[Lest we forget, the Klu Klux Klan had spread to nearly every state in the union by the mid 1920s — with 300,000 women auxiliaries wearing special white Klan outfits. Then, happily, a major scandal among its leaders led to its rapid demise in all but core Southern locations. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries 3,000+ people were brutally lynched by the Klan — about 2/3 African Americans and the remainder new immigrants — Jews and Catholics, for instance, living in Southern states. Emmett Till’s lynching was one of the most publicized — a teen from Chicago visiting relatives in Mississippi:

“In 1955, people all over the United States knew that Emmett Louis Till was a fourteen-year-old African American boy lynched for supposedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. The brutality of his murder, the open-casket funeral, and the acquittal of the men tried for the crime drew wide media attention.”


My own grandfather for whom I am named, the owner of the Allen Drug Store in Hanover, NH, publicly fought the Klan there and was honored for his integrity and public sense of justice on the occasion of his death in 1963 by the town’s closing down for a day with flags at half mast.

The fear and horrors of the noose are too much still with us, however. A NYC museum a few years ago posted hundreds of pictures of lynchings. I recall the first picture which I saw of a burned and tormented body in Langston Hughes’ History of the NAACP which I had received to review. It had little children being held up on their parents’ shoulders so that they could take in the horror around which all were laughingly rejoicing.

Yes, lest we forget. Ed Kent]


This Halloween, Man in Noose Wins a Reprieve
A series of race-baiting incidents have left some wondering
about the display of Halloween ghouls in nooses.


“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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