“ISIS is no worse than the KKK”


A certain strain exists within American society, a portion of our population who believes evil’s root causes are all white, male and Christian. This culminates in the amazing belief that Muslim terrorist organizations like ISIS, responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people over just the last several years, warrant no special attention. Adherents of this belief continually downplay the blatant and obvious international threat posed by ISIS and its ilk, while simultaneously bringing up long-ago atrocities in a desperate attempt to find moral equivalence between Islamic terrorism and American culture. This desire to find something, anything, comparable to ISIS evil led even our own President to talk about the Crusades during a recent prayer breakfast.

Consider that for a moment. An army of Muslim fanatics is killing thousands of people, invading an allied country, executing prisoners in unspeakable ways and even televising the brutal decapitations of American citizens. And for no reason I can think of, our President brings up events hundreds of years old. Maybe in an attempt to convince us, “We’re just as bad.”

A few days ago the Huffington Post, mouthpiece of the “we’re evil too” crowd, published something – and I know this is nearly impossible to believe – far more ridiculous than normal. This is the title of their article:

KKK Was Terrorizing America Decades Before Islamic State Appeared

“For David Pilgrim, the founder and director of the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University, the actions of ISIS and other extremist groups are familiar — no better, no worse than the historic stateside violence against African-Americans. ‘There’s nothing you’re going to see today that’s not going to have already occurred in the U.S.,’ he said. ‘If you think of these groups that behead now — first of all, beheading is barbaric but it’s no more or less barbaric than some of the lynchings that occurred in the U.S.’”


On its face it’s a ridiculous comparison. ISIS is a huge, well-funded and powerful organization full of fanatical zealots willing to carry out the most brutal crimes imaginable in order to bring about their prophesied Muslim apocalypse. In barely a year ISIS has invaded a country, captured cities and besieged others, massacred many thousands of innocents, taken at least hundreds of slaves, forced young girls to become “wives”, attempted genocide and is now destroying the historical treasures of the cradle of civilization.

Yes the Klan was, and is, a repulsive organization responsible for many horrible crimes. But how can it possibly be “no better or worse than ISIS”?

I’m a literal guy. As a writer, if I say “the car is red” I don’t mean “the red car represents the angst and polarization of humanity throughout millennia.” I mean the car is red. As a cop and combat soldier, I can’t indulge in hyperbole; I have to understand actual, literal realities. So when I read the HuffPo’s comparison between ISIS and the Klan, I had to check myself. “Maybe this isn’t as stupid as it seems,” I thought. “This has to be some non-literal point. If I look deeper, I’ll see the validity.”

So I looked at it with an open mind. And I concluded, “This is even stupider than I originally thought.”

Differences of scale

HuffPo’s article was, I think, trying to say the Klan and ISIS were no different in principle. Fair enough. But differences in scale matter too.

According to the HuffPo article, “[A] study [by Alabama’s Equal Justice Initiative] found almost 3,960 African-Americans were lynched from 1877 to 1950 — a number that supersedes previous estimates by at least 700.”

So for 73 years, the Klan lynched about 54 people per year. That’s horrible. The Klansmen who committed those murders deserved death. Those who assisted deserved to spend the rest of their lives in prison. But the Klan, when sheer numbers are compared, doesn’t come close to ISIS.

Two articles from the Daily Beast, hardly a conservative news source, highlight just how powerful and dangerous ISIS really is. The first article reports that “Iraq Body Count”, an organization that’s tracked Iraqi deaths almost since the beginning of the Iraq War, tallied 15,883 ISIS-caused Iraqi deaths from January 1st to November 30th, 2014.


The second article cites a UN report detailing ISIS’ brutal treatment of Muslims. ISIS fighters have, among other crimes, executed women for refusing to care for wounded ISIS fighters, killed a female doctor for not covering her face while treating patients, executed Muslims for refusing to swear loyalty to ISIS, and destroyed mosques led by imams who wouldn’t swear loyalty to ISIS.


Oddly enough, this August 2014 article is from the Huffington Post. It cites several important numbers: soldiers from five nations have been directly engaged by ISIS fighters; 300 Yazidi women are known to have been taken as slaves by ISIS; and 1,922 Iraqi civilians, soldiers and police were killed by ISIS in June 2014 alone. Zero is listed as the number of openly practicing Christians left in Mosul since ISIS seized control.


Yet after all this, HuffPo writes that ISIS is no worse than the Klan.

As bad as it was, the Klan was always a regional threat that lacked grand global aims. It didn’t launch mass assaults or capture hundreds of slaves, nor did it proudly televise mass executions. The Klan’s evil was nowhere near the scale of ISIS’ evil. And unless you believe a thousand murders are no worse than a single murder, scale is important.

If scale isn’t important, if “any bad” equals “the worst bad”, then we can make these Huffington Post-like comparisons:

Slavery by blacks in the United States was just as bad as slavery by whites.

In a very interesting and widely ignored article, the black website The Root reports that free blacks owned slaves “in each of the thirteen original states and later in every state that countenanced slavery,” and had owned slaves since at least since 1654… “Free blacks owned slaves in Boston by 1724 and in Connecticut by 1783; by 1790, 48 black people in Maryland owned 143 slaves.”

Some free black slave owners in Louisiana even requested, and were granted, permission to serve in the Confederate Army. Just before the Civil War’s outbreak the black slave owners wrote, “The free colored population [native] of Louisiana … own slaves, and they are dearly attached to their native land … and they are ready to shed their blood for her defense. They have no sympathy for abolitionism; no love for the North, but they have plenty for Louisiana … They will fight for her in 1861 as they fought [to defend New Orleans from the British] in 1814-1815.”


And black Africans played a huge part in the slave trade. “Several nations such as the Ashanti of present-day Ghana and the Yoruba of present-day Nigeria were involved in slave-trading… Historians John Thornton and Linda Heywood have provided an estimate that Africans captured and then sold to Europeans around 90% of those who were shipped in the Atlantic slave trade. Henry Louis Gates, the Harvard Chair of African and African American Studies, has stated that ‘without complex business partnerships between African elites and European traders and commercial agents, the slave trade to the New World would have been impossible, at least on the scale it occurred.’” It’s also worth pointing out that the African nation of Mauritania just outlawed slavery in 2007, although about 20% of its population is still thought to be slaves.

Since scale doesn’t matter, the HuffPo staff should agree that blacks are just as guilty of perpetuating slavery as whites. I’ll hold my breath waiting for them to publish an article decrying the “black privilege” legacy of black slaveowners.

Black racist organizations are just as bad as white racist organizations

In 1973 and 1974, a small group of black racists in San Francisco called the “Death Angels” murdered fourteen mostly white victims and wounded eight others. The attacks were usually random shootings of unsuspecting whites, but some were complex and horrific. One white couple was kidnapped and hacked with machetes after two of the killers fondled the wife (her husband survived). A homeless white man was kidnapped, bound and dismembered while still conscious. The killers were eventually arrested after a member of their group turned on them in exchange for immunity.

And then there’s the New Black Panther Party, which even some original Black Panthers disavow as violent and racist. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the New Black Panther Party as “a virulently racist and anti-Semitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence against whites, Jews and law enforcement officers.” One of their leaders, King Samir Shabazz, was quoted saying this in a 2009 National Geographic documentary: “I hate white people. All of them. Every last iota of a cracker, I hate it… You want freedom? You going to have to kill some crackers! You going to have to kill some of their babies!” Another leader, Malik Zulu Shabazz, in 2002 shouted outside a synagogue, “Kill every goddamn Zionist in Israel! Goddamn little babies, goddamn old ladies! Blow up Zionist supermarkets!”

The Death Angels and New Black Panthers accomplished nothing on the scale of the Klan’s reign of terror over southern blacks. They committed nowhere near 3,960 lynchings. But following HuffPo’s logic, they’re “no better, no worse”, than the KKK. Which makes black racist organizations no better, no worse, than ISIS. Since, you know, scale doesn’t matter.

I’m sure HuffPo’s next article will be headlined, “Black Racists were terrorizing America decades before Islamic State appeared.”

I can only think of one possible defense for HuffPo’s article: “They just published it. That doesn’t mean they agree with it.” Which makes sense, and explains why HuffPo has published the following articles:

“Why George W. Bush was the best president in American history”

“The Iraq War: blueprint for perfection in all future wars”

“The Democratic party should abandon Hillary Clinton for lying about being under sniper fire”

“A friendly chat with the head of the Tea Party”

Wait…maybe HuffPo hasn’t published those articles, since they obviously don’t agree with them. All web sites publish articles the staff and readers agree with. It’s safe to assume HuffPo and its readers agree that ISIS is no worse than the Klan.

That opinion is ridiculous, and ultimately useless. If in a thousand years the “Christian State of America and Canada” is doing exactly what ISIS is doing today, what purpose would it serve to point out “but others have done bad things too”?

Nearly every culture that ever existed committed some type of atrocity against someone. That doesn’t mean we dismiss atrocities committed today, simply because someone want us to feel perpetually guilty about long-ago crimes. The proper response to ISIS’ evil isn’t self-loathing from moral weaklings riddled with White Guilt.

Sorry HuffPo, but White Guilt won’t win this war. You and your readers keep responding to ISIS by berating yourselves for crimes you never committed. The rest of us will be too busy fighting evil to worry about things we’re not responsible for.

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Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for BreachBangClear.com and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at chris_hernandez_author@yahoo.com or on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProofofOurResolve).


54 Responses to ““ISIS is no worse than the KKK””

  1. 1 Nathalie Leclercq

    Great article, love your sarcasm. I just read an article about Somali pirates who served light sentences in Germany and are now living comfortable lives in Hamburg as asylum seekers. Most commenters were outraged about the way we pamper foreign criminals, but there was a minority of commenters who pointed out that Somalia is a very poor country, and that we (the rich countries) are kind of responsible for this. I guess that people can afford to have these delusions as long as they don’t become victims of piracy. As soon as ISIS freaks start blowing themselves up in Europe or the US, it will become clear that all you need is one good reality check to come to your senses. Instead of making excuses for evil, we should fight it.

    • Wealthy European countries have played a role in impoverishing Somalia by wiping out the local fishing industry. We can be honest about that and we ought to consider ways to avoid repeating this mistake and perhaps to make some sort of effective restitution. But that doesn’t mean we have any obligation to show mercy to pirates and gangsters. That’s where your typical anti-imperialist will go wrong.

      There’s usually at least a grain of truth to what they say about the damage done, intentional or not, by Western greed or carelessness. But commuting the sentences of people like Somali pirates and giving them asylum is not at all a sensible response. You hang pirates. That’s what every navy throughout history has done to get rid of piracy.

      • 3 Nathalie Leclercq

        Yes, of course a lot of the poverty in Somalia has something to do with the way our industries tend to exploit the 3rd world. Some of the pirates were sentenced to seven years (pretty huge for German standards), and they will have to serve the full sentence. The reason why they might get permanent asylum is that our laws don’t permit to send refugees back into countries that are not safe. So we’re morally obligated to keep them. And hanging them is no option; we stopped hanging folks after the Nuremberg trials.

      • 4 vlad

        shut the fuk up asshole we didn’t do shit to Somalia talk to the Asians they are they fish stealers not whites you moron.kill those skinnys in the streets.

  2. 5 Vendetta

    David Pilgrim, just hopping on a trend set by Chauncey DeVega:


    Have left plenty of remarks upon that article and other repostings of the same. I’ll summarize:

    1) Progressive narcissism – how dare we take a moment away from our own self-flagellation to shine the spotlight on other people who are suffering or sinning at the moment?

    2) Anti-Islamophobia gone off the rails – what about the thousands of Muslims ISIS has executed and tortured? What about the millions of Muslims supporting a secular state in Syria against hyper-religious terror? If these radical leftists are such friends of all Muslims, why do they do nothing, not even say a few words in support of the Muslims who are the victims of ISIS crimes?

    3) The motives behind lynching – Chauncey DeVega in his article cited three specific lynching cases to illustrate the brutality of American lynch mob killings. These lynchings were indeed brutal and barbaric. But the victims of these killings? They were:

    – A man who raped a four-year old child
    – A man who beat a woman to death with a hammer
    – A man who murdered his employer

    Most lynching victims were actually thought to have been (or actually were) thought to be guilty of horrendous crimes, this being why the whole community would often eagerly participate. ISIS, by contrast, will kill people because of who they are or what they were wearing.

    4) Reactions to lynchings – there was never a time when lynchings were an accepted practice across American society. You can find plenty of old newspaper coverage of lynchings and see what people of the time thought about them. Northerners read accounts of lynchings and thought southerners were depraved, evil savages. Southerners felt embarrassed and disgraced by these things being done under their name. White society generally recognized that lynchings were sick and wrong – hence why they were always illegal and eventually stamped out altogether.

    5) The nature of lynch mob killings – they’re not some uniquely Southron evil. What they are is mob justice. Brutal mob justice is a universal feature of civilizations that don’t have a strong government authority. Mob justice is rampant throughout much of present day Africa and the Middle East. Pre-modern Europeans and Asians did it. The American Indians sure did it. Everyone does it when there isn’t a strong government present to put a stop to it and provide some alternative means of judgement and punishment.

    Hell, I’d do it. If a group of my friends caught a pedophile in the act and I had access to a brick or a baseball bat, I’d find it very hard to resist the temptation to crack that person’s skull in. I think I’d take a swing or two. I don’t think that’s because I’m an evil human being. I think that’s because I’m a human being.

    ISIS differs because it is not mob justice unleashed. It is the government authority there in the places it rules. It uses its authority to carry out acts of savagery on a massive scale. The U.S. government never sponsored, perpetrated, nor glorified a lynch mob killing. The Islamic State makes it official policy to torture and execute people over minor religious infractions and tribal identity.

    So yes, folks like David Pilgrim and Chauncey DeVega have absolutely no case for moral equivalency here. They are shamelessly using foreign atrocities to score points in domestic policies, exploiting the victims of ISIS tyranny and terror when they are hardly even cold in the ground. Whatever it is they think they are trying to accomplish, they are giving cover to ISIS and redirecting people’s outrage away from its crimes. They are milking the hatred people (righteously) feel for the Islamic State and trying to turn some of it against white Americans, whose ancestors, they’d like us to believe, were all just as bad as ISIS, whose savagery we still need to atone for. And this is very dangerous because the hatred Americans feel for ISIS is murderous. We’d gladly kill ISIS footsoldiers if we had the chance to. So trying to channel that hatred into their racial politics means that, yes, people here will end up being murdered because of it.

    And because the part of American society where government authority is the weakest (and the propensity for mob violence thus the strongest and most uncontrolled) is the urban ghetto, these supposed champions of social justice will be stirring up a new wave of lynch mob killings – and their perpetrators will be American blacks. Way to help them out, radical leftists.

    Zemir Begic, killed in St. Louis by a gang of hammer-wielding young black men, out to avenge Michael Brown, whom they believed was some innocent man shot dead for no reason but racism thanks to propaganda like this. St. Louis police of course denying any racial motive (suspiciously similar behavior to the local authorities of the South that excused lynch mobs). Said he was “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Guess he was there in St. Louis because Bosnia in the 1990s was the wrong place at the wrong time to be a Bosnian. Guess he shouldn’t have been driving on Republika Srpska St. at that time of night.

    Expect more murders like his if these kinds of writers continue to find a receptive audience.

    Death to ISIS, and to Hell with all their supporters and apologists.

    • 6 Mark W

      Your last sentence nailed it like a laser, vendetta! Chris great write. I keep coming back for more and more. This lady answered the 1 and only muslim attending during an open meeting and she also nails it like a laser!
      5 minutes in duration but very much worth the time.


    • Yea…you missed on every one of your points. Mob justice??? Justice to what??? Being black???? Idiot.

      • 8 Vendetta

        Read, you idiot. Every case Chauncey DeVega brought up as an example of a lynching was a man who’d committed some terrible crime. There is a pattern throughout the history of lynch mob killings. Men in hoods did not follow random black men around and hang them for being black or for trying to vote.

        In most cases there was some crime, real or imagined, that they were out to punish. Because it was mob justice, of course, lynchings were often carried out on the basis of rumor rather than fact, or were carried out against someone who hadn’t actually committed said crime, because they established guilt by accusation rather than evidence.

        I don’t get what your problem is. I use the phrase ‘mob justice’ because these people were mobs who believed they were righting terrible wrongs. Not because what they were doing was actually just. Justice in this sense means the process of catching, judging, and punishing criminals. Places with strong governments do this with official police forces, court systems, and prisons. In places with weak governments, groups of outraged citizens group together to find and punish criminals themselves. As a result, they’re prone to very excessive and savage violence, since they’re acting emotionally rather than logically and not following any rulebook, and they’re prone to miscarriage of justice, because they want to dispense punishment immediately and don’t tend to wait for evidence or give the accused a defense.

        Makes you look awfully lazy and foolish to say none of my points stand while only making an argument against one. Yeah, I get that you don’t like the KKK or racism. Neither do I. But none of that invalidates anything I said above. There’s a fundamental difference between what the KKK did and what ISIS was doing.

        The KKK never claimed to be a government. It never claimed the exercise of state authority. Most KKK murders took place when a mob of people were whipped up into a frenzy by some real or imagined crime and decided to take justice into their own hands. ISIS claims the authority of a state. It is establishing vicious medieval punishments as part of its rule of law. It is carrying these murders out in cold blood.

        Murder is murder. But because ISIS claims and exercises state authority, it is legitimizing the sociopathic torture and execution of people for who they were born as or for infractions as minor as smoking a cigarette. This is the real danger. If it succeeds in legitimizing this, we’re going to continue seeing far more people than before burned alive, beheaded, and so on even if the Islamic State itself is destroyed. That and the fact that the Islamic State has murdered far more people in a far shorter amount of time than the KKK make any attempt to establish equivalence (not just a comparison, but equivalence) between the two groups a wrongheaded effort.

        • 9 D Watkins

          You claim that the ‘klan’ never claimed to be a government, never claimed ‘state authority’. You know better, don’t you. They were the militant interest of the democrat party during Reconstruction, in the territory that that party had a ‘traditional’ ownership of before the war. They were the losers. They needed masks, costumes, rituals to identify each other, but still avoid arrest. In the name of ‘G-d’s mercy’, Lincoln granted immediate parole to those who bore arms against the republic. Some of those, though, decided to keep fighting.

          Key words- Illinois, Ku Klux Klan, UMW, Williamson County, etc.

    • 10 kedra

      You seem to believe anything that you read. First off you state reasons why people were lynched and you even had an excuse for why whites took mob killings into their own hands. Ok lets be honest a white person could kill a black just for looking them in the eyes. Whatever the reason I’m sure that the animals who were responsible for lynching black people exaggerated if not made up a complete false story for lynching a human being. Showing their manhood or how big their balls were. Secondly, you say that mob killings are normal and you go as far as to rationalize that by giving examples of others countries who practice this ridiculous method of consequence. Why have a court system if it doesn’t work for everyone? It’s okay for whites to appoint themselves judge, jury and exocutioner and get off scott free. The KKK had 3 presidents who served as active members. One of which was commemorated in the white house inside the oval office. The group Has many political ties and there is no difference between beheading and lynching. Only difference for blacks is that our terrorist has always had white skin

      • What you’re doing is no different from what you’ve accused me of doing – making up motives for the killers. “I’m sure,” you say. How are you sure? Have you participated in a lynch mob? Have you spoken to anyone who was part of a lynch mob?

        You’re sure it was about “showing manhood?” Are you even a man? Kedra’s a woman’s name, I think. Are you in any better of a position to be an authority on why men do things than I am about why women do things?

        You see, I didn’t make up excuses for why these lynchings happened – I went and read the research and found out why these things happened. Were there black people who were killed just for looking a white person in the eyes? Probably. There also gang-run neighborhoods in cities all over this country where white people (or black people, or anyone) can get killed for essentially nothing but being there.

        Is that because all black people are evil racist gangsters and thugs? No, it’s not. Nor is it a judgment upon the entire white race and culture if one white man murdered one black man for no reason.

        Where it might be a judgment of ‘white America’ as a whole is if this these killings where an entire town openly tortured a black man to death in broad daylight happened for no reason but hatred of black people. A few people sneaking around at night in masks and killing someone for no reason while no one is watching – those individuals are just murderous thugs, no matter what color. But an entire town killing a man in broad daylight and celebrating it? That’s when you start asking questions about the whole society.

        But, it turns out, every example of one of these public spectacle killings – the ones being used to justify the White America = Islamic State! argument – had a rape or murder accusation behind it. They weren’t proudly celebrating because they were killing a black man – they were proudly celebrating because they were killing a black murderer or rapist.

        That’s a little bit different. There are not millions of black people in America who would happily kill a police officer for no reason. But how many are there who would happily participate in a lynching of Darren Wilson if they had the opportunity? I’d bet somewhere north of a million. Would they do that because he’s a cop? No, they’d do that because they believe he’s a murderer cop.

        Race is a factor, but it’s the accusation of some terrible crime that sends most people (people who aren’t murderous thugs by nature) over the edge.

        If you want to see what would happen in an America where half the white people hated black people enough to murder them for no reason – look at Rwanda. There was a genocide there, and the ordinary Hutus did it – they’d been pumped so full of pure hatred for Tutsis that they went out and killed every one of them they could find.

        That never happened in America. There was never that degree of hatred amongst more than a tiny fraction of people – because there would have been a genocide like the one in Rwanda if there was.

        Mob killings are normal in a society not governed by an effective justice system. I am saying that. They happen all the time in those kinds of societies no matter where you are on Earth (or when).

        You, however, seem to be confused about the meaning of “normal.” It does not mean “good.” It does not mean “right.” It means it’s what you can usually expect to happen. So it’s not “okay” that whites appointed themselves judge, jury, and executioner – but it didn’t happen because they were whites and whites are just inherently evil people.

        Present your sources on your claims of KKK presidents. I’ve cited a source for every lynching example I’ve covered. Where are yours?

  3. 12 Roy in Nipomo

    3,960 deaths in 73 years is a tragedy; 15,883 deaths in 11 months is a statistic.

    • 13 Onlyone

      Roy if you actually think there were only 3,960 deaths that the KKK were responsible for you are a moron.

      • 14 Roy in Nipomo

        Ad hominem noted.

      • 15 Spanky

        The figure that the Alabama Equal Justice Initiative (AEJI) is an estimate based on research. Although it is likely that many deaths went unreported, the data provided by the Alabama Equal Justice Initiative is not some figure they pulled out of thin air. It was based on research. You might download the document and read it. If you have more accurate information, please provide the estimate and cite your sources.

        By the way, your calling someone a moron is more a reflection on you than the person attacked. No doubt you will attack me as well.

        • 16 kedra

          Statistics for evil acts committed by the people who claim to believe and serve the most high God. I’m certain these statistics are largely underrated and exaggerated to the point of not having the almighty brother bubba look like the killer he really was

          • You’re sure that the Alabama Equal Justice Institute, whose Executive Director is black along with half its staff, falsified its statistics to make the KKK look good?

            Is the SPLC in on it too? Is the Obama Administration secretly controlled by the KKK as well?

            Or do you refuse to believe in a statistic when you don’t like what it says?

    • 18 Spanky

      Aren’t they both statistics as well as tragedies?

      • Yes. The expression is used, however, as a criticism of those ignore a much larger body count and focus all their attention on a much smaller one that they can more closely relate to.

      • 20 Roy in Nipomo

        It was a paraphrase of a (apocryphal) quote from Stalin. Vendetta did a clear & succinct explanation of it.

        • 21 Spanky

          I learned something new today: I had never heard that particular quote by Stalin before, and I had to look it up. So, if I am interpreting Stalin’s comment correctly, the death of Michael Brown is a tragedy, the death of 3960 at the hands of the KKK is a statistic.

  4. 23 RandyGC

    There is one way both the Klan and ISIS are the same. If I were to come across members of either committing one of their more horrific signature acts, my hesitation (i.e. none) in shooting them would be equal.

  5. 24 jscd

    One other thing that modern day ISIS and the KKK of the old south have in common – their apologists were all Democrats.

  6. 25 Spanky

    As far as I’m concerned the drive by shootings and gang-on-gang warfare that occur in our nation’s inner cities are also a form of terrorism. I assure you more than 54 people a year are killed in the streets of greater Chicago and Los Angeles. What’s the Huffington Post’s position on that?

    • 26 Vendetta

      White people’s fault, systemic racism, the fascist militarized police, misleading statistic, legacy of slavery…depends on the day of the week.

  7. 27 SPEMack

    But, I’m a libertarian leaning conservative white frat boy gun guy military veteran whose ancestors fought the yankee hoards. I thought I was the root cause of everything in the world.

  8. 28 Ennis

    I’m glad I’m old.Why? Because I won’t be alive when the Islamists send the world into another dark age. I won’t be here to tell the idiotic leftist liberal loons “You now have what you wished for and now you’re going to discover the wisdom of the old adage ‘Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” They will learn the hard way that appeasement, “jobs for jihadis” and moral equivalency will literally be the death of them. Their deaths will not be pleasant — stoning, beheading, tossed off cliffs for the men and being raped to death for the ‘womyn’.

    The few who do survive will live with the memories of the world they worked so hard to destroy and they will weep bitter tears. Take a look at what is going on in ISIS and Boko Harum held territories for a fine example of that. I do not think the weak pajamaboi’s and shrieking leftist liberal ‘womyn’ will survive for very long living a 12th century agrarian existence.

    It will all be ok in the end, though. After the leftist liberal loons are either killed off or submit to Islam the Islamists will destroy any and all evidence of the world before the dark age of Islam. All that will be left will be bits and pieces buried to be found a couple thousand years in the future by archeologists. With the advent of digital archiving there will be little left of this time of history, those records will not survive like clay tablets, papyrus and parchments of ancient times did. Those will be gone, too. The Islamists will do their best to erase all of human history just like they are doing with the artifacts in Syria and Iraq.

  9. 29 Nick42

    If you include civil war casualties then the deaths caused by the KKK and fellow travelers far exceeds those caused by ISIS.

    • The Klan didn’t cause the Civil War, and didn’t even exist until after the war ended.

      • 31 Stuart the Viking

        Aw c’mon Chris. Don’t let some little thing like reality or history get in the way of a self serving, dishonest argument!

        • 32 Nick42

          The Klan is just a part of generations of state and non-state violence against blacks in America. If both the klan and ISIS are both abhorrent, but the difference is scale, doesn’t it make sense to compare the larger history of racist violence in America to the larger history of Islamic terrorism?

          If “ISIS is a huge, well-funded and powerful organization full of fanatical zealots willing to carry out the most brutal crimes imaginable” what was the Confederacy? The Klan may not have caused the civil war, but it was made up of a number of people who fought in it.

          Also, the figure cited for lynching was the number of individual lynchings that were able to be documented, so comparing them to general estimates of ISIS casualties is unfair.

          A commenter above tried to characterize these lynching as mob justice in areas with weak government, but that is directly contracted by the organization the created the report:

          This was not “frontier justice” carried out by a few marginalized vigilantes or extremists. Instead, many African Americans who were never accused of any crime were tortured and murdered in front of picnicking spectators (including elected officials and prominent citizens) for bumping into a white person, or wearing their military uniforms after World War I, or not using the appropriate title when addressing a white person. People who participated in lynchings were celebrated and acted with impunity. Not a single white person was convicted of murder for lynching a black person in America during this period.

          The word terrorism has been so watered down that it’s now more a way to dehumanize our enemies then an actual description of the particularly heinous act of using violence against civilians to further a political agenda.

          To describe attacks against military targets (such as British solider Lee Rigby or the USS Cole) as terrorism while at the same time saying that lynching of blacks in the American south were not is to make the word meaningless.

          However, I’m not saying we should turn the other cheek or offer them flowers. They are our enemies, they are despicable, and I am a firm believer in making that other poor SOB die for his country.

          • That’s a credible counter-argument you’ve offered, and I respect your attitude as well. You are absolutely correct on the subject of terrorism. It is a subjective label used to indicate politically-motivated violence that we are meant to condemn. I would not hesitate to describe the Klan’s actions as terrorism.

            But at the same time, I would also continue to label them as mob justice. I don’t think you’ve fully understood what I meant by that. Mob justice as you’ve described it (“carried out by a few marginalized vigilantes or extremists”) is the form of mob justice that occasionally takes place under a strong government – the act of a few, whom the populace distance themselves from and the government punishes as criminals.

            The fact that no whites were ever convicted for lynching blacks is a testament to the weakness of government authority in the old rural South, not a refutation of it. Murder has always been a crime under American law as well as a violation of Christian morality. The fact that people could openly flaunt the law and expect no punishment speaks to the weakness of the government.

            I use the word ‘mob’ to carry a specific meaning: mob justice is popular justice. It is not the act of marginalized extremists. It is the act of an enraged or outraged community, of people who live ordinary lives from day to day. This what local ‘law enforcement’ looks like when there isn’t a government strong enough to set the standards for proper policing.

            Many innocent black people were killed by lynching. Many were killed for trivial infractions. Many were killed simply for offending or disrespecting a white person in some minor way. But all the lynchings Chauncey DeVega cited as examples of widely celebrated public spectacles were ones in which the victim had been caught red-handed for rape or murder.

            That doesn’t make them them any less brutal or illegal. But it does help to explain why so many people would cheer for them. If such murderous attitudes really were that widespread in the South, if the majority of white people really would have happily participated in or cheered for the murder of a black person for no reason at all, there would have been a lot more lynchings. There would have been a full-blown genocide.

            Consider that as an alternate measure of moral distance between the KKK and ISIS if you’re not buying my other arguments. Which of the two has an actual record of genocide?

  10. 34 Stuart the Viking

    Two points I would like to make.

    First, explaining away violence against blacks by the KKK and others as “mob justice” does nothing but attempt to soften the perception of those evil events. Just using the word “justice” in connection with this is sickening. Hatred and racism, strong enough that people murder other people by hanging them, or burning them alive, or by dragging them behind a vehicle, merely for perceived wrongs (often as simple as “looking at a white woman” whether true or not) is the opposite of justice. Characterizing it as such is depraved (even if you are “just talking about when they lynched the bad ones”).

    Second, whether ISIS is or is not more evil than the KKK, or the Crusading knights of the middle ages, or any other group you can come up with is a completely moot point. We can’t change what happened in the past. It is already done and over. What we CAN do is learn from it.

    ISIS is a group, who have set about to murder anyone who isn’t one of them. Christians, Jews, Atheists, any Muslims who aren’t “Muslim enough” (meaning, agreeing with them), it doesn’t matter. This is a movement that won’t stop, and cannot be appeased (short of mass suicide by everyone in the entire world… I won’t hold my breath).

    It would be best to deal with them sooner than later. The longer the world sits on it’s hands and ignores the problem, the harder it will be to fix later.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • 35 Nick42

      I agree that learning from the past is better then sitting around trying to figure out who is the most dastardly. I’m no fan of the oppression olympics that social justice warriors seem to be so fond of.

      That said, the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws are still here in America. Regardless of what actually happened in the situation where Mike Brown was killed, it exposed a region where a swarm of tiny municipalities oppressed mostly black poor people to enrich a small group of almost exclusively white part time city officials.

      Radly Balko explored this in detail at the Washington Post:



      I have to respectfully disagree with both your points. The Equal Justice report that HufPost mentioned explicitly disagrees with your assertion that these were attempts to punish crimes:

      Third, our research confirms that many victims of terror lynchings were murdered with- out being accused of any crime; they were killed for minor social transgressions or for demanding basic rights and fair treatment. Racial terror lynching was a tool used to enforce Jim Crow laws and racial segregation—a tactic for maintaining racial control by victimizing the entire African American community, not merely punishment of an alleged perpetrator for a crime.

      source: http://www.eji.org/lynchinginamerica

      I would say that the fact that people could openly flaunt these crimes shows that the government was in collusion with the lynch parties, not that the government was weak. If this was a misguided reaction to a weak government, instead of deliberate attempt to oppress blacks, where are all of the white lynching victims?

      Your reference to ISIS’s quite arguable genocide attempts against the Yazidis also does not convince me. ISIS’s attempts to rape, murder, and forcibly convert tens of thousands of Yazidis to Islam while abhorrent pales in comparison to the millions of Africans who were enslaved, shipped to America and murderously crowded ships, forcibly converted to Christianity, raped, murdered, and forced to adopt their owners names and abandon their native culture for generations.

      • Will respond to both of you here, Stuart the Viking first.

        Stuart, please understand the definition of justice I was referring to. I am not talking about right and wrong here (and I’ve pretty clearly implied throughout my arguments that systems of mob justice, while a natural human tendency in weakly governed areas, are not a good thing).

        I am talking about justice in the sense of a justice system, which as I’ve mentioned before is the process of catching, judging, and punishing those who’ve violated the laws of the community. A justice system exists whether that system or those laws it upholds are fair or not and whether they are right or not.

        Sharia law is the basis of a system of justice, whether you think it’s a good one or a bad one (we probaably agree here that it’s not a good justice system, just as we’d agree the one upheld by the KKK was not a good one either). Sharia law is in de facto effect in many Muslim countries where the government and legal codes are actually secular.

        This is because it is upheld at the community level by what I’ve called mob justice; it is enforced through extralegal means by members of the community who otherwise live normal, respectable day-to-day lives. It exists because the governments of these countries are too weak to impose their own standards of justice on the community level.

        There is nothing depraved about recognizing the phenomenon of lynching for what it was – a form of popular mob justice that the U.S. government was too weak to crack down until the mid-20th century. This is not in any way condoning the behavior of lynch mobs (as I’ve already stated multiple times, they inflicted punishments that were brutal, disproportionate, and often inflicted upon the innocent).

        On to Nick42:

        You asked where the white lynching victims were? Please examine the Tuskegee Institute’s lynching statistics, which the EJI recognized in its own report as an “invaluable resource.”


        Tuskegee documented not only 3,446 black victims of lynchings, but 1,297 white victims as well – that’s about 1 in 4 victims who were white. That blacks were disproportionately the victims of lynch mobs remains obvious – but your question of “where are all the white victims?” seems to indicate that you have some holes in your understanding.

        Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia all lynched several times as many blacks as whites (but do note that Texas had 141 documented white lynching victims).

        But Arizona, California, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming all had had double-digit (triple-digit for Oklahoma) lynching figures of majority (or even exclusively) white victims.

        This I believe lends credence to the mob justice explanation. As for the disproportionate numbers of black people targeted by mob justice in the South, I believe the Equal Justice Institute provides a very succinct explanation in their own report: “Deep racial hostility in the South during this period focused suspicion on black people.”

        As I’ve said before, when mob justice prevails, accusation equals conviction.

        You know what else I find in the EJI report to support my arguments?

        “More than half of the lynching victims EJI documented were killed under accusation of committing murder or rape.”

        “Nearly 25 percent of the lynchings of African Americans in the South were based on charges of sexual assault.”

        It’s all in here, by the way, if you want to double-check any of the quotes I’m pulling from it. http://www.eji.org/files/EJI%20Lynching%20in%20America%20SUMMARY.pdf

        The examples the EJI cited as the separate category of “public spectacle lynchings” (the ones in which the whole community gathered to witness, participate, and celebrate in particularly gruesome torture killings) include the following:

        – Luther Holbert, tortured to death in 1904 along with his innocent wife after Holbert “allegedly killed a local white landowner,” per the EJI report.

        – Lation Scott, tortured and mutilated to death in Dyersburg, Tennessee in 1917. A black farmhand accused of raping his employer’s wife, leaving her tied up and gagged, and threatening to kill her if she reported it before he fled. Was arrested ten days later. A mob of hundreds of people stopped the sheriff’s deputy’s car and forced the police to hand him over. Given a summary trial by the mob which asked him if he was guilty or not. Scott said he was guilty. Source: http://www.executedtoday.com/2014/12/02/1917-lation-scott-lynched/

        – Henry Smith, tortured and burned to death in Texas in 1893. Believed to have raped, tortured, and murdered a four-year old girl. This girl was the child of a police officer who had arrested Smith previously for drunk and disorderly conduct and whom Smith is alleged to have assaulted several times in attempts at revenge. Note the condemnation that his horrific mob excution got from the New York Sun in 1893, even when the Sun’s writer believed Smith was guilty. Source: http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5487/

        – John Hartsfield, killed in Mississippi in 1919. Accused of and said to have made a partial confession to assaulting a white woman. Local sheriff and authorities powerless to stop it or control the crowds as thousands of people flooded into the town of Ellisville. State governor saying Mississippi had no state militia troops available to intervene. Per the contemporary newspaper cited by the EJI.

        Those examples were mentioned in the EJI report in order to establish the category. Other examples of public spectacle lynchings I”ve found on my own:

        – Will James in Cairo, Illinois, hung and shot to death in 1909 before his corpse was beheaded and burned. Alleged to have strangled a white woman to death. Followed the same night by Henry Salzner, a white man alleged to have murdered his wife. He too was hung, and his corpse was shot multiple times and left in the street. Of particular note are the efforts Cairo’s sheriff and deputies took to try to leave town with James to keep him out of the hands of the mob, which nonetheless intercepted them and forced the sheriff to hand over James. Sources: http://timestraveler.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/12/one-lynching-in-cairo-ill-then-another/?_r=0 and http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9A07E4DE1239E733A25750C1A9679D946897D6CF and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cairo,_Illinois#Lynchings

        – Elmer Jackson, Elias Clayton, and Isaac McGhie, three black circus employees beaten and hung to death by a mob of thousands in Duluth, Minnesota in 1920. A white teenage girl from town claimed to have been raped and robbed by a group of black circus workers. The three were part of six black circus employees arrested and held in jail in connection with the crime. The huge mob broke into the jail to kill them, overpowering the police guards who tried to hold them back with their hands and fire hoses but would not fire their guns against them. Minnesota deployed its National Guard the next day to get the remaining suspects moved somewhere else, and papers at the time such as the Chicago Evening Post and the Minneapolis Journal call it “a stain on the name of Minnesota” and say “the Duluth authorities stand condemned in the eyes of the nation.” Sources: http://collections.mnhs.org/duluthlynchings/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1920_Duluth_lynchings

        Along with the two further cases shown as examples as by Chauncey DeVega, who also referred to the lynching of Henry Smith (Jessie Washington, dragged out of courthouse after pleading guilty to rape and murder of a white woman; Sam Hose, accused of killing his employer in an argument with an axe), there seems to be a clear pattern. These giant mob spectacle lynchings where the victims were tortured, burned, cut to pieces, and so on seem to have been responses to accusations of heinous crimes – murder or rape. Not to such “crimes” as looking a white man in the eyes or talking to a white woman.

        These particular types of lynchings are the ones Chauncey DeVega and Julia Craven (the Huffington Post writer, whom I’ve mistakenly referred to as David Pilgrim up until now due to a misreading I made of Chris’ original post) use to establish the link between ISIS and the KKK.

        Chauncey DeVega, though goes far beyond that (you may read for yourself here http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/yes-isis-burned-man-alive-white-americans-did-same-thing-thousands-black-people). Chauncey DeVega does equate the actions of ISIS with those of the KKK.

        Per Chauncey: it was “white Americans” who “did the same thing” as ISIS. Straight out of his headline. It was the United States, not the KKK, he says, that practiced a ‘unique cultural ritual’ that was just as evil as ISIS. It was “a form of mass culture” in America, he says, meaning everyone was guilty. And it was a form of mass culture in 19th- and 20th-century America, which means everyone from 1800-1999 was guilty.

        Chauncey DeVega is bald-faced propagandist and is also an opinion maker on the progressive left. His article was the first to connect ISIS to lynch mob murders in America, and it’s inspired a number of follow-ups such as the one Chris wrote this article in response to. His piece in the Daily Kos is the root of this whole argument, which is why I refer back to him so much.

        Chauncey DeVega is a very adept propagandist because he forces those who argue in favor of the truth against him into the role of looking like the KKK’s defense lawyer. I am not a defender of the KKK. Neither is Chris Hernandez. I have never argued in support of lynching. I have simply offered an explanation of why it happened that I find to be more compelling than Chauncey DeVega’s, and which is at odds with his on a couple of major issues:

        – Chauncey DeVega believes lynch mobs to have been a “unique cultural ritual” of white America. I believe them to have been a local American form of a universal human tendency towards mob justice under weak governments.

        – Chauncey DeVega declines to acknowledge the pattern of connection between heinous criminal accusations and lynchings that turned into major public spectacles (and particularly torturesome killings). I’ve found a criminal accusation of rape or murder behind every single public spectacle torture-lynching that’s been cited as an example.

        And then there are the games Chauncey starts playing with where he accords guilt. Chauncey DeVega holds both American whites and the United States government accountable for lynching. Whites and the government are both still around to this day, therefore remaining “criminals at large” for the deeds of a century if indeed they were to blame for thousands of lynch mob murders.

        Chauncey DeVega holds white Americans to be responsible for lynch mob murders due to the fact that the perpetrators were mobs of white Americans. Chauncey DeVega’s version of history makes no mention of white victims of lynch mobs, of white sheriffs and deputies who tried to protect black suspects from lynch mobs, or of white newspaper writers who condemned lynching as a barbaric disgrace. You could say they’ve been whitewashed away.

        Chauncey DeVega further holds the United States government accountable (which in turn passes the guilt on to everyone who votes for the US government, which includes all voters today). Chauncey DeVega declines to acknowledge that murder to this day is not a federal crime in the United States. The states have jurisdiction over murder. That the federal government for decades declined to intervene against lynchings is indicative of the limits of its authority, not its complicity and approval of lynch mob murder.

        Chauncey DeVega’s games are the same ones played by those who hold every Muslim personally responsible and accountable for ISIS, who hold every German personally responsible and accountable for Auschwitz, and those who hold every black American personally responsible and accountable for urban crime.

        And the end game for all of Chauncey DeVega’s lies, historical revisionism, and propaganda? He spells it out pretty clearly:

        “Would white folks, on both sides of the ideological divide, condemn their ancestors who participated in such types of violence?”

        Yes, we have and we do. The KKK is hated, rejected, and condemned by almost everyone. There are no more public spectacle lynchings, and any white-on-black killings are intensely scrutinized for racial motive (and fiercely punished, if one is to be found).

        “Will white America ever be willing to fully own its historic ISIS-like behavior against African Americans and other people of color, and how such violence created the present?”

        What does this verb “to own” mean, Chauncey DeVega? And what about the subject of this sentence, “white America?” Who does that mean? Are you asking if all white Americans will plead guilty for their historic ISIS-like behavior?

        “Would [American politicians] support reparations as a material gesture of apology for such crimes?”

        Here arrives the end game: Chauncey DeVega is re-appraising the damage report and raising his assessment of restitution owed. “White America” (which I take to mean every white in America) owes black Americans money. And not hidden behind a polite, racially neutral facade of social welfare programs (which, in accordance with the vision of notorious white American racist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dispense assistance to needy Americans without regard to the color of their skin).

        That is the end goal towards which Chauncey DeVega and his colleagues seek to move this country. Consider how your acceptance of their distorted version of history is helping them towards it (just as widespread public acceptance of the lies about Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program helped launch the Iraq War in 2003). Chauncey DeVega will have you believe that every white American was a racial jihadist against blacks, just as Dick Cheney had everyone believing Saddam Hussein had a nuclear program hidden in trailers and basements and might get his hands on the Bomb any day now if someone didn’t stop him.

        These lies are equally absurd. A nuclear weapons program requires an enormous and highly visible infrastructure; compare the facilities Iran’s alleged weapons program (which I believe to be aimed at attaining a paranuclear capability, not a rush for a bomb) requires to those Iraq had available before 2003.

        And if you want to see what would have happened if every white American really was so hateful of blacks that they’d happily torture them to death for no reason, or watch someone else do it? Take a look at the Rwandan Genocide, where the collapsing Hutu government opened the floodgates of mob justice against the hated Tutsis on a national scale. Almost a million dead, victims that Hutu mobs meticulously and laboriously hunted down and killed en masse by chopping them to pieces with machetes, bashing their heads in with clubs, setting them on fire, shooting them, blowing them to bits with hand grenades.

        If most whites in America, in the South, or even in Mississippi harbored racial hatreds that were as intense and as murderous as those like Chauncey DeVega claim, if white people really would murder any black man who so much as looked at them the wrong way and white society would celebrate it, and if the government really condoned or was even complicit in the mob murders of black people, that is the scale of violence that would have been unleashed in America. Not thousands of murders but hundreds of thousands, millions of murders. A full-blown genocide of black Americans.

        How fortunate for us all that Chauncey DeVega and his colleagues are not telling the truth about what America was really like.

        • 37 Nick42

          I maintain that comparing the lynching of Blacks in the south as frontier justice is minimizing the horror they caused in the black community.

          The main points of your argument seem to be that whites were lynched and that the large number of the Blacks that were lynching were accused of horrible crime, particularly in the torture described as public spectacle lynchings.

          In response I would say that the the states where mostly Blacks had being lynched were Southern states, including several of the 13 colonies and by and large did have strong governments. The states were mostly Whites had been lynched were true frontier states (given that we’re discussing an 80 year period of time, the frontier obviously moved) that did have weak governments and where the lynchings likely can be characterized as mob justice. I’m also curious how many of the Whites that were lynch, particularly in the Southern states were civil rights workers and what the breakdowns are for Whites and Blacks as far as what crimes they were accused of. My suspicion is that Blacks were accused of sexual crimes far in excess of Whites as a means of inflaming the mob and justifying the subsequent torture. There is also a generations long legacy of White men raping Black women with impunity.

          Forcing the Black community to watch lynchings was another sign that these were not simply an overblown reaction to criminal accusations:

          Lynchings Targeting the Entire African American Community. Some lynch mobs targeted entire black communities by forcing black people to witness lynchings and demand- ing that they leave the area or face a similar fate. These lynchings were designed for broad impact—to send a message of domination, to instill fear, and sometimes to drive African Americans from the community. After a lynching in Forsyth County, Georgia, in 1912, white vigilantes distributed leaflets demanding that all black people leave the county or suffer deadly consequences; so many black families fled that, by 1920, the county’s black population had plunged from 1100 to just thirty.

          As far as the public spectacle lynchings being the result of accusations of sexual crimes, I don’t know that the summary report gives enough information to make that determination. I would also strongly suspect that the accusations of sexual abuse were more justifications for these horrific events rather than the cause. Finally, if these are the result of a frontier style justice preformed by a mob that was enraged by the accusations of horrible crimes, did this also happen to Whites who were accused of the same crimes? I haven’t seen any suggestion that that was the case and I rather doubt it happened (at least nearly as frequently as it did to Blacks). I did request a full copy of the lynching report, but it is apparently only available in hard copy, so it will have to be snail mailed.

          As far as Chauncey DeVega’s claims, desired political outcome, and motivations, I don’t think they are relevant. As the saying goes, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.

          You said:

          Per Chauncey: it was “white Americans” who “did the same thing” as ISIS. Straight out of his headline. It was the United States, not the KKK, he says, that practiced a ‘unique cultural ritual’ that was just as evil as ISIS. It was “a form of mass culture” in America, he says, meaning everyone was guilty. And it was a form of mass culture in 19th- and 20th-century America, which means everyone from 1800-1999 was guilty.

          Everything in that paragraph except the last sentence and half are facts that you I don’t think you dispute. Your complaint seems to be that these facts mean that all White Americans were morally guilty of these crimes, which is obviously an opinion. Regardless of what I think of his opinions, his facts seem to be true.

          Both the Alternet and HuffPost piece say they are responding to characterizations of ISIS as representing unique evil unseen since the middle ages, such as Sen. Angus King’s quote:

          “My characterization of ISIS is that they have 14th century ethics and 21st century weapons,” he said.

          In response they are saying that large groups of Americans carried out similarly brutal acts. I don’t think that point can be argued.

          I do think it is useful to look at Rwanda and South Africa, particularly the reconciliation process in those countries. There is global muslim diaspora living in the United States and Europe that feels marginalized. Their children are in danger of being radicalized, taking up arms, and joining ISIS. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this process is set to the sounds of Hiphop, a cultural and musical movement created by marginalized Blacks in America.

          I’m not wise enough or learned enough to suggest that I have all the answers to race relations in America or the problems of Muslim extremism. Race relations have improved in the US and it wasn’t done by killing everyone who participated in a lynching. I don’t think we can bomb our way to peace in the Middle East.

          Maybe the reconciliations processes in Rwanda and South Africa will give us hints towards how to solve the problems in both Ferguson and the Middle East. But I don’t think minimizing the legacy of racial violence in the US will help with either of those goals.

        • 38 Stuart the Viking

          You feel free to keep excusing racially motivated murder as ANY kind of “justice”. I’ll feel free to continue having a very low view of you as a human being.


          • Please feel free to re-read what I wrote and reconsider your low evaluation of me as a person at any time that you feel better prepared to engage in critical thinking.

            Coming to grips with the difference between explaining why a bad thing happens and excusing it would be a good first step to take.

          • 40 Stuart the Viking

            I understand what you are saying here. However, I disagree with you.

            Yes, at times, the lynched person may have been suspected of some wrongdoing; however, at that time in history, in that place, they had a system of justice that WOULD have handled it, and had a proven record of handing out verdicts that agreed with the mob’s assessment. Lynchings weren’t about a hue and cry for justice denied, they were about racism and hatred. They were about the personal satisfaction killing the hated ones. They were about putting the blacks in “their place” and keeping them there. They weren’t about justice (mob or otherwise) at all.

            Also forgotten in your argument are the innocents who did NOTHING worthy of being lynched. The woman who’s brother was suspected of doing something, but the mob lynched her because they couldn’t find her brother (reading into women who were lynched, this is an disturbingly common theme). Was that any form of justice (mob or otherwise)? In the absence of racism, in the absence of hatred, I submit that those women would not have been lynched at all. Hell, in the absence of racism and hatred, MOST lynchings would not have happened, even many of the rare few where I would be inclined to agree that there was a justice component to the lynching (hey, I hate rapists and child touchers just as much as anyone, although those weren’t very common).

            The problem with the conversation isn’t that I am unprepared to engage in critical thinking, it is that you are unprepared to give up describing racial hatred as something it is not. Until we all look the devil in the face, for what it was rather than sugar coating it by calling it some kind of “justice” and couching it in those terms, the conversation may never move forward.

            I will admit that perhaps, because I feel strongly about such things, I may not have been completely fair in my judgement of your character. I realize that it a common way of speaking of these things to call them “mob justice” and perhaps, you were just following form rather than making a value statement of your own. I implore you to at least consider my point of view in this.

          • I’ve considered your views, Stuart, and I know you’re speaking from the right place. You are not wrong at all about the need to confront hatred and racism, and I did acknowledge racial prejudices as being the factor behind the disproportionate numbers of black people who were lynched in the South. I too find the Rwandan process of reconciliation to have been an incredible thing, an almost uimaginable level of forgiveness. I only hope that the peace there continues to hold up.

            In the end, I really think we have more to agree about that to disagree about here. We might not come to the same conclusions about lynchings, but I’m as glad as you are that our country has become a more civilized place and doesn’t allow that to happen anymore.

            And you are very correct to say that without hatred, most lynchings would not happen. Hatred is what makes people want crimes to be punished at all – or to punish crime themselves, if they have the opportunity. Crime enrages us. We hate it. We hate murder, we hate rape, we hate robbery and assault and child molestation. We hate the people who commit these crimes (you’ve confessed to it yourself).

            That kind of hate is what enables us to have a society in the first place. We wouldn’t punish murderers and wife beaters if we didn’t hate what they did. The problem of course is when hatred justified by wrongful actions becomes displaced onto a larger group of people who are ‘guilty by association.’

            For example: there are more Islamist terrorists in the world today than there are terrorists of any other stripe. That is factually indisputable. I think it’s very healthy for everyone who is not an Islamist terrorist to hate Islamic terrorists. But that doesn’t justify anyone’s hatred of every Muslim person in the world.

            I draw a line though if someone turns things around and tries to say that you’re just as bad as someone who hates all Muslim people if you are someone who hates Islamist terrorists. Or if someone were to say that there are just as many Christian, Buddhist, and Confucian terrorists groups out there, they’re just not getting reported by our Islamophobic media. Or if someone were to say there were far more Christian terrorists at some point in the past, therefore we must suspend judgment of Islamist terrorism today (particularly if that is someone who uses the Crusades and the Inquisition to rail against Christianity but then argue that Islamist terrorism doesn’t reflect upon Islam).

            I think that’s where we’re at. I could write page after page about why I disagree with people like Chauncey DeVega but I think you and I would actually end up agreeing on more things than not.

            I apologize for the dig at your intelligence as you are definitely a more reflective person than your last reply let on. I’ll accept you might have gotten carried away a bit because you thought you were arguing with someone who is a racist. Trust me, I’m not. I can’t stand them either.

          • 42 Stuart the Viking


            “Hatred is what makes people want crimes to be punished at all – or to punish crime themselves, if they have the opportunity.”

            This is what I see as our very point of disagreement. I don’t believe lynchings happened because the mob hated the crime. I believe the lynchings happened because the mob hated the PEOPLE. The “crime” (which more often than not was no crime at all) was the excuse. People will go through incredible mental gymnastics to find excuses for doing things that they want to do. I don’t believe that our civilized world of today (by comparison anyway) has less dislike for crime than it did then, nor does it have any less passion in it’s dislike of crime, yet lynchings are extremely rare today. The missing ingredient is the hatred of the people. That isn’t to say that racism doesn’t exists today. Sadly, it does. However, it is much reduced from it’s heyday, and it is no longer in the majority or given validity as an excuse for bad behavior. It is by and large seen as an immoral thing, worthy of scorn.

            The difference is similar to a father who doesn’t WANT to punish his child, but knows that if he withholds punishment, it will be detrimental to the child’s moral well being. So, he does what he knows he has to do (and no more). That is justice.

            On the other hand, we have the bad father who gets drunk and angry and beats his kid and uses whatever infraction of the rules that the child may have committed as an excuse. That is the “mob justice” (using the terminology that you seem to be comfortable with).

            Beaten children are often told by their abuser that the beatings were their own fault. I see using the word “Justice” in describing lynchings (even if it is prefixed with “mob”), and/or focusing more on the supposed “crime” that the victim was suspected of committing rather than the racism and hatred of the mob as something very similar to this.


          • 43 Vendetta

            I see your point on using the phrase mob justice. The word justice does have two meanings, as I said before, and one of them is definitely not the one I want to convey. I’ll be thinking about better ways to phrase my arguments in the future that would not be open to such unintended interpretations.

            Think we’re probably nearing the end of things to debate on this issue, but I have one final point to get to. I don’t think there’s necessarily a conclusive answer as to whether the people who participated in public spectacle lynchings were motivated more by outrage at the crime or by racial hatred. Both undeniably contributed to the motives of the perpetrators.

            Unless you are Chauncey DeVega, who denies one of these by way of omission. Eight out of eight public spectacle lynchings I’ve examined from various times and places in America involved a suspect for a murder or sexual crime. Authors of “America was just like ISIS!” pieces like DeVega simply do not acknowledge any circumstances of the lynchings to leave people with the impression that white Americans just took innocent black men off the streets for no reason every once in a while, tortured them and set them on fire, and printed it the papers to celebrate. Just because they were evil and hated black people so much.

            This is easily recognized as dishonest when people say the Palestinians suicide bomb in Israel just because they hate the Jews so much. They do hate Israel, but they also have grievances against things that Israel has actually done to them. And vice versa, people accuse Israel of bombing the Gaza Strip for no reason except that they’re evil and hate the Palestinians so much, leaving out any mention of Palestinian terrorism.

            I’d find it very alarming if thousands of white people really had gathered together to torture a black man to death without at least thinking he’d done something awful. Fact is though, I have yet to find a case like that. Small groups of people did lynch blacks for ridiculous “crimes” but none of these cases where thousands of people gathered and made a huge public celebration out of it were for such things as brushing against a white man on the sidewalk.

            The lessening of racial hatreds has undoubtedly helped to rid the country of lynchings, but the other key factor, the expansion of the federal government’s reach and jurisdiction, is left unaccounted for by an explanation that refuses to acknowledge the role that firm governmental authority plays in the prevalence of mob violence.

            Consider the case of Iraq, where was an immense level of sectarian prejudice and resentment under Saddam Hussein’s rule, but there was never an orgy of violence where Sunnis and Shias would blow each other up every other day like they did under US occupation. They hated each other back then but there was never mob violence like that because Saddam Hussein’s government had a strong level of control over the people, and the post-Saddam government does not.

            What I find ultimately dishonest and deplorable are attempts to pin the blame for lynchings upon “white America”. They are a crime the majority of white Americans did not participate in or have any say over, and that many white Americans historically protested against or attempted to prevent (and that virtually all white Americans today would never condone).

            This is consistent with holding all Muslims responsible for 9/11 or ISIS, holding all Jews responsible for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians, or holding all black Americans responsible for urban crime. Do all the world’s Muslims owe us restitution for 9/11? Are all Mexicans just like ISIS because the drug cartels set people on fire and chop them to bits (and the government hasn’t put a stop to it?)

            I think you are absolutely right to take a stand against racism and against racial violence in America. But I think you need to recognize that articles like these do more harm than good and try to put some distance between your own views and some of these fallacious arguments that DeVega and his ilk are making.

  11. 44 Stuart the Viking

    Not sure how you got the idea that I agreed with DeVega in any way.

    I don’t believe that the evils of the past, either lynchings in the American south, or the Crusades 1000 years ago, have anything to do with or in any way excuse or reduce the evils of today. ISIS, in effect, is committed to a war of genocide against EVERYONE who isn’t them (possibly along with some hokey “duty to bring on the Apocalypse” thing that I’m not sure if I believe is real, or just someone’s idea of a joke).

    However, I agree that this conversation is pretty played out, and if it were to continue would just ramble even farther afield from the original post.

    I appreciate the intelligent conversation though. Thanks!

  12. 45 Shell

    If I may, I think I can shed a little light on one facet of the disagreement above. Well, first, I too appreciate and have enjoyed the intelligent conversation between y’all. Well done by both parties.

    Now, I think Vendetta’s use of “mob justice” is to mean “what the mob would call justice” rather than “a form of justice administered by a mob”. Am I right, V?

    • 46 Vendetta

      That is correct. I think Stuart got that as well but felt that seeing as it was a word I chose to use, it does reflect a bit on what I think of it as well or what I’d want a reader to think. Not my intention at all, but it is a weakess in my argument if it could be misinterpreted as supporting it. Which is why it is important to test your ideas in debates like this to see if they have weaknesses you yourself haven’t noticed so that you can discover how to improve them.

      • 47 Shell

        Indeed so. Reading and thinking about y’all’s exchange has been edifying, to say the least.

  13. Reblogged this on The Bartelists and commented:
    You go, Mr. Hernandez!

  14. 49 asdasdffasda

    but it is true that white males are the most evil entities that ever inhabited this planet

  15. There were more black on black murders in 6 months than the total number of lynchings committed by the KKK in their whole 110 years of memberships. So by this margin, black neighborhoods are on the same level as ISIS and the KKK too….this is stupid. About as informative and imaginative as a story about you wiping your ass with your feet and saying its the same because you have 10 toes and 10 fingers.

  16. 53 Fuck You

    Wow what a bunch of horseshit this blog site is. No wonder I can’t take you seriously, its a circle jerk for the ingorant masses here. xD

    • 54 just another wordpress author

      Now there is your intelligent, well-considered, and objective rejoinder – not!

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