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Sunday, September 05, 2010

Lynchings

Lawrence Beitler/Bettmann/Corbis


I listened to a chilling 13 minute podcast on NPR's "Radio Diaries", called "Strange Fruit: Anniversary Of A Lynching" that recounts the lynching of two young black men in Marion, Indiana in the summer of 1930. Hours after a white man was killed, three black youths were arrested. By the following evening a mob amassed, broke down the prison wall and hung two of the young men in the Town Center. Photographs of the two bodies hanging were sold as souvenirs and show many upstanding, respected Marion townfolk, milling about as if they were at their county fair.

It makes you wonder what things occurring today will shock those who see photos and hear interviews 80 years from now. There are the easy ones that shock nearly everyone today..... state-sponsored Abu Grahib, waterboarding, stoning to death of adulterers by Islamic fundamentalists, etc. But it's the ones that we are blind to today - so enmeshed are we in our certainty of who's right and who's wrong. Where there is righteousness today, there may be a wake of unconscionable cruelty that won't be recognized for a number of years.

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