The condemnation of this latest salt poured in the nation’s racial wounds was swift and nearly universal. I was among those who called the president and his malevolent missive despicable. But I was driven into a rage over the responses from the two senators from South Carolina, a state that has had 164 documented lynchings between 1877 and 1950, according to the Equal Justice Initiative.
“So yeah, this is a lynching in every sense,” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R) said at the Capitol. “This is un-American. I’ve never seen a situation in my lifetime as a lawyer where somebody’s accused of major misconduct who cannot confront the accuser, call witnesses on their behalf and have the discussion in the light of day so the public can judge.”
“There’s no question that the impeachment process is the closest thing of a political death row trial, so I get his absolute rejection of the process,” said Sen. Tim Scott (R), the only African American Republican in the Senate. “I wouldn’t use the word lynching.”
There’s a saying for this idiocy: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.” To invoke lynching in this manner is to trivialize an open and widely unacknowledged sore in our nation’s history. It is to minimize domestic terror against African Americans. It’s to negate the pain of the people who built this country with their free labor and made it great with their resilience in the face of persistent and ongoing discrimination.
Anyone who cannot see fit to give a full-throated condemnation of Trump and what he said is not fit for public office or the public trust.
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