Sherrod’s Clearly Lying

The American Spectator says that Shirley Sherrod lied when she said that her relative, Bobby Hall, was lynched. According to the Supreme Court summary of the case, quoted by the Spectator’s Jeremy Lord, here’s what happened:

Hall, a young negro about thirty years of age, was handcuffed and taken by car to the courthouse. As Hall alighted from the car at the courthouse square, the three petitioners began beating him with their fists and with a solid-bar blackjack about eight inches long and weighing two pounds. They claimed Hall had reached for a gun and had used insulting language as he alighted from the car. But after Hall, still handcuffed, had been knocked to the ground, they continued to beat him from fifteen to thirty minutes until he was unconscious. Hall was then dragged feet first through the courthouse yard into the jail and thrown upon the floor, dying.

The cornerstone of Lord’s piece is the simple assertion that this was not a lynching. In Lord’s words, “it never happened”. Also, too: she didn’t mention that Hugo Black, a “New Deal justice” was the swing vote in the 1945 vote overturning the conviction of the three killers, and he was a Democrat and in the KKK.

I’m so disgusted by this that I have no clever tagline.

(via Matt Yglesias)






93 replies
  1. 1
    Cacti says:

    The American Spectator is the lowest of the low for right wing mags.

    Nothing that comes from them surprises me.

  2. 2
    valdivia says:

    Thank you for showcasing this. I read Sewer’s post about it and felt my head explode. Are these people for real? Srsly?

  3. 3
    Lupin says:

    If you don’t want to throw up, avoid the Comments section on that Spectator article.

    The country should be fumigated.

  4. 4
    MTiffany says:

    I’m so disgusted by this that I have no clever tagline.

    Shorter Jeremy Lord: “Our racists are better than their racists because ours don’t lie.””

  5. 5
    Svensker says:

    But liberals are the real racists!

    When Obama was running and then elected, I was so scared that one of these nitwits was going to assassinate him. But what didn’t occur to me back then — tho it should have — was all the latent racism that would just keep bubbling out and how so many right wingers would go completely insane because of it.

  6. 6
    Gromit says:

    I’m dumbfounded by the AS piece. Are they really arguing that it’s not a lynching if the victim is beaten to death and not hanged?

  7. 7
    RobNYNY1957 says:

    A lynching doesn’t have to be a hanging.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/lynching

    lynch (lnch)
    tr.v. lynched, lynch·ing, lynch·es
    To punish (a person) without legal process or authority, especially by hanging, for a perceived offense or as an act of bigotry.

    Sounds like a lynching to me. It’s a mental disorder to declare what happened to Hall is not a lynching.

  8. 8
    Keith says:

    @Lupin:

    Yeah, as an example, someone mentions (correctly), that lynching is not, by definition, a hanging, yet someone else actually replied:

    Regardless of the dictionary’s definition, English is considered the most nuanced of languages because each word has a specific, unique meaning giving context and emotion to any written or spoken idea or statement. I don’t need a dictionary to instruct me on the accepted meaning of the word “lynching.”

    Uh, yeah, this person *does* apparently need a dictionary.

  9. 9
    Bnut says:

    I bet he preferred being pummeled with fists and a blackjack to hanging…What a bunch of angry fucking people.

  10. 10

    The vilest scum of the earth

  11. 11
    brantl says:

    lynch:
    –verb (used with object)
    to put to death, esp. by hanging, by mob action and without legal authority.

    They’re wrong, they think it MUST require hanging, which is disingenous of them, at best, deliberate lying at worst. I had thought that it REQUIRED HANGING, it doesn’t.

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    @Lupin: Yeah, I read through the comments. Amazing. To quote Adam Serwer at The American Prospect, “Finally, how many times are conservatives going to try and smear this woman before some sense of shame or decency kicks in? “. I’m going to go with “several, until some other shiny object attracts their attention.”

    dms

  13. 13
    El Cid says:

    Look, how many more years have to pass before the liberal left anti-white racists will stop smearing the history of Southern segregationist mobs murdering African Americans? Not every extralegal beating and shooting and murder is a lynching, sometimes because nobody had rope and maybe there wasn’t a good tree around.

    I think Obama should apologize immediately to Nathan Bedford Forrest.

  14. 14
    jrg says:

    So, a beating to death is totally not a lynching… But HCR proved that Obama was just like Hitler!

    The American Spectator is the jew of liberal facism!

  15. 15
    Gromit says:

    Wait, I get it now. Beating a handcuffed man and leaving him in a cell to die of his injuries is “enhanced interrogation”.

  16. 16
    Svensker says:

    @Gromit:

    Yes. Because that shows that she was LYING, and therefore a typical lefty niggrah victim commie piece of trash, just like they suspected, and any sympathy they may have had for her can now be expunged completely from what is left of their diseased brains.

  17. 17
    rootless_e says:

    Lynching only applies to egregious acts of mob violence – like when “Justice” Thomas was asked questions during his hearing.

    An ordinary guy being beaten to death hardly rises to that level.

  18. 18

    Setting aside that people who write for the American Spectator don’t own dictionaries or have access to Google…

    What kind of person nitpicks word choice when talking about someone who was beaten to death by a mob? In what world does that score you debating points?

  19. 19
    ricky says:

    @Keith:

    You could give him a dictionary and he would probably still be all wee wee’d up about it.

  20. 20
    El Cid says:

    @jrg: And, really, Hitler didn’t hang a lot of Jews with ropes, either. (Unless he did, but I won’t look it up, so as to embiggen my point.)

  21. 21
    El Cid says:

    @rootless_e: Microphones count as electronic ropes.

  22. 22
    The Moar You Know says:

    Clearly somewhere along the way I have failed to learn the meaning of the word “lynching”; this would have struck me as a perfect example.

  23. 23
    MattF says:

    They keep trying to turn Sherrod into a new Willie-Horton-scary-colored-you-know-what, but… facts just keep getting in the way. Tsk.

  24. 24
    Violet says:

    @ricky:

    You could give him a dictionary and he would probably still be all wee wee’d up about it.

    Nah, he’d just refudiate it.

  25. 25
    RobNYNY1957 says:

    Where were all of these people so intent on a strict definition when Justice Thomas referred to his Senate confirmation hearings as a “lynching”? I bet Hall would rather have faced tough questioning than being beaten with a tire iron.

  26. 26
    El Cid says:

    @RobNYNY1957:

    I bet Hall would rather have faced tough questioning than being beaten with a tire iron.

    It’s racist libruls like you who deny the agency of black men. How do you know Hall would have preferred a microphone stuck in his face to a metal rod smashing his skull? You people need to stop making your elitist decisions for other people.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    4tehlulz says:

    @El Cid: They all died of cholera. An engineer told me so, so it must be true.

  29. 29
    El Cid says:

    @4tehlulz: OMG — how has this truth been so long repressed by the librul jew-run medja?

  30. 30
    Violet says:

    E. J. Dionne is shrill.

    The mainstream media and the Obama administration must stop cowering before a right wing that has persistently forced its propaganda to be accepted as news by convincing traditional journalists that “fairness” requires treating extremist rants as “one side of the story.” And there can be no more shilly-shallying about the fact that racial backlash politics is becoming an important component of the campaign against President Obama and against progressives in this year’s election.

    More of this please.

  31. 31
    Dave says:

    Is anything more indicative of how bankrupt the conservative philosophy has become than this article? A man is actually playing semantics with a murder based on race to try and slur someone based on race so that conservatives can’t be called on their racism.

    The mind boggles…

  32. 32
    jomo says:

    The comments in the AS string are fascinating and lively – much more than you ever see from a typical Politico post. A bunch of the commenters are horrified that their own side would stoop to a technicality about what consitutes lynching to attack her.

  33. 33
    BC says:

    Well, you liberals are the biggest racists because you used the Great Society programs to make the blacks dependent on the government and then you make them vote for you so they can continue to receive the benefits (snark).

    I would like for us to start the meme that the Sherrod story really highlights how the Reagan USDA discriminated against black farmers in the South. The Pigford suit “claimed that the agency had discriminated against black farmers on the basis of race and failed to investigate or properly respond to complaints from 1983 to 1997”; i.e., it started during Reagan administration. (Okay, I know that the FDR programs didn’t apply to the black farmers either, but I don’t see the need to highlight that if I just want to smear Reagan and the current crop of GOP, do I?) Or we could just look at this as a justice issue and acknowledge that poor black and poor white farmers have been shafted by USDA, an agency that was established to specifically help them, and recognize that as the background for Vilsack’s actions against Ms. Sherrod in the first place. Naw, that wouldn’t move anyone’s windows.

  34. 34
    RobNYNY1957 says:

    Joe from Lowell has an excellent comment over at the American Spectator site that links to this:

    http://www.trumanlibrary.org/c.....ts2.htm#20

    It’s a 1940’s report on lynching that includes many killings other than hangings.

  35. 35
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Keith:

    Uh, yeah, this person does apparently need a dictionary.

    What do you want to bet that this same person was quite happy to describe the so-called attack on Israeli commandos by the activists on the Mavi Marmara as a “lynching”, and not a rope in sight.

  36. 36
    El Cid says:

    @RobNYNY1957: This is what you libruls can’t understand — the 20th century was, like, millions of years ago. Ordinary people can’t be expected to believe there are these magic ancient ‘documents’ which tells us how things were in some bygone age.

    Who do you expect real people to believe — your fancy prehistoric ‘writing’ and ‘records’ or the colorful loud faces they see every day on FOXNOOZ?

  37. 37

    These are the same cretins who argue that racism ONLY = Guys in white hoods and robes and setting fire to a cross.

    Not at all surprising.

    Suggested snarky title: American Spectator Bears Strange Fruit.

  38. 38
    El Cid says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: It was a boat — of course there were ropes around. Wires and chains probably too. Good enough.

  39. 39
    Svensker says:

    @RobNYNY1957:

    It’s a 1940’s report on lynching that includes many killings other than hangings.

    Yes, but… The point is not that an actual “lynching” can be hanging, beating, stabbing, shooting, etc., etc. The point is that these people are calling Sherrod a liar because her relative was BEATEN to death, rather than hanged. They are not only insane but despicable, dictionary definitions be damned.

  40. 40
    Josh says:

    I went and found a legal explanation of the Screws case. Justices Black and Douglas, whom I knew of primarily as civil liberties heroes of the Fifties, don’t seem to have been as villainous as the wingnut narrative would suggest: all the justices were appalled by the lynching, but eight of ’em thought the feds had mishandled the case, with the three most conservative judges saying the feds had no business prosecuting lynchers in Georgia and the majority, including Black, making sure that their ruling was narrow enough to allow the case to be retried.

  41. 41
    Bill Murray says:

    @Keith:

    Uh, yeah, this person does apparently need a dictionary.

    Unfortunately, the only dictionary they will accept is the Conservapaedia one. and that won’t be started until they finish editing the Bible to adhere to conservative principles

  42. 42
    Ash Can says:

    It occurs to me that the main audience for whom this vicious lowlife (I’m not going to check exactly who it was; I refuse to give AS hits) wrote this article was…himself. This article, and others like it, is redolent with the underlying notion that the writer knows, deep down, that his sentiments are thoroughly and terribly wrong. So he searches desperately for anything at all that could plausibly justify his own feelings to himself. Once he finds something that his lizard brain can stretch far enough that it qualifies as a justification in his own eyes, he enthusiastically clings to it, and works it for all it’s worth — even though the end product, to the rest of us, looks like…this. And all the other lost souls out there who are likewise searching for justification glom onto this with equal enthusiasm, if not more.

    All they want is the ability to say to themselves, “See? I was right.” It’s pathetic, and what makes it worse is that others end up suffering for it.

  43. 43
    Sean says:

    We’ve heard the phrase “high-tech lynching.” I guess if you have no rope, you settle for a low-tech lynching.

  44. 44
    cmorenc says:

    The linked article in the American Spectator, written by Jeffrey Lloyd, amounts to four points which the author believes to be closely interrelated by inarguably strong logic:
    1) Sherrod was guilty of accidentally misrepresenting what actually happened to her relative back in 1940, because she said he was “lynched” by racist white sheriff’s deputies at the courthouse, whereas he was instead merely beaten viciously to death with fists and a club. The definition of lynching involves hanging.
    2) Breitbart too was guilty of accidentally misrepresenting what Sherrod said in her speech to the NAACP, and there’s no evidence that he intentionally edited her speech instead of receiving an already-edited tape he didn’t realize had been altered. So she’s guilty (but no more so) of exactly what Breitbart has been accused of.
    3) The three men who beat Sherrod’s relative to death back in 1940 had their conviction overturned by the US Supreme Court in an opinion written by Justice Hugo Black. Did you know that Black (who had been a US Senator from Alabama before becoming Justice Black) was both an ardent pro-New Deal progressive AND an ardent racist gold-card member of the Ku Klux Klan? And his rise to political power was due to his success as a defense attorney in using racist appeals to the jury to win an acquittal for a man accused of killing a Catholic Priest for performing a ceremony marrying a white and a Puerto Rican (whom Black knowingly had portrayed as a “nigger” by one of the defense witnesses)? Black is proof that racists = foundation of New Deal Progressives.
    4) Speaking of Georgia, one of the most ardent believers and supporters of the progressive New Deal (in all its programs and extensions) as Senator from Georgia was Richard Russell, who was also a die-hard ardent segregationist? Further proof that progressives and New Dealers were the real racists.

    Than almost gratiutiously, Lloyd comes full circle and says that Mrs Sherrod is an ardent true believer in Progressive government programs, and so is the NAACP she spoke to, and progressives are all the true racists, as Lloyd (thinks) he’s irrefutably shown by pointing out that Russel and Black were both progressives and racists.

    Lloyd’s article is worth reading as a paradigm of the sort of vicious, but flatuent illogic afloat in some quarters of the hard-core irredentist right-wing movement in the US. Reading Lloyd makes it possible to understand the mindset of such whack jobs as Rand Paul and the residual core of whites who never truly accepted the Civil Rights legal revolution of the 1960s. Yet, Lloyd doesn’t see himself as a racist at all – see how hard he has to work at it (successfully in his own mind) to portray Sherrod as the true candidate for having a racist mentality here. Incredible.

  45. 45

    Amazingly, there are people in the comments who are sticking to the original story that Sherrod was bragging about being racist to a cheering audience.

  46. 46
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Dugglebogey:

    Amazingly, there are people in the comments who are sticking to the original story that Sherrod was bragging about being racist to a cheering audience.

    As far as I can tell this depends on the part of the video where she describes the white farmer coming to her for help, but doing so in a haughty and superior way. The audience chuckles knowingly at this.

    For these characters that is a demonstration of racism on the part of the audience.

    It is apparently completely beyond them to understand that the audience was bemused by the unwarranted racism that infected the attitude of the white farmer towards someone black, even despite the fact that the farmer was asking that black person for assistance.

    They were amused by the absurdity of the kind of situation that such entrenched racism can create.

    But that is not what wingnuts take away from the video, they can only see it in their own terms, that of white resentment.

  47. 47
    cyd says:

    The strategy of the American Spectator and its allies is to turn Sherrod into a “controversial” figure. This is to force the media into he-said-she-said mode, nullifying the damage done to the credibility of right-wing activism (such as it is).

  48. 48
    Nellcote says:

    Does anyone remember where the “post-racial” meme started? It always seemed rediculous to me but it keeps coming up as though it were an acutal campaign promise.

  49. 49
    Bob L says:

    “The deputies didn’t strangle him when they murdered him in the town square in broad daylight so Sherrod is a RACISTS!” Damn, this is the kind of stuff liberals come up when they are parodying the conservertards. The Right pushes trash like this and they dare wonder why The Left treats them like idiots?

  50. 50
    russell says:

    Are they really arguing that it’s not a lynching if the victim is beaten to death and not hanged?

    Yes, they are.

    I’m done trying to find common ground with conservatives in this country. Too many of them are, plain and simple, bad, fucked up people, and the ones who aren’t don’t have the stones to tell the ones who are to STFU and go home.

    I want to see conservatism electorally crushed like an evil bug. If that makes them freak out and reach for their guns, I’ll get a gun and shoot back.

    They are fucking wrong, and wrong in ways that are materially evil.

    I don’t see common ground.

  51. 51
    RobNYNY1957 says:

    I’m going to make a PDF of this thread and the one over at American Spectator. One of the things that is so different between right and left is the quality of the argumentation. There are some bad faith arguments in this thread, but the general tenor has been to present relevant facts as the basis for arguments. The other side resorts to slogans, distortions, selective quoting (not to mention selective editing), hair-splitting, name calling, subject changing, non-sequturs, so many kinds of bad faith arguments. It’s like reading a Meagan McArdle or Charles Krauthammer column written by committee.

  52. 52
    mr. stinkfut says:

    Good Lord.

    When President Obama said Republicans want to return to the failed policies of the past, I doubt he realized Selma, Alabama circa 1965 was the past they wanted to return to.

  53. 53
    Fleas correct the era says:

    What kind of person nitpicks word choice when talking about someone who was beaten to death by a mob? In what world does that score you debating points?

    This.

  54. 54
    Gromit says:

    Russell:

    I’m done trying to find common ground with conservatives in this country. Too many of them are, plain and simple, bad, fucked up people, and the ones who aren’t don’t have the stones to tell the ones who are to STFU and go home.

    There are a few conservatives who are speaking up, but it seems like they have to give up on their political futures before they can do so (e.g. Inglis). I genuinely think there is a segment of the Republican Party that is horrified by what is happening to conservatism, but it’s not hard to see how they would be cowed by the Tea Party.

  55. 55
    Brachiator says:

    @jomo:

    The comments in the AS string are fascinating and lively – much more than you ever see from a typical Politico post. A bunch of the commenters are horrified that their own side would stoop to a technicality about what consitutes lynching to attack her.

    This is the one small piece of sanity to emerge from this. The worst conservative pundits have no choice but to double down and keep defending Breitbart’s despicable lie by attempting to smear Sherrod.

    The decent rightfully recoil in horror at the story of a man beaten and left to die. The indecent, incapable of empathy, rush to hide their faces in the dictionary, or engage in pointless debates over the semantics of “lynching.”

  56. 56
    gene108 says:

    After reading a big chunk of the American Spectator article, I am truly impressed and amazed by the right-wing media.

    By all accounts this is a situation, where they should be ashamed and unequivocally apologize for ginning up controversy over edited video footage.

    But what do they do instead? They keep attacking Shirley Sherrod. It’s same line of arguing, which got people to say “Al Gore invented the internet”. You just ignore part of what was said and absurdly focus in on the other part.

    Being beaten to death, while handcuffed, isn’t the same as being lynched, but it’s still a pretty lousy, violent way to die.

    Then going off on a tangent about one of the great progressive / liberal justices of the 20th century, Hugo Black, and his ties to the KKK to undermine FDR and the New Deal – which conservatives still want to undo after 70 years of mostly working to make our lives better – was simply amazing.

    I thought the bit about Shirley exaggerating would be the core of the article, but that’s just the gravy. The meat is an outright assault on the New Deal and liberal Supreme Court justices.

    It’s really one way to keep your base engaged, by never apologizing, always being the victim of “others”, and just constantly tearing the “other” people down, even they’ve been dead for nearly 40 years.

    Makes a lousy way to govern…but that’s another matter entirely…

  57. 57
    Mike in NC says:

    The American Spectator is the lowest of the low for right wing mags.

    American Sphincter has always been a more accurate name.

  58. 58
    Gromit says:

    @gene108:

    Being beaten to death, while handcuffed, isn’t the same as being lynched, but it’s still a pretty lousy, violent way to die.

    I appreciate your larger point, but it is important to clarify that in this example, yes, it is the same as being lynched.

  59. 59
    russell says:

    I genuinely think there is a segment of the Republican Party that is horrified by what is happening to conservatism, but it’s not hard to see how they would be cowed by the Tea Party.

    Actually, it is hard to see how they would be cowed by the Tea Party.

    Seriously, the Tea Party?

    What, is Sarah Palin going to shoot them from a helicopter? Is Glen Beck going to call them names on TV?

    I have no sympathy for them. If they’re so horrified, they need to stand up and fucking do something about it.

  60. 60
    Bella Q says:

    @gene108:

    Being beaten to death, while handcuffed, isn’t the same as being lynched

    Actually, it is; see, e.g,
    Merriam Webster:

    Main Entry: lynch
    Pronunciation: \ˈlinch\
    Function: transitive verb
    Etymology: lynch law
    Date: 1836
    : to put to death (as by hanging) by mob action without legal sanction

    The “(as by hanging)” is illustrative, rather than limiting. It was a mob, without legal sanction, and thus, definitionally a lynching. But, that doesn’t fit the wingnut narrative, where there’s no point letting reality get in the way of your propaganda.

    As to how low the right has sunk as demonstrated by this specific essay of horrific assertions, I am speechless. Which is a rare f*cking moment.

  61. 61
    Weezie says:

    Seriously, we have gotten so ridiculous in this country that I am fairly confident that we will be hacking each other to death by the hundreds of thousands very very soon.

    “Stupid” and “angry” cannot sustain this republic much longer.

  62. 62
    Sirkowski says:

    The comments…. the horror…

  63. 63

    “Amazingly, there are people in the comments who are sticking to the original story that Sherrod was bragging about being racist to a cheering audience.”

    GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out. It’s a well-known fact of cognitive studies that a bad idea, once apprehended, is incredibly difficult to correct in the brain. It’s intentional, of course: keep pushing falsehoods, and a huge number of the propagandized will believe it to their dying day.

    Witness: “I invented the internet,” (Al Gore)

    Or, “AIDS is caused by gay sex.” (or “anal sex”). Which is why, to this day, you see the confusion on Gay rights and AIDS issues (one is a civil rights issue; the other is a public health issue). GIGO.

    But, to their dying day, those who got the first impression of “Sherrod is lying about her father’s lynching” (because, evidently, lynching is more about the rope than the neck), will BELIEVE that first impression, so lovingly branded into their skull by Faux Nooz™ et al.

  64. 64
    Mark S. says:

    If this isn’t peak wingnut I don’t want to know what that might entail. This is seriously on the level of fucking Holocaust denial. May all these fuckers roast in Hell.

  65. 65
    RobNYNY1957 says:

    An new analysis is emerging over at American Spectator: It wasn’t a lynching because cops did it.

  66. 66
    Cerberus says:

    I think it is a mark of the wingnut that even when they play cute, even when they throw away all decency to try and lawyer out a technicality for a false equivalency. Even when they try and hue close to the letter of the law as a cute little fuck you…

    They still fuck it up.

    Seriously, look at this. An attempt to play false equivalence with a word game and they fuck up the word game part of it because they are too stupid to know what lynching actually means.

    They are like the Mandelbrot Set of wrong, fractal wrong if you will. They just can’t help being wrong on that extra step that their insane morally bankrupt premise is riding on. And I think that sums them up perfectly.

    They are always wrong in every way under the sun. Deliberate, accidental, word-lawyering, doesn’t matter. A wingnut will find new and exciting ways to be wrong.

    I’d find it hilarious, if they didn’t have such a stranglehold on this country.

  67. 67
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    No offense intended, but all of you who went to the dictionary to prove him wrong already lost the arguement.

    He was beaten to death while handcuffed for 15-30 minutes. What you call that exactly is beside the point.

  68. 68
    RobNYNY1957 says:

    @Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac:

    Apparently, it is not beside the point to Lord.

  69. 69
    shortstop says:

    Yes, but… The point is not that an actual “lynching” can be hanging, beating, stabbing, shooting, etc., etc. The point is that these people are calling Sherrod a liar because her relative was BEATEN to death, rather than hanged. They are not only insane but despicable, dictionary definitions be damned

    That’s really all of it right there.

  70. 70

    @Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac:

    No offense intended, but all of you who went to the dictionary to prove him wrong already lost the arguement.

    There is no argument. Grading levels of lynching to try to score rhetorical points is just plain offensive, and not worth engaging.

    The only not-really-all-that-bright spot is that the guy doesn’t even know what the word means.

  71. 71
    shortstop says:

    @RobNYNY1957: Or to anyone who will willingly play his game using the beyond-belief parameters he’s set. Why are you doing that?

  72. 72
    Rheinhard says:

    I have no doubt that even as we speak, Jonah Goldberg or some other equally odious wingnut-welfare hack is cranking out a 300 page tome to be published by Regnery press in advance of the next election explaining why, according to the new set of ahistorical rules he just made up, most of the incidents of post-Civil-War racist violence either doesn’t really count as racial (maybe the victim went one time to a union meeting organized by a Socialist party member, so it wasn’t racial violence, it was really the necessary defense of capitalism…), or can be handwaved away (the victim was traveling in the antebellum South from another state and so didn’t know how to behave properly…), etc. This book will be endlessly pimped by Glenn Beck and on wingnut websites, and soon stories of overcome hardships like Sherrod’s won’t be grounds for lionization anymore, because the victims kinda-sorta were asking for it or didn’t really count.

    And once again, “the Left” will be deprived of a mechanism by which to draw inspiration or analogy. As Orwell would have understood.

  73. 73
    geg6 says:

    And come November, it’s assholes like these who will probably be in charge og Congress. Because 30% of the idiots in this country are evil, stupid, insane people and the other 30% are whiny bit he’s who have’t gotten their purple unicorn with the golden horn

    We are fucked beyond redemption and deserve no better.

  74. 74
    russell says:

    If this isn’t peak wingnut I don’t want to know what that might entail.

    There is no peak wingnut.

    Trust me, there is so much more wingnut to be had that peak wingnut is just a rumor, a fever dream.

    There is no peak wingnut.

    No offense intended, but all of you who went to the dictionary to prove him wrong already lost the arguement.

    Good point, that. Never grant home court advantage.

    Apparently, it is not beside the point to Lord.

    That is because Lord is, apparently, a gold-plated dick.

  75. 75
    QuaintIrene says:

    Yesterday powerful storms swept thru parts of NY state (again.) Trees uprooted, flattening cars and crashing thru roofs and power lines. People thought a tornado went thru. The National weather service said, no, it was due to wind sheer.
    The cars and roofs are still trashed, no wonder what you call the cause.

  76. 76
    Tone in DC says:

    @shortstop: THIS.

  77. 77
    gene108 says:

    It was a mob, without legal sanction, and thus, definitionally a lynching.

    A mob? Two or three people is now a mob? God, liberals are such pussies. I went to pick my 12 year old daughter up from school and she was with two of her friends and they seemed to be fighting. Should I have taken extra caution to protect myself from this mob?

    It’s not worth getting into semantic arguments with people, who are just bullshitting like the AS guy is. They’ll just pick another word and start ridiculing you about it.

    By the time you are through arguing that Bobby Hall’s beat down can be considered a lynching, based on the dictionary definition, they’ll be making arguments about you based on other weak grounds.

    As long as people have decided they don’t like dirty-fucking-hippies and liberals are the modern day descendants of dirty-fucking-hippies, then anything to “punch” a dirty-fucking-hippie, whether in real life or in the media is just part of the fun and games.

    It doesn’t matter if Bobby Hall was beaten, lynched or whatever. What was done to him was done because of his race and it was a terrible tragedy people felt so much animosity towards others on such superficial grounds. America has made great progress from those days. Do we really want to “take our country back” to there?

    I wouldn’t.

  78. 78

    […] history with the horror of race-based murder.  (I learned of it first at TPM, via Yglesias, then at Balloon Juice, and then started writing this; I’m sure that the story is all over the blogoverse by […]

  79. 79

    Grotesque. and re RobNYNY1957 at number 65; the actual law on this is clear — law enforcement folks can lynch when they murder “without color of law…”

  80. 80
    Brachiator says:

    The American Spectator piece references the Supreme Court Case, Screws v United States, in its bizarre attempt to brand Sherrod a liar. And along the way, they toss a little slime on Hugo Black, one of the justices who concurred in the majority opinion, and claims that all nine justices described the case in such a way that no one could call it a lynching. But this is both ridiculous, and beside the point.

    I don’t give a rat’s ass about the semantics games. But I would like to give you a piece of Justice Murphy’s dissent in the case (emphases mine).

    It is an illusion to say that the real issue in this case is the alleged failure of § 20 fully to warn the state officials that their actions were illegal. The Constitution, § 20, and their own consciences told them that. They knew that they lacked any mandate or authority to take human life unnecessarily or without due process of law in the course of their duties. They knew that their excessive and abusive use of authority would only subvert the ends of justice. The significant question, rather, is whether law enforcement officers and those entrusted with authority shall be allowed to violate with impunity the clear constitutional rights of the inarticulate and the friendless. Too often, unpopular minorities such as Negroes are unable to find effective refuge from the cruelties of bigoted and ruthless authority. States are undoubtedly capable of punishing their officers who commit such outrages. But where, as here, the states are unwilling for some reason to prosecute such crimes, the federal government must step in unless constitutional guarantees are to become atrophied.

    This necessary intervention, however, will be futile if courts disregard reality and misuse the principle that criminal statutes must be clear and definite. Here, state officers have violated with reckless abandon a plain constitutional right of an American citizen. The two courts below have found and the record demonstrates that the trial was fair and the evidence of guilt clear. And § 20 unmistakably outlaws such actions by state officers. We should therefore affirm the judgment.

  81. 81
    Bella Q says:

    @Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac: A good point you make on the dictionary. That’s the sad and disgusting truth, isn’t it? While we can mock the pedantic posturing of those who now suggest that it wasn’t a lynching because the cops did it (immaterial, but wtf) none of that changes that he wasn’t beaten to death while handcuffed. By a group led by the county sheriff. Horrific, no matter what you call it. And we should call what it is a murder simply vicious, shocking and shameful. Changing the precise term by which it’s called never changes the horror.

  82. 82
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I guess I didn’t really realize how many white people still really, truly hated black people.

  83. 83
    RobNYNY1957 says:

    @shortstop:

    His parameters are apparently not beyond belief for everyone, and deserve a little rebuttal.

  84. 84
    Anya says:

    Shame is officially dead. There is nothing in our political discourse that qualifies as a shameful argument anymore. How can anyone read about the vicious murder of that young man and not feel ashamed of this shared history. How do you read that account and the first thing that comes to your twisted mind is to argue about technicalities.

  85. 85

    @El Cid:

    I got a Master’s in History on Nazi Germany. A few hangings, not many.

    Still, 6 million Jews and about that many gentile Poles are just as dead.

  86. 86
    Ming says:

    The whole thing sickens me.

    It is the most petty and absurd tack possible, to argue that being beaten to death doesn’t constitute lynching and therefore Sherrod was lying. That anyone would go out of their way to give the violent and horrifying details of her relative’s death, and throw their hands up at the end thinking, “I win!” even if they were right about the definition of lynching beggars belief. They are so intent on showing that Sherrod is wrong, they can’t even see that the giving the details of Bobby Hall’s story graphically underscores Sherrod’s point regardless of semantics.

    Beyond that, there is some kind of intense irony in the fact that the details provided actually show that Sherrod was not lying, and was in fact using the term correctly by the dictionary definition. Why, it is almost as though this Black American knew English better than the White Americans now attacking her. Gosh, I wonder which defense they would choose — that Sherrod is smarter or better educated, and therefore has an unfair advantage in using the English language? or perhaps that Sherrod belongs to a sector of society with a particular reason to have expertise in the precise use of terms related to racist violence?

    It is to eat ashes, tears, and human excrement.

  87. 87
    Ecks says:

    @Rheinhard:

    Nonono, you don’t get it. The book will prove that all the lynchings of black people were actually by liberals, who are the actually racist ones, as part of their fascism. All the white liberals hate blacks, you see, and the black ones (which is every last welfare loving one) all hate white people.

    It’s not enough to explain away the bad stuff, there’s a very simple rule: If it’s a bad seeming thing, then it’s what liberals do. Any further facts, analysis, or statements are irrelevant.
    Bad stuff=liberal
    good stuff=conservative.

    End of story, end of thinking, end of eyes being open. And don’t you dare try to contradict this, because you are an evil liberal person whose every word is therefore suspect. It doesn’t matter what you would say, you are either lying or lying about lying in a bizarre reverse psychology.

    Sweet sweet epistemic closure.

  88. 88
    Peter says:

    On the one hand, a handcuffed black man (arrested on a charge of stealing a tire) was beaten to death on courthouse steps by white assailants who were eventually exonerated on a technicality by the Supreme Court.

    On the other hand, someone somewhere once called tea partiers racists, and Jeremy Lord and lots of his readers are convinced this is the more heinous matter of the two.

    Best of luck in November.

  89. 89
    El Cid says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Well, as long as you don’t tar the majority of good, upstanding Nazis as having lynched anyone.

  90. 90
    Johnny's mom says:

    MSN home page is currently featuring an article: “When Race Spurred a Rush to Judgement”, along with three photos, first Al Sharpton with Tawana Brawley; next the Duke Lacrosse team that were accused of raping a black woman; third, Shirley Sherrod.

    One of these things just doesn’t belong. One of these things is not like the other.

    Here’s the story MSN links to: http://www.theroot.com/multime.....?gt1=38002

  91. 91
    eric says:

    Justice Clarence Thomas claimed that he was lynched during the Anita Hill hearings. Did The American Spectator object to his language the way they are doing to Shirley Sherrod’s?

    “it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks” Clarence Thomas September 10, 1991
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Thomas

  92. 92
    DavidTC says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    It is apparently completely beyond them to understand that the audience was bemused by the unwarranted racism that infected the attitude of the white farmer towards someone black, even despite the fact that the farmer was asking that black person for assistance.

    A sure sign of fundamentalism is the inability to understand humor directed at yourself, including dramatic irony.

    The mild humor here was directed at a slightly racist old man. Interesting implications there about who the right wing identifies with, I must say.

    Shouldn’t they be identifying with the plucky underdog who finds themselves in power, and, despite letting someone who dislikes them sweat a second, eventually does the right thing? I mean, that’s the ‘heroic’ POV, isn’t it?

    They, instead, seem to be placing themselves as the ‘enemy’ who eventually comes around and becomes a friend of the hero when they go after the real villian. It’s a really…weird person to identify with. It’s like identifying with Harris in Police Academy movies!

    Assuming, of course, they’re not that sort of person, who hasn’t experienced that exact thing. But…that would mean Republicans used to be racists who then ‘lost’ and had to come asking a black person, who were in charge of their destiny, for help! And that’s crazy talk, that is.

    I’m actually being a bit unfair there. They don’t ‘understand’ it’s humor because they desperately need to find some reason this video shows evil, so they aren’t actually looking at it like a normal human being would.

    But it’s even funnier to assume they’re objective, and they think it’s ‘Dude, not funny!’ for a racist person to be asking for help, while still being condescending, from the black person, while the black person mulls it over, with the obvious conclusion that that joke hits a little too close to home…

  93. 93
    Kay says:

    Uh, Lord most definitely mentioned Hugo Black. It’s about a third of the article. It might help to actually read it, instead of simply copy-pasting the quote from Yglesias. To save you some time: every unpunished murderer in her speech was a cop and every racist judge and politician that stood in the way of justice was part of the Democratic machine while the system failed her up and down, but somehow she ends up with an unshakeable faith in government and the Democratic party. Which is a little weird, I guess.

    I don’t think it’s fair to beat up on her for characterizing it as a lynching, but let’s try to avoid jumping to conclusions based on selective editing, ok?

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