Even though I finished Just Mercy some weeks ago, that book honestly has me reflecting on my definition of justice. Quite frankly, I’m beginning to think that there’s no such thing as justice, at least not the childhood version of justice I can’t shake no matter the life experience.
EJI is starting an initiative to mark lynchings sites in the US. As a Black child in Texas when white supremacists dragged James Byrd to his death using a pick up truck, I’m all for it.
I’m. All. For. It.
The US needs its own version of Truth and Reconciliation. Like I’ve written about before, people were mailing lynching postcards right here in the US of A. The federal government had to pass a law saying don’t mail that shit anymore.
If individuals thought it was OK to mail evidence of a murder, rent out special edition trains to go see lynchings, sell pieces of the lynched’s body and recorded sounds of the victim’s screams (all true, I didn’t make that up) you know life was bad for Blacks in the South. The words pervasive violence do not do this justice.
Terrorism fits the bill nicely though.
The thing is Asians, Latinos, and Native Americans were lynched in the West. White people who were found to be allies of people of color got strung up too.
I intentionally say strung up–as if flippant–because certain lives were considered cheap. Worthless. Something to be flippant about and take pictures of in your Sunday best as proof that you were there to help brutally stamp it out.
This worthless thing of a life.
I taught about lynchings at my old school. We read about Ida B. Wells-Barnett and completed research projects.
This is a part of history that I can’t let go of. Maybe it’s because so many others already have. Maybe it’s because an amazing professor, Professor Wallace, first taught me about this. I don’t know.
Regardless, let these markers–and the fights that will come to not put up these markers–lead us down a real path to Truth and Reconciliation instead of the path of Forgive and Forget.