment and intimidation campaign; it’s not obvious who dispatched Kutti to intimidate Freeman or who paid for Kutti and her expenses.

        This is one more reason why Moss and her mother were stressed out yesterday; the non-physical lynching continues.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          I kept wondering why this was not made part of the presentation. The exploitation here (sending a Black woman to intimidate another Black woman with vague but scary threats and talk of “higher ups,” that nebulous term conjuring images of corrupt officialdom) happened on so many levels it’s still head-spinning.

        • Rayne says:

          I suspect the House J6 Committee didn’t want to affect the Fulton County investigation.

          Somebody inside Team Trump understood how Black community works, sending someone who is Black who appears to have been sent (possessing some authority) to intimidate them into compliance. It’s a particularly gutting form of betrayal.

        • Krisy Gosney says:

          I read an article about this intimidation event of Freeman back when it first was being reported. The task was being discussed with Kanye West and IIRC it was Kutti who volunteered to do it with her reasoning being that she, Kutti, knew the black community and that she felt Freeman would be more responsive to another member of the black community. (I used the term ‘home invasion’ to highlight the seriousness of what happened and separate it from what was being referred to as a ‘citizen’s arrest’ attempted. People get murdered in home invasions.)

  3. wetzel says:

    Thank you for this post, Rayne. I had not heard news before today’s testimony that a group of men had invaded Moss’ grandmother’s home looking for Moss and her mother for a ‘citizens’ arrest’. There is a form of defense mechanism in not thinking things through. It is cowardly. What if Moss and her mother had been there on that day? Maybe those people who came to her grandmother’s house didn’t have a lynch. The lynch is really a folk death mechanism. Maybe if things keep getting worse, this kind of group that came to Moss’ grandmother’s home is what we will all refer back to some day an ‘AR-15 mob’ or a ‘zip-ties and duct-tape bunch’. That was an actual lynch mob, meaning ‘lynch mob’ is the only term we have in English to describe that type of group that came to Moss’ grandmother’s house.

    • Rayne says:

      I’m mean this in the nicest way possible but fuck all the way off with that wypipo-denialism-by-definition crap.

      Moss and her mother are dead to their society when they are denied the right to fully participate. It pains them every goddamn day. It could have been worse, but Jesus Christ nobody needs that pointed out when it’s bad enough.

      It was still a goddamned lynch mob.

      • Rugger9 says:

        I’d say it’s worse than a lynch mob because it’s a continuation of the white supremacist program to keep non-whites in their place as they see it. That’s why the voter suppression, the open season on people of color especially black folks, and the relentless effort to make sure people of color never come out on top no matter what the topic is are faces of the same box. That is the true tie that binds the GOP these days

        That people like Kanye (by whatever name he’s using this week), Candace Owens, Larry Elder, etc. support this crap mystifies me. Don’t they understand that ‘open carry’ applies to the MAGA militias only according to the ones with the guns? Lots of evidence proves the point, so I’m supporting Rayne on this. She’s right to be furious.

        The GQP needs to be pilloried every damn interview for the racist dipshits they continue to be until they stop for a whole year.

      • wetzel says:

        What I said is exactly the opposite of how it came across. I am not a good enough writer to make the point I was trying to make. Maybe white people will learn soon enough what it is like to live under terror, too. Gain the cultural knowledge. Not having the schemas, we look away. Was it a lynch mob that planned to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer? Was Greitens leading a lynchmob in his video? We can’t describe what happening. The only Americans who have cultural knowledge of terror are black Americans.

        • Rayne says:

          Stop. When you start playing around with the whatabouts, you dilute the point to the benefit of oppressors.

          ONLY those Black American election workers were subjected to a lynch mob. That’s it. Don’t whatabout any other person or thing.

        • Another dude from G-ville says:

          Might want to re-read the post. It clearly says “‘lynch mob’ is the only term we have in English to describe that type of group that came to Moss’ grandmother’s house.”

        • Rayne says:

          No. You need to stop enabling the whataboutism that follows which de-centers the experience of Black American women Moss and Freeman.

      • icelanterns says:

        I’ve been using “Criminal enterprise masquerading as a human being” but “racist entitled monster Trump” says it a lot better

    • Krisy Gosney says:

      Georgia’s original ‘citizen’s arrest’ statute was passed in 1863 during the Civil War era and has direct ties to slavery. Two years ago in Georgia, Ahmaud Avery was chased down by three white men and murdered in the street because of the white men’s suspicion that Avery had committed some burglaries in their neighborhood. They claimed they just wanted to do a ‘citizen’s arrest’ but Avery didn’t comply. A group of white people in Georgia tried to push their way into a black person’s home in order to enact their idea of justice. That’s a lynch mob.

      • Rugger9 says:

        What was helpful to prosecute (after several local departments declined to do anything) was that the Arbery murderers had made this killing into a video about how to conduct a ‘citizen’s arrest’. That video made it harder to ignore the crime any longer.

        • Krisy Gosney says:

          Wow. And they almost got away with it too. I’m a white person in California and I was chilled by Avery’s murder. I can only imagine how Freeman and her family, living in Georgia, thought about Avery’s murder and the fact his killers were protected by law enforcement and then now a lynch mob is at their door seeking a ‘citizen’s arrest.’ My god.

  4. TimB says:

    Thank you for this spot-on post, Rayne.

    I am an old, Virginia-born white guy, but my Carolina-born mother raised me to know exactly what “be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920” was supposed to mean and to have moral clarity on why racially laden threats of violence are awful.

    These scum! Mrs. Clinton was far too kind when she called them “deplorables.” Scumbags.

    • Marc In Denver says:

      My mom’s home church is Dexter Avenue Baptist in Montgomery, and my grandmother was one of the firebrands that pushed the bus boycott, and that is exactly what I heard when I heard that phrase.

  5. MB says:

    If you have a Roku box for streaming, the NBC News app has an MSNBC sub-section and clips from the daily shows are always posted earlier and are more numerous than on YouTube.

  6. Commentmonger says:

    Great post. These people need to be called out forcefully about what they are doing to destroy the country. If we don’t stand up now,, it will take much more later.

  7. Peterr says:

    Lynching was and is a crime of terror. The point is not only to mete out some twisted kind of revenge on an uppity black who was accused of doing something uppity, but also as a warning to every other person of color in the community. “Don’t be stepping out of your lane, don’t be getting airs about being better than you are, and don’t your dare contradict The Powers That Be around here.”

    Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss may still be breathing, but make no mistake: they were greeted and hounded by a lynch mob, sicced on them by Trump and his thugs. Attempting a lynching may not send quite the message of actually lynching someone, but it comes damn close.

    • Rayne says:

      That not-so-subtle warning to Black Americans really worries me. I hope like hell the current AG ensures there’s ample protection against voter AND election worker intimidation this November. I fear for what happens in 2024 if we can’t muster enough voters to retain the House and Senate.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I hope Garland and Monaco are staffing up. 2022 will be ugly, 2024 uglier and more dangerous still.

        • Peterr says:

          I’ve been watching the MSNBC recap of the day, and was really struck by Shaye Moss telling Adam Schiff that almost everyone from her elections unit has retired or quit. The head of elections for Fulton County now has a helluva job trying to rebuild a functioning elections unit simply from the standpoint of replacing the institutional knowledge of the job that is gone, on top of the task of rebuilding any kind of staff morale.

          Terror is the point, and the mob accomplished that task quite well.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          And rebuilding an election team that has some commitment to apolitical behavior in their work is going to be very difficult. How can he trust people who apply for the job ?

          How many well intentioned older black women are going to sign up in light of the emotional lynching, and nearly physical lynching, of Shaye Moss and Lady Ruby ?

        • Peterr says:

          Don’t know about your first question, but as for the second . . .

          In my head, I see a whole bunch of older black church women wearing their best church hats lining up and saying “You are NOT going to get rid of us that easily.” There is more steel in the backbones of these mothers of the black church than there is in an aircraft carrier, and woe be unto anyone who pisses them off.

          I don’t know any African American pastors in Georgia, but I know a fair number elsewhere. I can tell you that Shaye Moss and Lady Ruby will be mentioned in every sermon in every African American church this Sunday, because every one of those pastors has Lady Ruby’s sisters and Shaye Moss’ sisters sitting in their pews.

        • rip says:

          Peterr – your phrase “There is more steel in the backbones of these mothers of the black church than there is in an aircraft carrier,” is straight on.

          These mothers, these patriots that want to be helping the democratic process are the backbone. These are the same people that allowed the US to enter WW-II and defeat other fascist regimes.

          I’d warn the wimpy white-assed critters that think they can do “brooks-brothers” shindigs to not cross the real patriots. It might have been easy during the Florida 2000 recount. It was less easy during the 2016 trump coronation (with RU’s help), it failed in 2020 and their pissant weaknesses are exposed.

          We still need to gird our loins (or whatever) to fight them from now to 2024 – or eternity.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          MSNBC just interviewed Jocelyn Benson, Secty. of State for Michigan, saying the same thing, states are having trouble finding people to serve in elections given the potential for threats. She said the slots will be filled by people who are ready and willing to do whatever so their candidate wins.

        • civil says:

          I just signed up to be an election worker for the first time. I’m definitely not “ready and willing to do whatever so [my] candidate wins.” For those of you whose schedules are flexible enough to make it feasible, consider checking whether your county needs workers.

        • Jim O'Neill says:

          Well done, Civil. I did too. Had been considering doing so for awhile. What Shaye and her dear Mom experienced set me on fire to actually do it.

          Wayne County, Michigan

        • Marinela Selseth says:

          Would like to do it as well in the upcoming election. Found a link as election judge. Is this the same as election worker?
          Thank you for reminder.

        • bmaz says:

          It is not the same necessarily depending on your state law. Call your local precinct office/chairperson. They are looking for people like you and will guide you through.

        • Rugger9 says:

          In an answer to the first question I will observe that the GQP is making a serious effort to install their moles into the elections machinery after scaring off the rest of the citizens.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        I pray that Shaye Moss’s piercing testimony will inspire all of us who are able to assume the roles that she and her mother were driven to abandon. This–the suppression of nonpartisan election work and workers–is the terrorists’ most fundamental goal.

        The J6 committee appears to be engaged behind the curtain in a complex strategy of imaging jujitsu. Rusty Bowers made a great witness by adding GOP/faith-based cred to their cause, but he would vote again for the man who put his “strong” but “quiet” wife in the position of defending their dying daughter. I can’t decode his values, but I value his honor code–at the least, he was willing to testify on TV knowing what it might cost.

        The Mosses did face lynch mobs and may again. That’s what we are for–e.g., for Rayne to call it by its name. Jason Johnson served as my rage translator yesterday, and FWIW I believe his colleagues heard him. This is a group effort, and everyone’s moving at their own pace.

  8. Tones says:

    Thanks for all you do here, I rely on this site lately.
    I did not see any mention of if there is any legal issue related to a president going on tv and literally accusing this woman of being “professional vote stealers” or however it was phrased – can she not sue him for this?

    He literally accused her of being a criminal on tv and essentially ruined her life and reputation – if anything is libel or slander wouldn’t this meet that requirement?

    I know there are other civil cases against him, but this seems like a legit case of “he said this and now my reputation, life and job are forfeit” [?] and was also utterly false..

  9. Badger Robert says:

    Good post. In Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, I don’t think there is any other way to look at it. It seemed to be Chairman Thompson’s intent.

  10. Flatulus says:

    Let’s not forget the incident involving Kanye West’s former publicist’ intimidation of the same woman.

  11. Dr. Pablito says:

    A vital post. Schiff downplayed the “racial” component by asking if some of the threats had been “racial,” but knowledgeable people could read between the lines there, and they are lines of allowed discourse, lines drawn across American culture and history. It really doesn’t take much work or empathy for white Americans to understand this stuff: just a willingness to see it and not look away. Black women today for the win.

  12. Doctor My Eyes says:

    Thanks so much for this, Rayne! I’m so glad to read this being said outright and plainly. I hope it’s okay for me too repeat my comment from the J6 thread.

    I’m stunned by what I just watched. Perhaps it’s not as much evidence to convict people, but that hearing certainly struck at the heart of what this is all about. The current state of our democracy and the meaning and motivation of the assaults we are seeing were summed up by Shaye Moss as she explained that her ancestors did not have the right to vote, that she was always taught to exercise and treasure her right to be represented, and that now she has been threatened into no longer participating enthusiastically in the election process. The word “lynching” is too often used lightly, but anyone who can hear that and not think about lynching as a former tool to keep black voters away from the polls is not tuned in to the history of the south. In fact, Ms. Moss mentioned a message saying she was lucky it’s not 1920. This was a direct reference to lynching. A devastating day at the hearings and a sobering day for America. This is where we are.

    I’m white, but I was never blind to the racism around me. How could anyone not think of lynching today? I was deeply affected by this testimony–it brought into sharp focus my life experience with the progress around racism and the increasingly virulent resistance to that progress. I think as much as anyone or anything, Shaye Moss embodies the heart of the battle going on in the US today.

    Thanks again for saying this. I’m still trying to get my feet back on the ground.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      And thanks for hinting at something I was trying to figure out how to express: that an awareness of lynching pulses through the blood of African Americans in a way that is not obvious on the outside and may even be largely unconscious. In the same way that the effects of wars ripple down through the generations, so do the effects of lynching. I also appreciate the mention of community, which highlights that Ms. Moss and her mother are not the only people who will be affected on a primal level by these events. i appreciate the difficulty of finding the words to express these highly personal, deeply ingrained, deeply painful aspects of the affects of these gangsters.

      Despite the airing of truths and the touching decency of two beautiful women, today was not a day of triumph. This was an unusually stark view of what the fascists hope to accomplish and the methods they use. Despite today, by all appearances they are succeeding in frightening decent people away from civil service at the local and state level.

      Forgive me if I’ve gone on too long today. I think I am experiencing some secondary trauma. And there is a feeling that one of my most cherished life-long causes may be vanishing before our eyes, as though the civil rights movement never even happened. Going back is unthinkable.

    • Bardi says:

      As a white boy, I was assigned to Texas in the early 70’s. In town, nearly every person used the “n” word every other sentence. After a while, I realized they did not even think about their usage.
      I could easily think that a lynching could occur with just as little thought.

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        Did you ever hear, “The only thing worse than a n***** is a n***** lover?” That was said by the local police to each other in my presence, obviously directing the remark at me. Scared the crap out of me at 14, and that was only a minor taste of the level of fear we’re talking about.

        • Dr. Pablito says:

          Heard. And in my case, it made it very clear to me that there were, broadly speaking, two sides in American political history: the side of sensible, compassionate people, and whatever the fuck those scumbags were talking about. Be thankful for those moments of moral clarity, which some people do not achieve in their whole worthless lives.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          My father was white. When we lived in NC the air around our family buzzed with that epithet. As the oldest child, I was the only one yet in school, where they couldn’t decide which to call me since I was visibly “n” and implicitly (because of my mother) “n-lover.” (They had no idea of the actual dynamics of our family, but of course that’s at the heart of it: we had no identity as individual persons–except for our father–only as members of a group they had been raised to fear and thus despise.)

      • Tippi’s G says:

        I agree. I’m a white boy also who was moved to Texas in the late 60s because my dad was in the oil business and Houston was the Mecca.

        I’m currently a small construction contractor in a medium sized city and on the surface I fit the opposite stereotype from what I am. Local people often assume that because of my skin color and profession and ball cap I agree with their toxic views, so on rare occasions they share with me their deepest and darkest racial angst.

        Believe me, if some of them thought they could get away with a lynching they would do it in a heartbeat.

      • Deni says:

        In parts of Texas, not much has changed since the ‘70s. The spouse visited family in Jacksonville, TX in April and that was normal…for his family. The good news is he doesn’t want to move from Oregon to Texas any longer!!!

  13. ptayb says:

    I can imagine Rudy and his gang going over all the tape they could find looking for something to hang a narrative on with never a thought to what it might mean to these two women only how it might play out to spread his lies.

  14. P J Evans says:

    My youngest nephew is working in Atlanta, and I worry for him. Because he’s black and from Africa. (He should be getting sworn in as a citizen this summer. Fnially.)

    • Rayne says:

      It’s a mixed bag, P J. Atlanta is a minority-majority city inside a minority-majority county; Fulton County has diverse government reflecting its constituency. He’ll be safer in Atlanta than other parts of the south and if he’s lived there a while now, he’s been told about the locations he should avoid.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        I haven’t visited Atlanta in years, but I remember feeling much safer there than in any other southern city I know. In Charlotte most locals kept their distance; in Nashville the warmth could feel forced; but in Atlanta folks seemed mostly settled in to “diversity” as daily life.

    • Rayne says:

      Yeah. That. As a well-known southern white male author once wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

  15. Randy Baker says:

    It is nauseating, but of course not surprising, Georgia officialdom left these exemplary women to deal with this racist savagery on their own. Perhaps some of the well heeled D’s, like Bloomberg, a man in need of redemption, might be shamed into forking up the $ that could mitigate at least some of the injury these women have suffered.

  16. grennan says:

    In his June 10 post, Esquire’s Charlie Pierce said that Bennie Thompson quietly and convincingly related the lynching history of Mississippi to the mob violence of 1/06.

    “Political violence” in this country is almost a euphemism for lynching. Since before the Civil War, virtually all of it has been connected to racism.

    The only reason for a 21st century president to be attached to the names of Confederate generals on forts is to appeal to racist supporters.

    We also have 20th and 21st century tools that are variants of lynching:

    Psychological. Can any white parent imagine worrying years ahead of time about your son getting a drivers license? We gaslight, or try to, a LOT.

    Medically: When every factor but race is regressed out– income, geography, etc. — Black mothers and newborns have much greater mortality that white ones. Black patients are also disproportionately undermedicated for pain.

    Retroactively: hundreds of thousands of comments on news sites and other fora tried to justify or mitigate George Floyd’s murder, as did the disgraceful defense counsel of one of the Arbury killers (“dirty bare feet…”)

    Cops and courts: Much of our criminal justice system and most of our policing is a tacit form of racial control. Cops are allowed to lie except on oath (and very recently, to Illinois juveniles), so pretext stops don’t need much of one.

    I can only imagine how horrible it would be to have 45 angry Trump cultists confront me anywhere, let alone break in.

      • grennan says:

        Most people don’t know that cops are allowed to lie. My opinion, which bmaz might think naive, is that one of the most powerful ways the criminal justice system could be reformed is also the cheapest: eliminate police lies.

        Cops consider lying a tool and would be most reluctant to give it up. But police lies hurt everybody else and waste a lot of resources.

        Making it a fireable offense for them to lie — or tolerate another cop’s lie — would be one way to approach it on a force by force basis. Probably easier than changing laws.

        Either way, it would probably put an end to pretext stops; improve community relations, especially in high crime areas; reduce the dangerous militarization/special ops mindset of too many police forces that encourages “them vs. us”, with ‘us’ being everybody else.

        In effect, some of our communities have contracted out mob/vigilante ‘justice’ to their police forces.

  17. arbusto says:

    Billie Holiday, Strange Fruit. How that song has haunted me for so many years, how it affected Billie, how far we’ve come.

  18. d4v1d says:

    A breakthrough insight illuminating a feature outside my own life experience – and the reason I no longer need to read the byline because I’m looking for it. I listened on ‘radio’ and what I heard through the audio was New York City mobsters leaning on (white ‘country’) southerners who seemed to take righteous umbrage, and the B-movie monologue was itself rather sickening. The lynching dimension is exponential. Until Raffensberger lifts a finger to protect these good people, he remains well outside my hall of heroes – he may like it the way it is.

    I hope somewhere in the basements of federal crime agencies, repurposed bitcoin servers are grinding away in order to decrypt, geolocate, and (please God) arrest the scum of America threatening our decent and honest public servants. I don’t think razorwire around Maralago is by itself going to get it done.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      I heard NYC mob bosses too, but more like wannabes: Rudy emulating those he had prosecuted and Trump cosplaying. Add the power of the presidency and these two pathetic losers become successful terrorists. Nothing else.

  19. Bay State Librul says:

    “To survive law school, you’ve got to be able to handle the language and not be fearful of the language or the act of writing, and a lot of people are. But by the time you finish law school, you’ve written so much. And then your first years as a lawyer, you realize how much you have to write.”

    John Grisham has a point.

    Words matter like lynching, treasonous, and sedition.

    Trump and his cement heads have hurled a wrecking ball against democracy.

    For fucks sake, Merrick, indict now and get it over with.

  20. Jan says:

    “USB drives” full of votes, “as if they were vials of heroin or cocaine”. Guliani

    • P J Evans says:

      It sounds like he has a lot of experience with vials full of drugs, and not much at all with thumbdrives.

    • grennan says:

      Just pulling word clusters from his 1980s/90s brain to apply randomly to Black people.Sort of like his inner Frank Luntz road-testing phrases to see which yanks potential GOP voters’ chains the most.

  21. Jenny says:

    Thank you Rayne.
    Trump and Guiliani scammers and hustlers, exploiters of humanity.

    Trump on phone with Raffensperger: “We had at least 18,000, that’s on tape, we had them counted very painstakingly, 18,000 voters having to do with Ruby Freeman, she’s a vote scammer, professional vote scammer and hustler.”

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks for a link to your thread, Susan. Johnson’s remarks were so powerful and important.

  22. rip says:

    Anybody else find it interesting that the FBI advised Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman to leave their home prior to Jan 6 because of possible violence?

    If the FBI knew about this wouldn’t they be working with local LEO to control the mob? By control, I mean arrest and charge those committing illegal acts.

    Or is the FBI possibly subtly part of the intimidation? “You folks need to get out of town because people don’t like you.”

    Or is it just the reality that our federal government can’t really enforce its own laws?

  23. janinsanfran says:

    I’m very late to this but had to throw a few words in. I spent the month of December 2020 making calls into Georgia voters for the Senate run-off. Most of these folks were old, and older, black voters. It wasn’t that we had to urge them to vote; that was a given. Our effort was to encourage them to rally their younger relatives and extended families to also do the citizen thing. Voting for these folks was indeed spiritual communion. And they were generously willing to tell callers from across the country who were willing to listen to their stories of taking families to vote. They were inspiring.

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