Re: [sixties-l] Critique of Bruce Franklin

From: Bill Mandel (
Date: 10/25/00

  • Next message: Bill Mandel: "Re: [sixties-l] Critique of Bruce Franklin"

    On Michael Wright's closing point regarding the relative policies of 
    other former slave states regarding discriminatory executions of 
    Blacks and discriminatory disposition of bodies for dissection or the 
    families, my caveat was solely for the sake of careful scholarship. I 
    have no reason whatever to believe that the other states were better 
    than Virginia.
       I have to say that Wright's position represents a particularly 
    short-sighted and old-fashioned form of white chauvinism. Post-slavery 
    law in the South, particularly after the defeat of Reconstruction and 
    the violent suppression of alliances between Blacks and poor whites in 
    end-of-19th-century populism (the Wilmington Massacre, for example), 
    was specifically crafted and even more specifically enforced as a 
    means of political terrorism against African-Americans. The Scottsboro 
    Case is a particularly well-known instance of absolutely false 
    accusation of rape, subsequently renounced in court by one of the 
    alleged victims, used fundamentally to keep Blacks "in their place." 
    An endless number of lynchings occurred over false rape charges made 
    for a variety of reasons from wanting a Black neighbor's property to 
    trying to cover an under-age white female's pregnancy.
        When I was in Richmond in 1951 in the unsuccessful attempt to save 
    the Martinsville Seven from execution, I took very detailed 
    biographical information on why people had come there for that 
    purpose. One was from a white woman from Oklahoma, who, when in high 
    school, had seen a rape cry raised against a Black kid, who was not 
    subjected either to lynching or trial because the fact of the liaison 
    of the white girl involved with a white boy was too widely known among 
    the white students. I quote that story in detail in my Saying No To 
             William Mandel

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