Re: [sixties-l] Critique of Bruce Franklin >

From: Jeffrey Blankfort (
Date: 10/31/00

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    I wrote:
    > <When they went looking for their bodies, they
    > <drained a small pond in Philadelphia, Mississippi,
    > <and found the bodies of 23 others, all black
    > <men, all murdered, and all unreported.  Why were
    > <they killed?  We'll never know, maybe some for
    > <expressing what passed for dissent in
    > <Philadelphia, Mississippi.
    Michael Wright replied:
    >  And maybe not. He admits we'll "never know"
    >  why they were killed.  Because of this, the
    >  evidence, while emotionally charged, is absolutely
    >  irrelevant to the question of whether state-
    >  sponsored repression of political dissent is
    >  color-blind, as I have argued.
    This reminds me of the man who is seen searching for something under a
    streetlamp and is asked what he is looking for? My car key, responds the
    man. Is there where you lost, he is asked.  No, but this is where the
    light is. What the underreported deaths of the 23 black men in
    Mississippi and Michael's response indicate is how limited we are in
    making the type of investigation that he suggests. Since an unknown
    number of black women and men were murdered over the decades in the Jim
    Crow south, unknown because there was no police interest in locating
    their killers, many of whom were, in fact, the police, and there was no
    media that was at all interested in investigating or reporting on the
    deaths of missing blacks, we will never know why they were killed. I
    will suggest that it is reasonable to suggest that some were murdered
    for their defiance of the white ruling elite. To discount these deaths
    while making the argument that white dissenters have been treated as
    harshly as blacks is to come with findings that have as much chance of
    being accurate as the man under the streetlight has of finding his key.
    Jeff Blankfort

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