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 lynching website 
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I was just looking at the syllabus trying to get an idea of the work I have to do for the rest of the semester, and I thought that I would glance through the remaining assignments. I clicked on the lynching website and immediately felt sick to my stomach. I don’t understand how hatred could take over human beings and allow them to participate in such horrific acts. I had this reaction before I read the caption that went along with the picture and realized torture often accompanied these murders.

The site reminded me of a documentary I saw about Emmett Till. If you haven’t seen it, then you should force yourself to watch it. I guess remembering the past is one of the safest ways to ensure that atrocities like this don't happen again.

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April Eichmiller


Sun Oct 29, 2006 4:16 pm
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April, I couldn't get through all the photographs on the lynching site. I feel so ashamed. I don't understand how people can be so incredibly cruel - and to get "jollies" out of seeing others be tortured and killed. At that time, Mother Culture must've been whispering in people's ears to make them think it was okay to get "revenge" in this manner. I was so surprised to see one of the lynchings be dated 1960. That's only 46 years ago.

This morning the minister at church told a story about when he pastored in Louisiana in 1980. A 17 year old black girl knocked on the church door right before service and asked if she could come in. Thankfully, he was the one closest to the door and he invited her to come on in and join the service. The church was packed and all pews were full, so he got a metal folding chair and sat her in the back. As a result of a young black girl being allowed to attend this church, even though she was in the back on a metal chair, six adults got up, walked out, and never came back to that church. This was 26 years ago!! If our society is going to change our actions and attitudes about individuals who belong to "other" groups (groups different than the ones we prescribe to), we have to change the way we THINK about them. Do we really believe all are created equal? Or is Mother Culture whispering some old story that makes us feel justified in allowing other races to have unequal opportunities?

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Rena Powers


Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:34 pm
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OK, I've already started a reply and my computer decided to erase it for me. I looked at the pictures on the site and saw the picture of #33. I noticed the caption for the picture:
Grief and a haunting unreality permeate this photo. The corpse of Laura Nelson retains an indissoluble femininity despite the horror inflicted upon it. Specterlike, she seems to float - thistledown light and implausibly still.

For many African Americans, Oklahoma was a destination of hope, where they could prosper without the laws in southern states that codified racism and repression. What was to be a promised land proved to be a great disillusionment.

District Judge Caruthers convened a grand jury in June 1911 to investigate the lynching of the Negro woman and her son. In his instructions to the jury, he said, "The people of the state have said by recently adopted constitutional provision that the race to which the unfortunate victims belonged should in large measure be divorced from participation in our political contests, because of their known racial inferiority and their dependent credulity, which very characteristic made them the mere tool of the designing and cunning. It is well known that I heartily concur in this constitutional provision of the people's will. The more then does the duty devolve upon us of a superior race and of greater intelligence to protect this weaker race from unjustifiable and lawless attacks."
It follows the thinking of the Taker culture that we must proitect the lower races and species. The reason they need protection is because of what the white (lead) species has done to them. . .
I wonder what Laura did? What her son did? Or were they in the wrong place at the wrong time and their only "sin" was to be the wrong color?

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Selena Hicks


Sun Oct 29, 2006 9:21 pm
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The mob mentality just doesn't work for me. I don't understand it at all; I have tried to, but my penchant for being an iconoclast always gets in the way of empathy or sympathy. How can people be swept away to committ atrocious acts? I don't even understand how people can be motivated by trend to buy a particular type of outfit or album. Yeah. Do what you like and agree with, whether it's popular or not.

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Stephanie Holt Helmer


Fri Nov 03, 2006 12:43 pm
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How could a website like the lynching website be used as a teaching tool? I imagine that it could only be used in a highschool and above setting, but how could you incorporate materiallike this, on terrible acts of violence, into lessonplans involving the curriculum?

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April Eichmiller


Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:19 pm
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I only made it to the 4th picture before I almost lost it, the one where the guy was burned alive. Like Stephanie, I can not understand the mob mentality. It scares me to think that just being swept along in a group can make people think somethin like that is OK! There are NO words to desribe the atrocity....and how sad it is that the human spirit is capable of inflicting so much agony upon another human. Its sick.
Rena, I was thinkin about what you said about the girl in the church too....I'm currently talking to a guy from Carroll County - my home in VA. I am well aware of the predjudices there, but I had no idea that they were still so prevalent in people my parents age. The guy told me that when he started dating he was told by his father what would happen to him if he ever came home with a black girl....Its so stupid. What are they so afraid of? I don't think that he shares his parents sentiments (he damn well better not, we won't last long)...I wonder what would happen if they knew he was talking to a girl who had dated Hispanics. Well...if the issue ever comes up, I'll fight it tooth and nail, people need to WAKE UP!

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Nicki Boyette


Fri Nov 03, 2006 2:12 pm
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The people standing around in these pictures are smiling!!!!! THEY ARE SMILING!!! Like they've done something wonderful, its a fabulous family outing! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!? I can not even BEGIN to imagine how ANYONE could think this was okay....they were smiling for the camera! If I was in charge there would be a special place in hell, I swear.

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Nicki Boyette


Fri Nov 03, 2006 2:44 pm
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Yes, they were smiling, but as I think I mentioned before, it says post card. . . Does that really mean POSTCARD, or is that another name for picture? That means these "pictures" were mailed. . . There is one that says on the back- the group had a wonderful day!
As I'm sure you can tell by my weekly attire, I am not one who usually follows the group either, (partially because all my $ goes to the kids :) ), but look at all the people who want to belong and can be led one way or another.
PLAYING DEVIL'S ADVOCATE HERE, look at the people who followed Hitler looking for a leader. He did make it better for the Aryans for a while. There were those who died drinking the kool-aid served by Jim Jones and his congregation. What could posess a parent to feed his/her child a syringe of that? What about those who followed David Koresh? Now turn the tables, what about the people who followed Jim Bakker and gave him all of their money? I went to the "fellowship" with my best friend in high school, I'm not sure God asked him to build such an ellaborate place while there are people everywhere that could use the money for food, clothing, and healthcare. . . For that matter, what about those that blindly follow bands and the women, (and men), who degrade themselves for a person they will never meet in real life, or sleep with them just to say they did! ! !
I know I'm way off base here, but I'm sure you get the idea! It can be really easy for someone who does not have the self assurance and strength as others.

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Selena Hicks


Sun Nov 05, 2006 7:05 pm
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I too felt myself wondering how we could commit such horrific acts. It reminded me of how Germany was led so blindly by Hitler that most of them either denied they knew things like that were going on or denied being part of it all together. The reason that it reminded me of this is because one of my classes just finished reading "The Wave" by Todd Strasser. This is a book based on actual events that happened I believe in a Texas High School. The History teacher was teaching about the Holocaust when he realized that only a few people were even barely interested in it. He then decided to do an experiment where he became like Hitler. He didn't intend for it to go so far but people who weren't in the club that he created were beaten up and ridiculed for not being in the club. It was a big eye opener for the students when he finally revealed that they were all following him just as the Germans followed Hitler. They did this blindly and without regard to whether it was wrong or right. Anyway, the whole point to it was that all it took was one person to start a riot of self power and belief that you don't have to follow the rules because you make the rules. Which brings us back to the reasons people can do things like this... They don't want to be part of the crowd that isn't doing it because they might end up hurt. So they go along with it just to stay out of the enemy's hands. The book is pretty disturbing when you think about the events actually happening. Has anyone else read this novel?

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Kristen Billings


Sun Nov 12, 2006 1:45 pm
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Reminds me of the blue eyed or brown eyed lesson. Did anyone else think of that. The kids went from being friends to hurting each other.

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Selena Hicks


Mon Nov 13, 2006 7:58 am
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